They Who Fell – Kevin Kneupper
Title: They Who Fell
Author: Kevin Kneupper
Kevin Kneupper gained my respect this past year when he used his skills as a former lawyer to take on the Cockygate war for all writers. Even though I am not a writer, I appreciate this as a lover of stories. If you are unfamiliar with Cockygate, learn more here. Essentially, no one should have the right to copyright a word that is common in the English language and used prolifically by all authors. I followed the Twitter war that raged, and then I jumped for joy when Kneupper and fellow word protecting volunteers took on the battle and succeeded in their efforts. I actually became stressed out that a writer would do this to their fellow colleagues. I couldn’t believe the arrogance of Faleena Hopkins, the antagonist in this real life tale.
So, as you can see, I bought his first novel to show support to him. As a result, my respect has grown even more. Not only is he a word warrior, but he is also a wordsmith.
They Who Fell was an enchanting tale about an alternate reality where Earth is occupied by fallen angels. The angels in this tale are no where near angelic and can be quite cruel in their mastering and enslavement of the humans who remain post-fall.
I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Jana, a slave girl to the angels. We follow her on her path to survival. The plot points that took place in the angel’s home were the most intriguing and spellbinding to read. I felt connected to these characters and felt their suffering. I spent much of the book eager to get back to this part of the story-line. Additionally, I enjoyed seeing the various sides and personalities of all the imperfect angels.
The parts of the story that follow the humans that remain on the surface of Earth, were more of struggle for me. There are four main human warriors the story follows in this section, and I never felt quite connected to any particular one. As a result of this, I had trouble seeing their individuality. However, their personas became more prominent as the story unfolded. By the end of the story, I saw their purpose and welcomed them as prominent characters.
Overall, I was quite impressed by this story and look forward to continuing the series.
If you enjoy stories about the good and the bad side to everyone and perceive the world with grey colored glasses, then I think this tale will delight. It has cruel and unfair violence, a pinch of forbidden romance and brave souls who fear more the prospect of being caged over meeting their maker.
Synopsis: They say that long ago, there was a rebellion in Heaven. That an army of angels sought to seize the throne, and were cast down into the pits of Hell in punishment. Those are the affairs of angels, and everything would have been fine if they’d kept them to themselves. But there’s been another uprising, and another Fall. Cast down to Earth, the rebel angels ravaged the globe in an orgy of sin and violence as they indulged in their newfound freedoms. Their new home is the Perch, a black, towering monstrosity that blights what’s left of the New York City skyline.
Life inside the Perch means you watch your tongue, if you’re a servant. Jana has lived there since she was a child, and now she’s found herself thrust into the middle of angelic politics. Some of them want to torture her, just for the fun of it. Others say they want to protect her. And Rhamiel, a charismatic and powerful angel with one of the few faces that wasn’t burnt and scarred by the Fall, is relentlessly pursuing her affections.
Life outside can be just as dangerous. Strange things fell with the angels and wander the countrysides. The roads are filled with Vichies, cringing humans who’ve thrown their lot in with their oppressors and won’t hesitate to take advantage of the weak. But some are still fighting, including William Holt. He leads a small cell of fighters, searching for a way to strike back against the angels without getting themselves killed in the process. And all around, the fallen angels inflict their savageries on the dwindling remains of humanity, enjoying every vice they’d been forbidden during their long centuries of service.
They Who Fell is the first book in a trilogy.