Raziel (The Fallen, #1) By Kristina Douglas

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Kristina Douglas’s sexy new series introduces a realm of fallen angels and ruthless demons, where an eternal rebellion is brewing . . . and one unsuspecting woman can change the fate of the Fallen forever. She was just an ordinary mortal . . . “You’re dead” is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she’s surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood—and they really don’t want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven. . . . until death catapulted her into a seductive world she never imagined. Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel’s orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn't felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom’s shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness—because Allie may be the Fallen’s only salvation. Raziel (The Fallen, #1)

Blah, I super dislike when every page of a book contains a swear word, when it is not full sentences. Call me prude but I think swearing all the time is so not necessary. And the fact that the main characters LOVE to swear was tiresome to me.

This was a very so so book. The heroine was very silly in the beginning and it took me very long to get used to the story as a whole. It did end in a better mood, the plot developed by then and thats the only reason why I am giving it a 3 stars. English This book captivated me. It started out kind of strange, with the shifting 1st person POVs, and the fact that the heroine gets hit by a bus at the beginning of the story (not a spoiler, trust me). But, I have to say, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s the honest truth that I would read the phone book if Anne Stuart wrote it. When I heard she had written a fallen angel paranormal romance (under a pseudonym), I was there. I mean, she’s the Queen of Bad Boy Heroes. She didn’t disappoint me with Raziel, the book or the character!

Story:
Anne Stuart takes the legends of fallen angels and spins her own version. I can’t say I liked all the theological doctrine behind it. I really dislike the whole “God’s on vacation” premise that seems to be very popular in secular supernatural fiction based on Angels and Judeo-Christian legends. In this case, God pretty much washed his hands of the humans, and left them under the control of his lead angel, Uriel. Uriel is a cold, unforgiving, disdainful regent, who thinks of the humans as a mistake. He dislikes the Fallen about the same, if not more. He has hatched plans to make their eternal lives miserable, and has plans to end them all. Uriel doesn’t show up in this story, but his machinations are readily apparent.

Our heroine is a woman who grew up with a puritanical religious mother (a Jew by birth and rearing who becomes a Fundamentalist Christian). She makes Allie believe that she is nothing short of the spawn of the devil, forcing her zealous form of Christianity down Allie’s throat until she chokes on it. As a result, Allie is an atheist who writes Old Testament mysteries that debunk the religion. So it’s pretty hard to believe that she’s dead, and an angel is taking her to her resting place. Especially an angel that is too gorgeous to be believed, with striated black/silver eyes, long tawny hair, and perfect chiseled features. And his wings (rolls eyes in ecstasy). Blue-black and lush! Heavenly! Yeah, Raziel is some kind of gorgeous, and she doesn’t see his wings at first. She doesn’t like him much, and he doesn’t seem to like her either, but then he saves her at the last minute when it turns out she’s supposed to be thrown in the fires of hell. And he almost dies in the process, because the Fallen are exquisitely sensitive to fire. Allie spends the night sleeping next to her sick angel rescuer, hearing the screams of the horrible Nephilim (fallen angels who have become ravening, cannibalistic beasts), all around her, and shell-shocked that this is actually happening.

The next day, they are rescued by a group of men who turn out to be Raziel’s brethren, other Fallen angels who dwell in a compound called Sheol with their human wives. Allie doesn’t want to be stuck in this weird place with its patriarchal rules, and she doesn’t want to be close to Raziel, who inspires feelings in her that make her vulnerable, and Allie doesn’t like being vulnerable. However, she is soon to discover that she is his bonded mate, and destiny is not something she can laugh at.

I started this story not knowing at all what to expect. This is one of those books you have to read with an open mind. It’s different. The writing style is a lot more conversational, and less action and focus on the sexual attraction between the couple, that is typical in most paranormal romance (that’s there, but it is on slow simmer until it boils over).

I found myself utterly seduced by this story. I really liked how Ms. Douglas (Stuart) uses the angel theme in this book. It was kind of odd at first, the idea that the angels have to drink blood, how they take human wives who die before they do (although they live longer lives), and cannot have children. How they are essentially trapped in their own compound, other than when Uriel calls them to escort certain humans to their afterlife destination. This story made me care about the angels, feel bad for the Fallen. That they fell because of their love and attraction to humans and humanity, their tendency to question Uriel’s orders. Of course, I had to put my own beliefs about angels and God out of the picture when I read this, because they are different from the concepts in this novel. But, for a fiction world, it was very interesting.

As far as supernatural themes, angels are in my top three (with faerie and werewolves). I love when a book does angels really well--bringing a new dimension to the concept, and giving me a novel way to look at them. I loved how Ms. Douglas showed the angels with their human wives, how their bond was very powerful and beautiful, but there is a poignancy because being the wife of an angel doesn’t grant immortality. It may prolong one’s life, and leave it relatively free of illness, but eventually they die, always childless, and the angels keep living, mourning all their wives over the millennia.

The Characters:
Allie :
Allie was pretty annoying, quite frankly. She was a bit too much the Sex and the City-type heroine for me at first glance. Shallow, hard, unsympathetic. She seemed to be the type of heroine to make her life more difficult than necessary. She didn’t seem to get that she was dead, and that she was surrounded by real angels, and she couldn’t go back to her life. I understand that this was a lot to take in, but her defiant determination to believe in nothing supernatural got kind of old, especially with the evidence right in front of her. But then she actually became likable as the story progressed. I saw that she was wearing armor. It’s pretty tough growing up with rigid, unloving parents. Her determination not to believe was her way of fighting back at her mother, who loved God more than she loved her daughter. For her to be in a scenario where she was actually dead, surrounded by supposedly mythical creatures probably would be a lot to take in. And I liked that she stepped up when her help was needed, more than once. I admit I liked that she was tough and mouthy. She needed to be, with a mate like Raziel. Honestly, Allie was more of a chick-lit type heroine than I would have liked, but she ended up being a heroine I could root for.

Raziel:
Raziel is yummy with a cherry on top. He’s also ageless, and kind of sad. After all, he had been cursed by God for his sin of disobedience, cursed to never have children, and to be a blood-eater (blood drinker). He is the picture I would have of a fallen angel that is not evil. Sad, lonely, a stranger without a home, exiled from heaven. He put up barriers against Allie at the beginning, having lost his wife in the past, going through that heartache, and determined not to face it again. But, she worked her way through those barriers. And when she does, look out!

Allie and Raziel:
Their relationship starts out contentious, as they really don’t like each other, even though they find each other attractive. They actually wanted to be rid of each other, and were both working to find a way to achieve their mutual goal. However, over the time that Allie stays in close proximity with Raziel, they can no longer ignore their bond, which turned out to be destiny, pushed away by their mutual fears of intimacy.

I liked that this was a paranormal romance where there wasn’t the instant ‘mine’ moment. Now don’t get me wrong. I love the whole mine/fated mate concept. Even though it wasn’t instant, boy did we get that ‘mine’ aspects in spades. Even the growly jealous expressions (loved those). Possessive hero lovers, fear not. All I’m saying!

The relationship development between Raziel and Allie felt authentic. Raziel and Allie aren’t warm and fuzzy characters, so they grow on you as they grow on each other. I could see why each didn’t want to be in love, because love hurts, especially when ultimate loss and disappointment (on Raziel’s part) is almost guaranteed, and feeling that you will never be good enough (on Allie’s part—her mother didn’t love her, why should anyone else)?

I liked the tension between Raziel and Allie. I think this showed up very well considering that it was first person. With 1st person POV, it is harder to see both sides of the relationship, which is why I was glad that we got shifting POVs. And the intimate point of view just worked for this story, in my opinion. Normally I don’t like 1st person love scenes, but these love scenes were very good--heightening the intimate aspects, actually.

I really loved the way Raziel took Allie flying, how he wrapped her in his wings during intimacy (which is something that the angels do with their mates). Oh those wings were so gorgeous and beautiful. I can just imagine flying around in an angel’s arms. Not likely to happen, but at least I can read about it.

This book gave me the post-reading glow! I can see how it wouldn’t work for others, and there were things that I felt were less successful than I’ve read in other paranormals. But there is a distinct, irresistible feel this book. In cooking, they use the term ‘mouth feel’. I look at books similarly. Some books just have good ‘book feel’. They taste good during the read, and they cause this power release of happy reading endorphins, and this is one of them. If I had time, I’d probably reread it right away to get more happy juice. But my tbr pile calls. I’m glad that the next book comes out soon!
English Edit after reread:
It's really strange how I have a completely different opinion on this book now. Maybe I just got used to the angel/vampire combo that was weird when I first encountered it. I don't know. But I really enjoyed this one, the world building and the romance as well. Great humor, witty too. Me likey.



I LOVE fallen angels, well, they don't even have to be fallen, just angels is enough for me :) But I didn't like the vampire/angel combo in here, it just doesn't go together in my head. But OK, I got used to it and the story was good, but nothing special, Raziel and Allie were good, but again, nothing special, I didn't root for them to be together, I just read so I could finish

What I did like - the story with the angels, a whole new view to it, with an archeangel bad guy, and the fallen ones trying to free Lucifer to lead their army :) I think Lucifer might even be a good guy in all this lol, so I really liked all that :)

I'm off to read the second book, hope it's better :) English Boredom :(

Raziel is the first installment in Kristina Douglas's adult urban fantasy series titled The Fallen. I like angels. I like vampires. Reading about angels that drink blood? WINNER!

It just bored me to tears. I wasn't expecting the blood sucking element so my interest was grabbed during those parts but unfortunately it didn't last. Personally, I can't recommend this one based on my own experience but I encourage you to read some more positive reviews and weigh the pros and cons for yourself. Good luck!

My favorite quote:
Evil came from within, just as love and beauty did. Evil was the price humans paid for being alive.


10/2/16:
Reading this as part of Gotta Have Romance With A Kick Group Reads! English 3.5 Stars

Allie Watson has just died and has been pulled back from the flames of hell by a dark and mysterious man. Now she finds herself in a place that is hidden from the world. This is the home of the Fallen, beautiful angels who fell from heaven and are now cursed to drink blood, and they see her as an intruder into their world. Raziel felt something wasn't right when he saw that Allie would be going to hell so he saved her and brought him back to his home. Even though he was the one to save her, he doesn't want Allie there. She awakens feelings in him he thought were long gone and he isn't happy about it. The other Fallen don't want her there either and believe it his her fault that the Nephilim have found their home and are trying to find a way in to kill them all. Raziel and Allie will need to work past their differences if they are to survive the impending attack because Allie may be the Fallen's only hope for survival.

The story of the Fallen was interesting and my favorite part of the book. Raziel and his fellow Fallen were once angels in heaven that were sent to earth to teach humans tasks. The more time they spent on earth the more they started to feel and wanted things like love and sex. For this they were not only cast out but they were hunted by the Nephilim, which are made by the angel Uriel to not feel anything and to follow his command. They soon became flesh eating monsters. A tentative peace was made between Uriel and the Fallen as long as they would escort some souls, like Allie, to where they belonged once they died. The Fallen have destined mates that they love and bond with. The Fallen do have to drink blood but they aren't vampires. They take only from their mates or the Source, a female who is able to provide nourishment to unbonded angels without them getting sick. The Fallen are the actual good guys so to speak in this series. Uriel has basically become power hungry and he wants to destroy the Fallen by going after what means most to them, their mates. It feels a little odd not to be rooting for the side of heaven but the Fallen are really the ones looking out for us and I couldn't help but root for them.

I didn't care for the characters as much as I did the story. Raziel has had many mates and the loss of the last one has him not wanting another. Deep down he knows that Allie is his destined mate but fights it by being very cold and distant to her for most of the book. For Allie she didn't want to be trapped in Sheol, their home, but she did have feelings of lust towards Raziel. The man is physically gorgeous but I couldn't get past how rude he was towards her and I don't know how Allie was able to forgive him for the harsh things he said. They were missing an important emotional connection that even though they ended up together, it was never found. Raziel's fellow angel and leader Azazel also had a hard and not so warm and cozy feeling to him but when he was alone with his mate Sarah, he almost felt like a different character because of the love he has for her and it felt genuine. Unlike Raziel and Allie.

The Fallen: Raziel takes a story that's been told before and adds a twist that makes it feel fresh and even better. I liked that Allie was strong willed and wouldn't let Raziel intimidate her into being what she was not. It's was fun to read this modern woman surprise this male who is use to his women being more traditional and obedient. Raziel has an unshakable loyalty towards his brothers and I'm always a sucker for someone who sticks by their family no matter what. I just didn't care for the two together and their mating felt like it came out of the blue. The story does start out pretty slow and takes a good part of the book to get going so this may not be for readers who need constant action and a faster moving story to keep them interested.

-Stephanie English

2.75 Stars
Dropped at 56%



NO GIRL, NO.

One time the author said to me...

Let me tell you about this book that I'm about to write with great background story, lots of potential, but here's the kicker, NOTHINGS GOING TO HAPPEN, HEHEHEHE sounds good right??

Yep, true story.





English I was kinda worried about this book. The reviews were so mixed. But seriously I thought it was so funny. There were a couple of times where I almost dropped the book from laughing. Maybe I am just easy to please. lol

Raziel is a fallen angel. One day Uriel wants him to transport a women who has died. But he gets more than he bargained for thats for sure. The book opens with his thinking about how he never wants another mate and the damn job he has to do that day. Allie is running late. Stops to grab a hot dog on the way to the bank and see gorgeous Raziel not knowing who and what he is. Poor girl steps off the curb and dies.

The funny thing about this book was the banter between Raziel and Allie. Raziel was such an ass to her. No one wanted her around when Raziel saves her and brings home. No one expect for the women. I kinda felt bad for her being the outcast . The dirty looks all the time. The way that the author made it seem like things aren't what we thought they would be in real life , like good and evil was interesting. Uriel was not what I thought he would be and neither was Lucifer. Although they were not in this book just mentioned. I enjoyed how she made things different in this book verses other books with fallen angels. I am such a sucker for angel books. So overall for me it was funny, hot lovin, plenty of angry fallen angels and just enough action. I look forward to the next book.

English 02 FEB: Foreigners do it better!

Too many books, too little time, so I DNFed this one.

This story had so much potential: it has angels, fallen and not, demons, interesting settings... Unfortunately, I just couldn't make myself read more. I didn't like either character and the pace of the book is so damned slow!

I read so much monologue and inner thoughts to last me months! Who the hell cares of your comfort food and why do you have to talk a whole page about it?! And after that you go on describing other crap as well? Why?

Raziel is an a-hole, the bad kind... After he left her sleeping on the floor for over an hour and considered leaving her there till she woke up, well, imagine me throwing something out the window and deleting the thing from my laptop. That's not his only problem, but that stayed with me.

Allie isn't better. She's self centered and keeps talking about her problems with her mom, like we need a reminder in every chapter. Newsflash: we all have problems you crazy chick!

The characters felt flat and, to me, were uninteresting. The writing style was too introspective and the constant jumping between view points didn't entice me to read more. All in all I won't be picking this book up again, nor will I try the others in the series. English No, I just couldn't do it. One more read into Allie's POV and I'd happily toss myself out my window just to get away from the damned book. Frustrated is an understatement when it comes to how I felt about it. And I had such high hopes too. I mean, come on, a twist on the Angel PNR genre, where angels feed on blood and need sex to sustain themselves? Count me in! But, man if I didn't want to pull my hair out.

In the beginning of the book, we're introduced to Raziel, one of The Fallen. It says, they exist in Sheoul, hidden from everyone and everything. Because of their fall, Raziel and the others were fated to endure an eternity in Sheoul. As well as being cursed with becoming blood eaters and needing sex to sustain them, and yes, they have fangs. I liked Raziel, he was a brooding character, but I got some laughs from him. Another of the Fallen I liked was Azazel, though I didn't get a chance to read his story, much. He's the guy you just love to poke at because he's always so moody ^-^ And he's the Alpha, what he says goes.

Unfortunately, the thorn on my side and the reason I just couldn't finish reading the book, was Allie Watson. Human, recently deceased, and all around pain in the ass. She didn't seem quite so bad in the beginning, but the more the story focuses on her, the more the little things start to surface and become frustrating. The woman wasn't smart; she was a snob. She wasn't spirited; she was anoying. And apparently she's so damn dense she can't tell that Raziel just doesn't want her around, doesn't want to talk to her, and yet there she is following him, and talking. Rambling like a 5 year old on a sugar high, but she was doing it purposefully to be annoying. It wasn't cute, and I was not amused -.-

There was too much feminism coming from Allie, every time she didn't agree with how the Fallen and their wives lived, she'd result to insults. Such as sexist bastards or shit along the lines of I am woman, and I have rights *eye roll* Please. It wasn't necessary to integrate so much feminism. *Sigh.. I couldn't see Raziel's interest in the woman, and it was so obvious that neither did he. First chapters he mentions she's nothing special, a few pages later he contradicts himself saying he was intrigued by her. Then he follows with his first observation, trying to ignore her, only to want to fuck her later on. Confused much? Smh.

The plot of the story? I didn't get to it. One hundred twenty-three pages of Allie Watson complaining about the sexist bastards and trying to cope with the fact that they're not human, but angels, and that she's dead. Of course I wasn't expecting her to accept it all in stride and simply move on, but seriously? The pace is slow and it gets you no where at all.

I'm disappointed, I wanted to learn more of the Nephillim. They are the soldier angels that were sent after the first who fell, and along the way or for one reason or another, they fell as well. With their fall, came a curse. They were to live off flesh and live in darkness. I just wish there'd been more on them before I had to put the book down. English ขอออกตัวก่อนเลยว่า ... ตอนก่อนที่หนังสือเล่มนี้จะออกนั้น เราได้ให้ความสนใจกับซีรีส์ชุดนี้มาก ซึ่งซีรีส์ชุดนี้เป็นผลงานของ Kristina Douglas หรือ Anne Stuart นั่นเอง คิดว่าหลายคนคงรู้จัก

เนื้อเรื่องจะเกี่ยวกับเทวดาตกสวรรค์ที่ลงมาทำหน้าที่นำส่งดวงวิญญาณผู้หลงทางในโลกมนุษย์นั่นเอง โดยหนังสือเล่มนี้จะกล่าวถึง 'ราซิเอล' เทวดาหนุ่มรูปงามที่ 'อัลลี' นางเอกของเรื่องเห็นแล้วเนื้อตัวร้อนฉ่า ปราถนาคลั่งไคล้ในตัวพระเอกจนอยากจะขึ้นเตียงด้วย

ความสนุกของเนื้อเรื่อง เราคิดว่าสนุกอยู่พอสมควรนะ พระเอกเป็นเทวดาตกสวรรค์ โดยยูริเอลเป็นจ้าวแห่งเทวดาที่ทำหน้าที่ตัดสินมนุษย์ว่าควรจะขึ้นสวรรค์หรือลงนรก แล้วก็ทำหน้าที่เป็นตัวแทนของพระเจ้าซึ่งยูริเอลกำลังจะหาทางกำจัดพวกพระเอกโดยส่งเนฟิลิมออกมาเพื่อไล่ล่าเหล่าเทวดาตกสวรรค์

คาแรคเตอร์ของพระเอกเชื่อว่าคงถูกใจใครหลายๆคนแน่ พระเอกออกแนวปากร้ายนิดๆ เซ็กซี่ๆ แล้วก็เข็ดขยาดกับความรักครั้งเก่า ไม่อยากรักใครอีกแล้วเพราะกลัวความเจ็บปวด จนนางเอกเริ่มเข้ามาในจิตใจแล้วทำให้พระเอกหวั่นไหว เรื่องราวจึงดำเนินต่อไปเรื่อยๆจนถึงจุดไคลแม็กซ์ที่ทำให้ทั้งคู่ต่างยอมรับความรู้สึกของตนเอง

เอาล่ะ ... มาถึงตรงส่วนบทเลิฟซีนหรือการอธิบายเรื่องบนเตียงระหว่างพระนางนั้น เรื่องนี้ไม่ได้มีการตัดทอนเนื้อหาออกเลย เพราะหลังอ่านจบเราเอามาเปิดเทียบกับฉบับอังกฤษจึงพบว่าคนแปลแปลตามต้นฉบับเป๊ะๆ ไม่ได้ตัดทอนตรงไหนเลยแม้แต่น้อย

สำหรับใครที่คิดจะหานิยายโรมานซ์แนวเหนือธรรมชาติมาอ่าน เราขอแนะนำเรื่องนี้ ถือว่าเป็นเรื่องที่อ่านเพลินได้สนุกเรื่องหนึ่งเลยทีเดี��ว

ขอติตรงการแปลนิดนึงที่ยังมีบางจุดที่อ่านแล้วรู้สึกยังไม่ค่อยไหลลื่นหรือมีอารมณ์ร่วมกับฉากนั้นๆเท่าที่ควร แถมเนื้อเรื่องตอนท้ายๆที่ดูรีบๆไปหน่อยเหมือนพยายามจะทำให้จบเล่มซะงั้น ทั้งๆที่สามารถนำประเด็นตรงนั้นมาเล่นน่าจะเข้าถึงอารมณ์มากกว่านี้ เพราะในหนังสือตอนบทท้ายๆมันดูห้วนๆ เหมือนไม่มีความสำคัญแต่เราว่ามันเป็นไคลแมกซ์ตอนนึงของเรื่องเลยก็ว่าได้นะ English

Raziel