I read Paradise Lost in high school, and I found it intriguing. This book, The Fall of Lilith, promises to answer some of the questions left hanging by Milton’s epic. I found the book to be a worthwhile read, but personal tastes (which I’ll go into more depth about within the review) will probably prevent me from reading further into the series.
The Fall of Lilith
Author: Vashti Quiroz-Vega
Vashti Quiroz-Vega has great blog presence, and while surfing I saw the beautiful cover of the first in her Fantasy Angels series. I read a little more and saw that this was something like Paradise Lost, so I decided to buy a copy and read it.
Because there are some similarities to Paradise Lost, I will spoil up to the point of about halfway through the book, right before what I would call the ‘first climax.’
Quiroz-Vega does an absolutely excellent job making Lilith evil, and some of the things her god character does makes Lilith’s fall more understandable. Her creation of the angelic plane of heaven, Floraison, is rather gorgeous and well designed. The first half of the book introduces a large cast of characters and the manipulative, beautiful Lilith as their behind-the-scenes leader.
One of the aspects I enjoyed about the book was how the angels felt angelic. Their speech patterns were stilted, but in a way that made them seem otherworldly rather than silly. I expected more change in this pattern after their fall, but I suppose one doesn’t get rid of an accent or way of speaking just because they got kicked out of heaven. I think it may have gotten a little old by the end, but it was so good at the front end that I find it completely forgiveable.
However, I did find the front half much more pleasant to read than the back half. Part of this was probably the sexy-times, which I don’t like stylistically but understand as a personal choice. Even so, I felt like the plot of the second half – which showed extraordinary creativity and clever deviation from the Milton epic – was weaker in character and plot because it relied so heavily on the sexy-times portions. Because of their throes of passion, some of the characters performed actions I found not quite right.
Because I found some of the stylistic decisions to deviate pretty far from what I enjoy, I don’t foresee reading any more of the series – however, I do not regret the time spent, and think someone who is willing to read about violent, sometimes unwanted sex might have a better time of it. That being said, I definitely think the first half is better from a story building perspective.
4/5 Discoball Snowcones for quality even though I didn’t really like all of it from a “my preferences” perspective
Like I said above, the first half shined – both literally and metaphorically. The gifting of the angels’ powers was very clever, and the doling out of duties, levels, and other prizes felt like a truly devious plot by god to tear the angels apart. When it was revealed that the angels were learning to fight so they could defeat each other, it did feel like the distant god-figure might actually be evil. The complexity was fantastic.
I’ll go into depth a little bit more here with why I thought the back half of the plot suffered. The main characters became truly evil without any complexity about it. Satan, who had been rather sympathetic and deep in the first half, would take vengeance against Lilith by raping her and tearing her body to shreds. Satan possessed the body of Samael, causing Samael pain, in order to (at least try to) make Lilith love him. There was a lot of wandering about, discovering the results of the fall from Floraison, the angels’ realm in heaven, that felt rather slow.
The end did pick up, but I found the plot decision (turn now if you might read it!) to have Satan impregnate Lilith, who gave birth to vampiric Dracul, was really odd. I guess it makes sense, but I found it to deviate too far from the traditional lore, and to be a bit weird.
I’m reading Diane Wallace Peach’s The Melding of Aeris, a one-volume dystopian fantasy. I love Diane’s blog posts, so I’m very much looking forward to her fantasy novel!