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News: If I could, I'd tie my hair up in dreds and live the life of adventure from the high seas to the mountain peaks, gathering gold and jewels and tales of mystery and action :) but for now, I'll just have to do with writing about these things as if they were truly real.

--12 December 2017 --

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

December 2, 2010

"Angel Fall" by Coleman Luck

Angel Fall by Coleman Luck is probably one of the scariest and most thought provoking book I've read since C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. Luck wrote the scenes exceptionally well. He captured the mindsets of the three main characters (16 year old Alex, 13 year old Amanda, and 9 year old Tori). Each child speaks in a manner that is perfectly becoming of their age category. How Luck managed to get the dialogue so wonderfully right is beyond me.

You can read the first 5 chapters of Angel Fall by clicking that link. Below, you'll find the back-cover synopsis of the book as well as a review.



Synopsis
The wind we know is only a shadow of something far greater. Lightning is falling in sheets. A wind is blowing that is larger than this world. In the middle of the strangest storm in history, an airliner crashes into the ocean and only three young people survive---a brother and his two sisters. But they are not together and the ocean is not on earth. Alex, Amanda and Tori Lancaster have entered Boreth, a world of ancient devastation and deep evil ruled by the Worwil---seven creatures of immense power who existed before any world began. Through this world they must travel, into terror and temptation, every choice taking them closer to endless night. Scarred with the fires of hell and Heaven, their pasts are torn from their souls. But shadowing each of them is a mysterious Being covered in scars who has faced ten-thousand battles. A being filled with the longing of ages. A longing to heal the broken-hearted. With dark, glistening strands from Lewis, Lovecraft, and Tolkien, the cloth of Angel Fall has been woven. But the journey it weaves is not just for Alex, Amanda, and Tori ... it is for all those who cannot find their way home.

 Review
by Jennifer O. O'Connell

 Coleman Luck advances the tradition of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle in writing a fantasy novel that speaks to modern-day reality and values. Angel Fall takes the reader on a journey with its three main characters, Alex, Amanda, and Tori Lancaster.

Sixteen-year-old Alex covers his deep pain of rejection and loneliness under a veil of cynicism and seemed world-weary wisdom.

Thirteen-year-old Amanda cowers from the world, buried under the weight of her own fears, and the fears others have placed upon her.

Nine-year-old Tori adopts the role of the perfect child in order to not stir up more pain in her imperfect world.

On a flight to Europe to live with their estranged father, the children's plane is caught up in an unearthly wind and crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. From there, they enter another-worldly realm of ancient cities, mysterious creatures called Worwil, and a distinct mission--to carry an innocent baby back to the Great Mountain. On their journey they encounter catastrophe and depravity from without and within, and are caught in a calamitous battle to save Alex's soul, and the life of the baby.

Each child's inner thoughts, fears, and pain is laid bare, and they are faced with choices that teach them the nature of a world that sacrifices its children on the altar of convenience, and discover the result of these sacrifices: twisted truth, and destruction of life and innocence. In their desire to release their pain and find peace and freedom, each character must make the choice of life or death for themselves, and the other inhabitants of the world.

Luck's ear for the language and attitude of this generation is quite exceptional, and he alternates from the voice and thought patterns of teen, to tween to child with great precision. Many modern writers make children and teens sound older and wiser than they really are, creating unrealistic and unrelatable characters. From page one, Alex, Amanda, and Tori are believable and touchable, and the reader is fully engaged in their subsequent pain and struggles .

Luck uses visual and illustrative language, painting an illuminative portrait of the Earthly world, the Internal world, and the Otherworld. Sandalban, Bellwind, Lammortan, Melania, Rindzac, and Mirick--the Worwil that interact with the youngsters on their journey, are equally distinctive, engaging, frightening and awe-inspiring in their presence and essence.

Luck also weaves the tension of escalating darkness, starting out in typical teen-story fashion of young people left to themselves and poised for light-hearted trouble. Then the shadows deepen and the darkness intensifies with each character's struggle with their decisions and deceptions. The author makes no bones that evil exists and gains power through our apathy, arrogance, and appetites. Yet, even with the darkness of the situation, he manages to insert humor in playful, cynical, and sometimes snarky ways.

Luck's use of cliffhangers is craftily done, and you are carried along with the force of each child's situation. He conjures a braided parity between illusion and reality: starting out subtlely, then cycling more rapidly with each chapter, until you, the reader, are unaware of which is which. The book reflects an evil that is insidious, comforting and even innocent in appearance, but which ultimately leads to great pain and dire consequences.

Because of Luck's stark portrayal of darkness and violent situations, I would not recommend this book for children younger than eleven. But for tweens, teens and adults, the book offers a riveting tale that upholds life and redemption, with an emphasis on the high cost of both. Angel Fall is an essential addition to any reading list.


Angel Fall was a most interesting read. If you are curious and wish to buy the book, I would suggest (if you would have children under the age of 13 reading it) that you carefully read through the following notes that I've made about some questionable content in the book. 

***WARNING! SPOILER ALERT!***

Before buying any book that is considered "adult fiction" I think it's important for the parents (or older children) of the house to look into the material and determine whether it is alright for the rest of the family (particularly young eyes) to read. While Angel Fall is a great book, there is such content in it that I would never let anyone under 13 read. While I will not go into details (since kids under 13 might be reading this *shame shame*) I will briefly jot out what I think is not so great about Angel Fall.

First, there's lots of blood and gore as well as scary scenes like "hauntings", ghosts, spiders that look evil but are really good, phantoms that belong to rotten corpses, mold covered temples dedicated to the Evil One, and worship of demons. While this is balanced out by the good, I still think it's a bit vivid for younger children and if you only read the book to read and not to learn, then I wouldn't suggest Angel Fall because you'd only pick up on the "dark stuff". Reading to learn, however, is another realm altogether -- in this case, you'll pick up a lot of the good tones from the book as well as the allegorical ties to the realities of heaven and hell.

The major thing I disliked about the book was reference to sexual scenes. While Luck doesn't go into detail, he does give enough information for the reader to understand what goes on -- I skipped some parts here :P Another thing I disliked was the fascination that Alex (the oldest mc) had for evil. While the repulsive environment of the situation was enough to keep the reader from falling for what Alex fell for, there were several scenes in which evil was portrayed as good. In one scene, Amanda nearly ruined their whole mission by giving in to evil (which looked so much like good I was fooled...I never even saw it coming).

The good parts of Angel Fall, for me, outweighed the bad parts. The graphic description of evil and the gore that comes along with it was brilliantly done and really depicted what Hell would look like. Luck used the senses so well that...I'm afraid to say, he bested every other book I've ever read. You were able to smell the stench of the rotting food and blood, you could feel the mold on the walls and the slime under the characters feet, you could see the dilapidated environment, and you could taste the stagnant air.

The same went for the images of good. You could smell the honey and sweetness, you could taste the crisp air and the cool streams, you could feel the soft smooth tapestries and solid woods, you could see the glory emanating from the Throne. Really, the glory of the good was far greater than the filth of the evil.

***END OF SPOILERS***

Angel Fall was an excellent read for me. I greatly enjoyed it and I'm sure, if you're older and want a better perspective of evil and good (the reality behind the facade of evil), then I'm certain you'll love it too. My biggest suggestion -- don't read it at night!

What did I learn from this book? First, the reality of evil as it truly is (and how easily it can deceive people) was very well shown. It made me think back to the many times when I thought a little sin wouldn't hurt much -- it seems so delectable at first but only later do you realize that the sweet smell wasn't honey...it was rotting corpses *gag*.

I also learned that evil really can deceive. Satan is called the Great Deceiver, right? Reading through how many times the characters were deceived along their journey makes me shiver and wonder how many times I've fallen for the same trap.

Finally, the book explained wonderfully how, at the last moment -- when all hope seems lost, help comes from the Lord.

Those are my opinions on Angel Fall by Coleman Luck. If you've ever read the book before, I'd love to hear what you think of it! Send in your opinions in a comment, or email me at hiddendoorways[at]gmail[dot]com

Signed with Silly Putty,

Squeaks.

5 comments:

  1. O.o I think I shall try and grab this book sometime. :) Your review was excellent, Squeaks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the review, Squeaks! I have been wondering whether this was a book to read, and now I'm convinced. It sounds pretty spectacular.

    Blessings,
    ~ Liz

    ReplyDelete
  3. Random non-related topic- have you ever read Chris D'lacey's dragon series? I think you'd enjoy them very much, but I don't really know why. But warning: the first book really doesn't have any relevance to the rest of the series and each book gets more and more complicated.
    ~Icewolf

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Jake & Liz, Glad you guys liked it! I actually found it informational myself :P Even though I did write it :P (or most of it lol!) I got it for only $5, so look in the clearance section first before you order it in :P

    @ Icewolf, No, I've never read that series. It sounds interesting, I shall have to look into it :) Thanks for telling me! (as you probably have already guessed, I love alll things to do with dragons, so long as it's Christian material lolz!)

    Squeaks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Squeaks,

    I am honored that you would use my words in your review! Thank you so much. You nailed the substance quite well; "Angel Fall" is a worthy work of fiction that deserves more attention.

    Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

    ReplyDelete

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