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#TuesdayBookBlog THE FALL OF LILITH (FANTASY ANGELS SERIES, Vol 1) by Vashti Quiroz-Vega (@VashtiQV) An epic-story, which will make you reconsider what you thought you knew about angels, demons, and everything in between #Bookreview #amreading

Hi all:

I am sharing the review for a book by an author I have known for a while and whose blog I follow as well, so I was aware of this novel when it was a work-in-progress, and I’m very pleased to finally have read it. Wow!

The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz-Vega
The Fall of Lilith by Vashti Quiroz-Vega (I love the cover!)

The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series) (Volume 1) by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from the traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Lilith-Fantasy-Angels-ebook/dp/B074CPKLHH/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fall-Lilith-Fantasy-Angels-ebook/dp/B074CPKLHH/

Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega
Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega

About the author:

Hello! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I’m a writer of Suspense, Thriller, Fantasy, and Horror. I also enjoy mixing in some Humor and Romance into my stories.

From the time I was a young kid, writing has been my passion. I’ve always been a writer I just didn’t know it until much later. For me, it is easier to express my thoughts on paper than with the spoken word. I enjoy making people feel an array of emotions with my writing. I like my audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

My love of animals and nature are often incorporated into my stories. You’ll read intriguing things about various animals, nature and natural disasters commingled in my character-driven novels.

I love to read almost as much as I love to write. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown.

https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4/

My review:

I have seen this book described as “epic” and I agree, not only for its length (it is two books in one) but also for its topic. It does talk about all things in Heaven and Earth, near enough, from the creation of the angels and the battle of good and evil to the fall of the angels and their revenge plans once on Earth (that don’t bode well for humanity).

The author’s writing style in this book is reminiscent of the Bible, although the story is told from quite a different point of view, and it deviates from the narrative most Christians are familiar with (I am intrigued to know how the story will resonate with readers not familiar with the Christian tradition, although the world building is detailed enough for anybody to be able to follow the events). I am not a big Fantasy reader, mostly because I am not that fond of lengthy descriptions (I admire authors who do it well), although this story has the added interest of providing a major variation on a story many of us are familiar with. As typical of the genre, there is plenty of telling (in fact, all the characters are storytellers, and we get to hear the angels’ voices often, narrating their own adventures, or even fictional ones, like a fascinating story Lilith narrates in book 1), and beautiful descriptions of Floraison, the part of Heaven inhabited by the angels, of the angels, and also of the creation of Earth, and of Earth itself in book 2. We follow the story in a chronological order, from the time when the angels are quite young, growing up and learning about their powers (this part reminded me of YA books set up in special schools for young people with special abilities, and also of parts of The Hunger Games, when the characters had to train for the battle ahead), through to the battle between good and evil and their fall to Earth. Although the story is narrated in the third person, we follow the points of views of a variety of angels, mainly Lilith, the main character, but also most of the others at some point.

These angels reminded me of the Greek gods. They are not the celestial beings many of us imagine, but more human than human. They have their personalities, their peculiar characters, their flaws, their desires, and they are far from goodie-goodie-two-shoes. Even the good angels have faults… (Oh Gabriel…). We get to know Lilith’s cunning and devious nature better than that of others (she is rebellious, proud, has a superiority complex, and does not seem to feel true affection for anybody, even her supposed friends), but we see that Lucifer is proud and is not a good looser from early on (when he is following the rules), and some of the other angels are weak, easily manipulated, and only worried about their own well-being and interests. The God of this story does not tolerate rebellion or deceit, and he severely punishes his children for their misdeeds. The author excels at writing the punishments and tortures the angels are subject to, and these parts of the book are not for the faint-hearted. I know she writes horror too, and this is quite evident in her penchant for devising monstrous characters and pretty cruel and sadistic tortures.

As is often the case, the bad characters are more interesting than the good ones (that we mostly lose sight of in book 2, apart from some brief appearances). I would not say any of the characters are very sympathetic. Lilith is put to the test and punished for being what she is (and considering angels are given free-will, that seems quite cruel), but she displays psychopathic traits from the beginning and it is difficult to blame her nasty personality on her experiences. She is strong and determined, but she abandons her friends, is manipulative, and goes to extremes that make her exceedingly unlikeable. I have no problem with having a truly horrible character as the main voice of a book, although I missed something that helped me connect with her (there are moments when she hints at a weakness or hurt, but I did not feel they were particularly convincing. Perhaps a sense of humour, no matter how dark, would have helped, but other than some instances of silly behaviour very early on, there are moments of wonder but not many laughs). Gadreel is perhaps the easiest character to empathise with, and she grows and develops during book 2 (to begin with she is constantly complaining and moaning, but she gets more confident, although she is not traditionally good either). Satan does horrible things, especially to Lilith (who is not blameless by a long stretch, not that such abuse could be ever justified in real life), but he is an interesting character and quite loyal to his friends. And he also does much of what he does out of love, however misguided. I don’t know what that says about me, but I really like Drácul, Satan and Lilith’s child. He is described as quite an ugly thing, but I find him cute. There you have it.

For me, book 2 is more dynamic and moves faster than book 1. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the adventures of the fallen angels on Earth allow us to read about their first impressions of the world as it would appear to somebody who had never been here, a totally brand new place. Such estrangement and sense of wonder are fascinating and the writing captures it well. The fact that the fallen angels find themselves in a hostile environment and have to learn to work together to survive adds to the interest. Of course, Lilith has her own plans, and she makes sure she convinces others to follow.

The character of Lilith reminded me of the typical figure of the femme fatale in film noir (or the spider woman, or… well, I’m sure you can think of many epithets such females have received over the years), who is powerful but her power consists in manipulating and deceiving males, convincing them that they are in charge, while she pulls the invisible strings. I do admire such characters, especially when the circumstances are dire and that seems to be the only option to get ahead. There is always a difficult balance to maintain between creating a strong negative female character that can hold her own and making sure it does not reinforce the usual story tropes that blame women for all of the world’s ills from the beginning of times.

This book made me wonder once more about the well-known narrative (and let me tell you, there are some twists that will keep readers on their toes) of events, which amounts to a civil war in Heaven, where there is no reconciliation and no possible redress or forgiveness for those who rebelled against the established order and lost. I also had to wonder about the rules imposed in Floraison and what seems to be a bias against LGBT (sex is bad, but same-sex sex is worse and is more severely punished), which has always been an issue that has caused much religious debate and it falls within the norm of traditional texts.

This book is a tour-de-force that I’d recommend to readers who love to be challenged by narratives that push the limits of well-known stories and make us rethink and reconsider the stories we have been told. And one for those who love strong and wicked female characters. And baby demons… (Oh, and I’ve heard that next book will be from Drácul’s point of view. Yeah!)

Thanks so much to the author for this fantastic book, to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, REVIEW and to enjoy your day!

[amazon_link asins=’162510555X,0898705509,B01MRV0BTW,162998034X,B00V2RRPDU,B01G43HC66,B01LTI0GMI,B0775Z8DHG’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’wwwauthortran-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’51e9e0fd-2de6-11e8-834d-29c80caf9ee1′]

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#Bookreview and #Giveaway THE AMULET by Effrosyni Moschoudi (@FrostieMoss) Good food, a magical place, and a sweet and enchanting romance

Hi all:

I had read quite a few great reviews of Effrosyni Moschoudi‘s novels but hadn’t read any yet. Then I saw a promotion of her new novel The Amulet prior to its publication, and I could not resist joining her team, as I’ve become addicted to anything to do with angels after publishing my Angelic Business Series (remember the first novel in the series is free) and I found the cover irresistible. And well, I must say the reviews were correct.

The author is kindly running a giveaway of 12 Christmas Kindle books, so I thought that gave me even a better reason to share, but first…

The Amulet by Effrosyni Moschoudi

The Amulet is a romantic comedy of angel magic and tantalizing descriptions of Greek food. Read it at your own peril; it’ll make you feel ravenous (not to mention all loved-up!)

When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you’re in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Soul-soothing… a book that will warm your hearts and tantalize your senses.”
~MM Jaye, romance author of Fate Captured

“One of the things I love about Moschoudi’s works is her endings; full of hope and salvation even in the direst of circumstances.”
~Nicholas C. Rossis, author of the Pearseus scifi series

“What a wonderful imagination the author has, I felt as if I was living in the book and found it hard to put it down.”
~Jean A. Symonds, Amazon.co.uk reviewer

My review:

I obtained a free ARC copy of the novel and I voluntarily decided to review it.

I had read great reviews of Effrosyni Moschoudi’s novels but hadn’t read any yet and couldn’t resist when I had the chance to grab this novel, as I am interested in books featuring angels, and must confess that the cover caught my attention.

This light romantic comedy introduces us not only to nice characters, like Katie, and all the staff and guests at Sifnos but also to quite a few supernatural beings and to Sifnos, a wonderful Greek island.

Katie is a young woman who despite her studies and interest in tourism, ends up working at a pipes’ factory due to the economic crisis in Greece. She is kind and generous, but she is not happy due to her job situation. Her boss is a terrible woman (although Katie learns through the novel that we should not be too quick to judge others), and she ends up getting sacked. Her kindness is recompensed by Esmera, a gipsy woman who holds a few secrets and more than a bit of magic up her sleeve. She gives Katie an amulet, an angel pendant that changes her life. She gets a new job working in a small hotel at Sifnos, and her own personal angel, gorgeous Aggelos.

This is a gentle comedy, where all the characters are memorable people we’d like to meet in real life, where there is some drama and minor crises, but never taken to extremes, and where the love story is gentle, fumbling, but never heats up to adult level. It is family-friendly, although it touches sad subjects too, but always in a sensitive way.

Although readers might think they are on familiar ground (and in some ways, that is the case), there are surprises and a great twist at the end that makes the ending more joyful.

The writing is fluid, easy to read, and although it shares the story from several points of view (always in the third person), it does not result confusing. The way the story is told might make us think we’re ahead of the main character, but it never reveals all its secrets and manages to make us keep reading.

Without making use of heavy descriptions, the author manages to create an enchanting image of Sifnos, with its beautiful villages, beaches, tavernas and traditions. I must warn readers that it’s best not to indulge in this novel when they’re feeling hungry because the descriptions of Greek food might result in slobbering all over their Kindle.

In sum, a thoroughly enjoyable light read, full of magic, that will make you want to travel to Greece and will leave you with a smile on your face, planning your next holidays (and setting off for the nearest Greek restaurant!).

 

Links:

See all 2 formats and editions

Author Effrosyni Moschoudi

About the Author

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. She’s passionate about books and movies and simply couldn’t live without them. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Effrosyni is a member of the writer’s groups, eNovel Authors at Work, ASMSG, and the Fantasy & SciFi Network.

Here visit her Amazon page and don’t forget to follow her.

https://www.amazon.com/Effrosyni-Moschoudi/e/B00I5JKMXS/

And now, as promised, Effrosyni Moschoudi is running a giveaway that lasts until Monday 19th of December

You only need to sign up to become a member of the author’s team to enter. Here is the site: 

http://effrosyniwrites.com/join-team-effrosyni/
I thought we all needed something a bit different on the run up to Christmas, and I had to share this with you. I’m planning on sharing a few more of the books I’ve recently read next week, in case you’re stuck for things to do over Christmas.

Thanks to Effrosyni Moschoudi for her novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK, and of course, enter the giveaway too!

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