Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review - “Fallen” by Claire Delacroix

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
When her estranged husband's mysterious death is declared an accident, Lilia Desjardins knows that it is a lie. She leaves all she knows to risk the dark heart of the Republic -- only to find that she herself has been targeted by forces unknown.

Adam Montgomery will do anything to complete his earthly mission, even if he has to tangle with the enigmatic Lilia Desjardins. But when his contact is murdered and he must rely on Lilia’s silence to save him from the slave dens, Adam knows that his wings were only the first sacrifice required of him.

As danger and intrigue surround them, Lilia and Adam realize that they must work together -- body, mind, and soul -- in order to save the world.
While billed as a dark fantasy romance by the author and as paranormal romance by the publisher, I can safely say that Fallen can easily be included in the growing sub-genre of Science Fiction Romance (SFR).

In the year 2099, the United States is now known simply as the Republic and has become a totalitarian regime. New morality codes severely restrict women’s behaviour and dress in public. The inner cores of most of the major cities are uninhabitable from a series of terrorist attacks by nuclear ‘dirty bombs’ throughout the century. People identified with genetic mutations from the radiation (known as Shades) now form a slave labour underclass and are subjected to medical research with no rights. All citizens are closely monitored and tracked.

Set against this convincing dystopian nightmare, Delecroix has built a solid mystery romance. Lilia is a hunter who finds Shades and saves them from the system by placing them in special Circuses which are safe havens by Republic law. Lilia is investigating the suspicious death of her mathematician husband who had been conducting confidential research for the Nuclear Darwinists about the Shades when she is witness to another brutal murder.

From the beginning you are aware that the story is a good vs evil tale, as Adam Montgomery is an Angel who forsakes his wings to become human in order to investigate the rapidly declining state of human affairs. What better place then as a city detective in New Gotham? Their individual missions cross paths and ultimately they find themselves working towards common goals, but not without first overcoming significant trust issues. Lilia after all is a rule breaker and Montgomery is a cop. Her and authority do not get along.

Montgomery and Lilia both have secrets and as they both realize they are falling in love it is both painful and fascinating to see how they deal with the many obstacles presented. Montgomery is destined to regain his wings when the mission ends and Lilia is terrified of losing him.

There is plenty of action and intrigue as the two pursue conspiracies and more murders while outwitting Republic surveillance and unknown enemies. What they ultimately uncover is decidedly evil and holds the fate of the Republic hostage.

Lilia is a relentless, compassionate heroine. Montgomery experiencing and embracing his humanity is a conflicted hero with strength and hope.
When she returned to his side and touched his elbow, he laid one hand over hers. His gaze remained locked on the falling star. "Mine," he whispered, but she didn't understand.

No one could own falling stars.

It was only when it had disappeared at the horizon that Raphael turned to face her, only then that Lilia saw the tears on his cheeks.
I’m a sucker for the HEA and the conclusion to Fallen is picture perfect. The science fiction world building is very well done with an interesting mix of sfnal tropes.

Claire Delacroix says that this is the beginning of a trilogy with the next volume called Guardian due this time next year. I look forward to its arrival. The author also writes the popular Dragon Fire series of urban fantasies as Deborah Cooke.

For more information on the Science Fiction Romance genre I encourage you to visit Heather at The Galaxy Express where there are many excellent articles and commentaries on the topic.



AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE

Official Claire Delecroix Website
Official Deborah Cooke Website

Read an Excerpt

Tor Paranormal Romance
September 30, 2008
ISBN #: 978-0765359490

The Fallen Trilogy

1. The Fallen
2. Guardian (Oct 2009)

Dragon Fire Series [Urban Fantasy]

1. Kiss of Fire [2008]
2. Kiss of Fury [2008]
3. Kiss of Fate [2009]


6 comments:

  1. sounds cool and hey I got to interview Jennifer Rardin. Uber excited. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Checked it out. Great interview. Love Jaz Parks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds interesting. I recently tried to read "A Kiss Before the Apocalypse" by Thomas Sniegoski, which has the angel-that-gives-up-his-wings thing and I just didn't like it-- and I usually love that stuff. This might be what I was looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Although I have not read anything by Sniegoski I have heard good things. Delecroix certainly uses the Angel premise effectively and the romance and chemistry between the characters is really well done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review! I finished FALLEN yesterday and it was a fun read.

    I agree with you about the strong SF aspects. There were quite a few intriguing worldbuilding elements, which may surprise any readers expecting a strictly paranormal tale. But if one is reading paranormal to begin with, that might not even be a huge issue.

    Belated thanks for the shout out!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Heather glad you like it too. I will definitely watch for the sequel.

    ReplyDelete

For bloggers comments are like water to a man (or woman) wandering in the desert. A precious commodity. I love to hear from everyone and do my best to respond to every post.