Sunday, June 14, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: They Who Fell by Kevin Kneupper - JUNE 14, 2015

Reviewed by Holly Newhouse for Eternal Book Reviews....5 Stars plus!


The apocalypse humans so love to talk about has happened out of nowhere and without warning when fireballs fall from the sky and no they are not meteors. They are burning fallen angels kicked out of Heaven for rebelling against the creator when he refused to keep his promise to his angelic creations. And now, after millennia of serving humans without any thanks or gratitude, they are learning to live on earth even as they rule it. Author Kneupper has the angels as angry and cruel when it comes to humans, are exceptionally human in their vices, emotions and behaviors which only makes them and the story even more believable and realistic as well as entirely plausible.

This professional reviewer was hooked and drawn in to this extremely well-developed, thought out and very complex story from page one when I met Jana, a human servant at the bottom of the caste system in place in the Angelic Tower that arose shortly after the fall. She has learned that human servants of the angels, also known as vichies by those who live outside the tower, are raised or trained to understand to keep their mouths shut, eyes downcast and force their facial expression into one of constant neutrality and are never to look an angel in the eyes. They are never to show disgust toward the angels who all but one are severely burned and scarred from the fall. Angel Rhamiel has no burns or scars on his face and next to none on his body or wings and is considered the most beautiful of all of the fallen angels and is at the very top of the caste system.

On Jana's first night serving meals to the angels she is to serve Angel Nefta and during the meal, shows her rebellious side by staring Rhamiel straight in the eyes, intrigued and fascinated by him and his attentions. But, in the process gains the attention of Nefta as well and is soon pulled from the bottom of the tower to rise to the very top as Nefta's personal servant along with Cassie, Nefta's other servant. There, her romantic relationship with Rhamiel begins.

The overall story takes place in New York City, a once proud city that has now been reduced to a husk by angel attacks, violence, murder, starvation and disease. None of the angels except for Rhamiel have any love for the humans. Rhamiel on the other hand, falls in love with Jana and tries to protect her at all costs but will it be enough? Furthermore, in a chaotic world ruled by fallen angels, there are still sects of humans who are still fighting to take back their homes by killing every angel they can.

This reviewer knows for a fact as an author herself and as a professional reviewer, just how much work it takes to develop a realistic and deeply complex world with a multitude of complex characters, each with their own agenda, really is. And I can say Author Kneupper is brilliant for not only succeeding in accomplishing such a great task but excelling in it as well. This is a fresh and unique take on apocalyptic stories and is well-written in such a way as to be engaging, suspenseful, realistic and with a great deal of twists and turns this reviewer never saw coming.

Of course, being a serious hard core romantic at heart, the romance between Angel Rhamiel and human servant Jana, is what kept this reviewer hooked and engaged in the story until the end. There is something refreshing and timeless about a romance that can stand the test of time amidst chaos, lies, betrayals, violence, jealousy, ridicule, psychological and physical torture as well as outright war.

The story line and its many faceted plot are very well-written, well-developed and engaging. The multitude of characters, each as complex as you would find in real life with each having separate agendas and quirks was brilliantly done! This story is a fast-paced, action-packed, and romantic thrilling roller coaster ride that has the ability to take the reader's breath away and make them experience a myriad of emotions that are completely off the charts! At the end the reader will be left wanting so much more of the story and will keep trying to get one more page out of the book or e-reader just as this reviewer did. This book has a little bit of everything that will please an audience and very wide range of readers, no matter what their preferred genre.


They who Fell

Kevin Kneupper

Self-Published (July 2, 2014)

344 pp. $3.99 Kindle, $10.79 Paperback

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