A Terrible Fall of Angels
reviewed by Pam Guynn
A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton is the first book in the Zaniel Havelock urban fantasy / supernatural suspense / paranormal police procedural series. She builds a new world for readers to marvel and explore. Detective Zaniel ‘Havoc’ Havelock has the ability to communicate directly with angels. He is now part of the Metaphysical Coordination Unit.
From the age of seven, he was trained as an Angel speaker, but an event when he was around twenty caused him to leave the College of Angels. After spending time in to the military, he is now a police detective. Havoc is called to the scene of a murder. There’s no doubt that there’s evil, but is it the evil between human beings or is it the work of a demon, or is it something else?
We get insight into Havoc’s character during the course of the investigation. He is strong of faith, courageous, and kind, but past events affect how he views himself. There’s inner discourse that helps the reader understand what he’s thinking and feeling. Many other characters in this novel are woven into the story line in a way that makes it easy to keep track of them. They either provide support or conflict and I expect several of them to gain depth as the series continues.
This is the first series by Ms. Hamilton that features a male main character. Additionally, he is married, but has been separated for six months as they attend couples therapy. They have a three-year-old son. Will Zaniel and his wife reconcile and will romance be added to the genres that this series encompasses?
Between and during action scenes and investigations, this novel spends a significant amount of time world-building. Now that we have that understanding, I hope those descriptions aren’t covered in quite as much depth in future books in the series. It is very much a good versus evil world, but there are other important themes including marital issues, friendships, how events affect relationships, different religious and belief systems and how they can work together, and much more. One thing it didn’t have was the steamy scenes that are common in the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series.
Overall, this book was an entertaining and thought-provoking paranormal police investigation with strong religious and belief overtones. It is definitely a departure from the previous series written by this author in many ways. However, she continues to bring great characters, entertaining and unique story lines, action, and suspense together in her novels. The book has a great first sentence and quickly pulled me into this new world. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
This is my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and are not biased in any way. Publication date was August 17, 2021.