Solaris, out now
Hell may have fallen, but the battle is by no means over…
Lou Morgan’s tale of good and evil (and all the various shades inbetween) continues to enthral, picking up the story a few months after the end of Blood and Feathers. Alice continues to be torn between her respective heritages, and one of the strengths of this book is the way in which she deals with that situation, reaching a point which feels completely natural given the experiences she has been through.
Repercussions from the first book continue to resonate throughout this tale, with the new hierarchy among the angels causing its own problems. Morgan ensures that the various groupings are true to themselves: there are moments in here where we are forcibly reminded that these are not human beings, but creatures that have their own codes, their own ways of doing things. Free will is something that was given to Man – not necessarily something which comes naturally (in all senses of that word) to the angelic.
There are some nice conceits – the Archangel Michael bases himself at Mont St Michel (which presumably means that there is some correlation to the British version thereof?) and angels and Time Lords share certain gifts, which solves a few practical problems. And there are some well-drawn battle sequences, both hand-to-hand (or wing to wing, as appropriate) and on a larger scale. Some of the horrors are almost too much to comprehend, and wisely these are more often hinted at than explicitly stated.
Verdict: The humour may be a bit restrained, but otherwise this takes everything that was great about Blood and Feathers up to a new level. 8/10