First, the big picture: The mythology of angels, fallen angels, and their Nephilim offspring used in this book is incredibly interesting and yet not overly complicated. You quickly understand (especially if you have a Christian background, although I wouldn’t say that that’s necessary to enjoy this book) the history of this age-old struggle and get a feel for what’s at stake. The way the author brings historical places, objects, events, and people into the story adds a real depth to these immortals’ lives. I also really enjoyed that the Nephilim were shown to be from many, many different cultures and ethnicities.
As for the main character, Alexandria learns about herself right along with the reader. This was a really great way to maintain a sense of mystery to the story, and her back-flashes move the story along without being just distracting little bits of character development. So much of the story is about WHO she is, and it’s pretty easily to feel invested in her character’s well-being.
The story is slowly paced but punctuated by a few terrifying encounters with the enemy, and there are some fun bits of action as Alex trains with the Nephilim. (The whole middle section felt like what would happen if “This Present Darkness” had a spin-off set at Hogwarts for adults. Really imaginative and great.)
I was also glad that the typical love triangle element actually has VERY great significance behind it, but I won’t spoil anything.
My only nit-picky complaint: The characters feel overly perfect. I loved how good and close and loving Alexandria’s family is, and of course it makes sense that the Nephilim born of angels are especially good. However, none of the good guys do anything wrong – ever. Everyone is ALWAYS sweet and loving and perfect, even Jack, who is completely mortal and human. At every turn, Alex does exactly the right thing – even after a workout when her clothes are dirty and she realizes she needs to sign up for a chore chart, if they have one. I think I just would have liked to see a little more relatable anger, annoyance, messing up, etc.
Anyway, I’m definitely interested to see where the next book goes. SOMETHING is still going on that we don’t know about as far as the conflict is concerned (avoiding spoilers here), and I’m interested to see how it all turns out.
See it on Amazon!
Reblogged this on Natalie D Wilson and commented:
“This Present Darkness” & Hogwarts. High praise from a fellow author!