There is a prologue that shows something that happened in the past. A Chauncey was forced into being a vassal for a fallen angel, which they tend to do. Chauncey was a sixteen year-old Nephil[im] at the time. He didn’t know that he was a Nephil until the fallen angel had forced him into becoming a vassal. As a vassal, his body could be taken over during the first fortnight of Cheshvan (Hebrew month) every year.
Now, we come to the present. Nora is in biology class with her best friend Vee. This is the first day that they learn about reproduction. Of course, the biology teacher has to be so kind as to change the seating chart on that day. Who does she end up having to sit next to? Patch. He is annoying and dark (as in evil). She is stuck with him as a partner and she does try so much to get a new lab partner, but the teacher resists.
She also meets two new guys: Elliot and Jules. Elliot is new to her school and Jules goes to a private school in Kinghorn. Her and Vee become really close to them. As much as Nora wants to give Elliot a shot (for a few chapters anyway), she is really attracted to Patch, who keeps popping up wherever she is. He also has the annoying habit of knowing what she’s thinking and knowing what to say (depending on his motives).
As time goes on, Nora keeps getting randomly attacked and harassed. She’s not sure by who. In fact, she has a nagging suspicion that she might be going crazy. She’s not though. This drives me crazy because there aren’t any real hints that could really point you away from what Nora is thinking about the other characters, such as who is okay to trust.
It turns out that Patch is a fallen angel (this was easy to guess within the first three chapters), but he wants to be human. To become human, he must sacrifice one of the female descendents of his vassal. His vassal is Chauncey, who happens to be Jules (this is why we don’t see Jules very often). Jules doesn’t realize that Nora is one of his descendents, but Patch does. There are several instances where Patch almost sacrifices her, but he keeps changing his mind. He is falling (no pun intended) for Nora as fast as she is falling for him. He has scars on his back where is wings had been ripped out. When Nora touches those scars, she gets a glimpse into Patch’s past (Patch can’t control what she sees). It’s believable that a fallen angel would do the stuff that Patch did to Nora, in the first half of the novel.
Nora starts digging up information on Elliot and finds out that he was suspect in the rescent suicide of his ex-girlfriend, Kjirsten. It was actually a murder, but it was deemed a suicide (thank the fake suicide note). Nora not only needs to be wary of Elliot, but she must be wary of Jules. Also, she needs to be wary of the new school psychiatrist. The school psychiatrist, Dabria, is a recently fallen angel who used to date Patch. What’s worse is that she’s an angel of death.
It’s not until the last few chapters that she learns that Jules is Chauncey. He baits her to come to him when he kidnaps Vee. He plans on killing Nora so that he can get some revenge on Patch, because Patch is in love with her. Nora shows up. He reveals that he was the one who was causing most of her moments of terror. He is so proud to be the son on one the tempters/deceivers (shiver of uneasiness here). He is a fine example of the evil his race (Nephilim) are known for.
Just before she sacrifices herself for Patch (it’s the only way to kill a Nephil), she reveals that she is Jules’ descendent. Jules still wants to kill her even after the revelation. I think it would have been better if, just before she jumped, she says something along the lines of: “See you in hell, Grandpa.” Chauncey does end up dying. Nora does die, but she’s brought back to life when Patch doesn’t accept her sacrifice. Since he saved her life, he became her guardian angel.
It bothers me that the fallen angel was the good guy. Go ahead and blame it on me being Christian, but fallen angels are evil. It’s great (to fallen angels) that the book gave them a chance at redemption by having their wings restored if they save someone’s life. I just have a hard time believing that they would want to become good again, given their reputation for evil. It also scares me that they (fallen angels and the Nephilim), according to the book, can enter your mind and alter your perception of reality.
It’s certainly a different read. Even though it does involve fallen angels, it is not in any way a Christian fiction. Go ahead and read it if you are okay with reading about fallen angels, particularly about fallen angels that might have some good in them. It has a little bit of a different style in writing. There isn’t a lot of room for speculation beyond what Nora is thinking. Read it if you want to, but I don’t recommend reading this book.
Genres: Young Adult, Mythology, Folklore, Legend, Fantasy
Stars (out of 5): ***