- Date published: 8th March 2011
- Publisher: Simon Pulse
- Format: Paperback, 541 pages
- Series: The Fallen, Book 2
- ISBN 13: 9781442408630 ISBN 10: 1442408634
- Categories: YA Fantasy – Angels
- Goodreads / The Book Depository / Booktopia / Bookworld
- Source: bought
Destined for Heaven or Hell?
Aaron’s senior year has been anything but typical. Half angel and half human, he has been charged to reunite the Fallen with Heaven. But the leader of the Dark Powers is determined to destroy Aaron—and all hope of angelic reconciliation.
Struggling to harness the incredible force within him, Aaron trains for the ultimate battle. With the Dark Powers gaining in strength, their clash may come sooner than he expects. And everyone who’s ever mattered to Aaron is now in grave danger.
Aaron must protect the girl he loves and rescue the only family he’s ever known. Because if he can’t save them from the Dark Powers, how can he hope to save the Fallen?
This omnibus edition of the (originally) third and fourth books in Sniegoski’s series about fallen angels is just as entertaining as the first. In Aerie, we follow Aaron as he continues to search for his little brother, who has been kidnapped by the Powers, and in Reckoning we witness the lead up to the final battle between Aaron, the child of prophesy, and the misguided and increasingly delusional leader of the Powers host, Verchiel.
The book is largely focussed on the safe haven of Aerie that the Nephilim and fallen angels have set up for themselves, and how Aaron’s arrival, as the Nephilim of the prophesy, affects them. I really liked the atmosphere the community had and the new characters of Lorelei and Lehash, and of course the father-figure Belphegor. The brief sojourn allowed Aaron to come to terms with everything that happened in the two books prior and to discover more about his powers and heritage.
The joining of Aaron’s human and angelic natures is great to read about, and his training is pretty well realised. I liked that he was just as committed to finding his brother and avenging his parents as in the previous books. Although, it’s easy to sympathise with the residents of Aerie and understand why they don’t believe that Aaron is the saviour of the prophesy, I was really disappointed in them, and how Aaron handled the criticism (not well). But they came around in the end!
The leader of the Powers host, Verchiel, is just as determined and demented in this book, and I found it harder and harder to like him because of how he thinks and what he feels is justifiable in his out-dated war. The final showdown between the monster that Verchiel created and Aaron was heartbreaking and difficult to read, but I think the author did it well. I was affected by the great losses that the Nephilim side endured, and many of my favourite characters didn’t make it, which was disappointing.
The inevitable showdown between Verchiel and Aaron is approaching, and Aaron is determined to avenge his family and all the others that have died just for crossing paths with the delusional angel. He is also motivated by the need to keep Vilma safe, especially since she discovered her Nephilim heritage.
The relationship between Vilma and Aaron is sweet but complicated by her burgeoning powers which threaten to overwhelm her. They obviously care deeply for one another, but it does seem odd that they have such violent affection for each other. I couldn’t help thinking that they’ve only had a handful of weeks together, and the rest of the time they were separated and pining for each other.
My one real disappointment is that I felt that Aaron fell back on his angelic powers too much – having successfully integrated the two halves of his being, I think Aaron is too quick to use his alter ego to get his way and bully those around him. There were a few times in the book that I thought he should have talked to people instead of intimidating them.
Aerie and Reckoning, contained in this omnibus, tell the final parts of Aaron’s journey as the saviour of the fallen angels, both entertaining and heart-warming stories. There is more to come in Aaron’s life, with some fallen angels deemed unready for the final forgiveness, and more Nephil children to discover and guide through their lives. This series that puts a nice twist on the usual romance-centric angel-themed fiction, and I think fans of the YA genre will enjoy Aaron’s story.