Fallen by Valerie Twombly is a short story, later becoming part of a novel, Fall Into Darkness by the same author (which I have not read as of the current moment). Eli, a bounty hunter, is under judgement for something bad he's done. Sent away without even so much as a shirt on his back, Eli is tasked with finding his humanity. He finds a woman being attacked and does his best to help. It turns out that Ashley can see someone's death, by looking them in the eye. The book has angels, hellhounds and a tough main character.
Eli is a fairly interesting character, though we get little information of his history and his personality takes over the book. Ashley is interesting as well, though her decisions bother me; at first she's shy about her lack of clothing but then decides to take a shower with him...? Regardless of injury, any modest person I know would never put themselves in that position. Their little relationship is a bit bothersome on other levels as well; he doesn't even try to keep his archangel status a secret (which is a big deal, but she just takes it as if he's told her that he's a banker or something), and upon the news that he thinks the Seven want him to have sex with her, she gives in far too easily. If anyone had told me something like that, I would think it an obvious scam. Sure, he's good looking and has a few scars where wings might have been, but I wouldn't take that as solid evidence. Also, I think it's weird that she let him stay at all.
The plot seems a little on the cliché side and seems reminiscent of several other books I've read or movies I've seen. However, I think that the author turns it into something fairly unique. The story is fairly well written and there are aspects of humour, a good use of words and the characters seem somewhat likeable (regardless of stupid decisions they make). For a short story, it goes very quickly. I understand that the author is trying to keep a low word count, but it just seems like the events are rushed through too quickly. Many serious and sombre moments seem ruined because there isn't enough time spent on them. For example, a few pages in, when Eli's wings are taken. They are literally being ripped from his back, yet it's kind of glazed over and the scene doesn't hold the seriousness or weight that it ought to. I think the weirdest point in the book for me is the phrase, "No woman refused an angel..." I know that the author means it in a light sense, but I can't help but think of it being incredibly dark. It just seems like she doesn't have the option to say 'no' and that upsets me on a personal level; that she has no choice in the matter. No matter what, I think a woman always has a right to say no, regardless of the alternate being an archangel. But that's just my take on it.
Overall, I think that it's well written and the author has a good grasp of how to convey things to a reader. However, the characters just seem absurd and do things that I- as a reader- would not do, had I been given the same circumstances. I don't think anyone I know would do the same, either; the range of feelings and personality of each character don't mesh into something that seems natural. I like both main characters, but I feel like they could have been developed better, even within the confines of a short story. I think the same of the plot. Though I liked the book, I feel like the entire story could have been developed better, a lot of things could have been explained better and set within a reasonable time limit- rather than just a few days. Fallen was a decent read, but I think that the flaws don't really excite me for "Fall Into Darkness", the next book, but I will consider reading it.
I obtained a free copy of this via an InstaFreebie giveaway and these are just my honest thoughts on the work. Just a warning for some people: there are curse words. Many of which seem kind of gratuitous to me. There are also adult scenes.