October 29, 2019

Fallen Angels Fête: Welcome + Series Review

In 2013, Rachel, Kelly and I binge-read The Black Dagger Brotherhood series together and hosted a BDB Party on our blogs. In 2014, Rachel and I wanted to continue reading vampire books around Halloween/Fall and decided to binge-read the Vampire Academy series and then hosted a Vampire Academy Gala on our blogs. And then, for the next couple of years, we skipped out on this tradition.

But a couple months ago, we found ourselves wanting to restart this tradition of reading paranormal in October so this year we picked the Fallen Angels series by J.R. Ward. Today, we're both sharing our overall thoughts on the series!

I'll confess that, though I did think about reading the Fallen Angels series every time it appeared on my radar, it wasn't too top of mind (or priority list) for me until we decided to do this event. This is actually an odd position to find myself in since I actually do enjoy stories about angels and demons, and the eternal struggle between good and evil as they fight for the fate of the world as we know it - and this series absolutely fits that bill.

All six stories actually follow the same formula, where our main protagonist Jim Heron (who has been agreed upon by heaven and hell as the active 'player' of this game for his equal capacity for good and evil) must figure out which 'soul' has been put on the board and how he can help influence them prior to the crossroads each one must face.. with help from the angels, interference from the demonic side and distraction in the form of his personal issues. Even though the basic set-up doesn't change, the events play out different in every book based on the individual characters, the outside influences and the choices Jim himself makes over the course of the series. I might have had my doubts about how this series would be able to hold my attention initially, but now having finished it, I can say with certainty that J.R. Ward certainly knows how to bring things together in a compelling way with every novel.

The romance, or at least, the intensity of the romances by the end is something I personally wasn't too keen on. While I won't deny that there are still some majorly swoony and sexy moments between all of our main couples, and while I'm totally cool with instant attraction (and that leading into the early stages of a relationship), I just could not get on board with how quickly all the couples arrived at declarations of love. It felt unbelievable (and yes, I'm aware that it's funny to say that considering that this is a story filled with the angelic and demonic presence), and the fervent declarations of love definitely had me raising an eyebrow every single time.

That said, individually, I actually quite enjoyed the cast of characters J.R. Ward wrote about. In order to be able to discuss the series without spoilers, I can't quite go into the specifics of who stars in each book (though you'll see a little bit about that in tomorrow's post), but I will say that I was constantly interested in learning more about every individual that was introduced. There's a similarity across the board when it comes to all the characters, mortal or immortal, where they are still grappling with the concept of good and evil, the history that made them into who they currently are and the choices in the present that will shape their future. But their lives, careers and personalities definitely set them apart quite nicely from one another.

I really enjoyed our binge read of the Fallen Angels series. I certainly have my reservations about the series, and they're definitely nowhere near as close to my heart as the Black Dagger Brotherhood books are. But these books were such fast-paced, entertaining reads centered around morally interesting characters and themes, and I still think they were worth the binge.

Covet was released September 29, 2009 by Signet.
Crave was released October 5, 2010 by Signet.
Envy was released September 6, 2011 by Berkley.
Rapture was released March 5, 2013 by Signet.
Possession was released October 1, 2013 by Signet.
Immortal was released October 7, 2014 by NAL.

Don't forget to hop on over to see Rachel's thoughts on the series!


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