Tuesday, August 17, 2021

ARC Review: A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton

A Terrible Fall of Angels

Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: A Zaniel Havelock Novel (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley (August 17, 2021)

Description: Angels walk among us, but so do other unearthly beings in this brand new series by #1 New York Times Bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton.

Meet Detective Zaniel Havelock, a man with the special ability to communicate directly with angels. A former trained Angel speaker, he devoted his life to serving both the celestial beings and his fellow humans with his gift, but a terrible betrayal compelled him to leave that life behind. Now he’s a cop who is still working on the side of angels. But where there are angels, there are also demons. There’s no question that there’s evil at work when he’s called in to examine the murder scene of a college student—but is it just the evil that one human being can do to another, or is it something more? When demonic possession is a possibility, even angelic protection can only go so far. The race is on to stop a killer before he finds his next victim, as Zaniel is forced to confront his own very personal demons, and the past he never truly left behind.

My Thoughts: As a child Zaniel Havelock was taken into the College of Angels and trained to become an Angel Speaker, someone who can talk with angels without going insane. A series of traumatic events convinced him to leave the college and build a new life for himself. He joined the army and then the police force and is now Detective Zaniel Havelock of the Metaphysical Coordination Unit which is better known as the Heaven and Hell Unit. 

Zaniel, who gained the nickname of Havoc while in the army, is at the crime scene with lots of clues that an angel was somehow involved. But a visit from an angel messenger tells him that even the angels don't know what happened that led to the brutal murder and rape of Megan Borowski.

Zaniel has to find out and, apparently, he is the only one who can. But he is also in the middle of trying to save his marriage to Reggie who is having issues with him being a police officer. He loves her and he certainly doesn't want to lose his three-year-old son Connery, but this case and its dangers are crowding in on his time. There is a most unusual demon involved.

This is the first of a new series for the author so there is a lot of worldbuilding which is well-integrated into the story. This is a world with angels and demons, guardian angels and totem animals, and of faith. Zaniel is an intriguing character. He's a man of faith but his faith isn't the narrow one taught at the College of Angels. We meet two of his fellow students in this story. One is Surial who has stayed in the College of Angels and risen up the ranks to a powerful position. The other is Jamie who was kicked out of the College when he went insane after an angel encounter and who has lived as a street person for at least ten years but who has now regained some sanity. We meet some of Zaniel's fellow police officers including a man who gets blissed out when he sees an angel, Zaniel's lieutenant who is a voodoo priest, and a colleague who is a witch with totem animals. 

The story was intriguing and I am looking forward to more stories set in this world. The main story plot is resolved here but there are still some dangling threads that I am eager to know more about.

Favorite Quote:
"We won today, Zaniel; don't steal the victory from yourself. There are too man days in our line of work that are losses; you've got to treasure the wind, or you'll burnout and you won't still be saving lives when you're my age."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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