First SentenceIf any story is to be told about the End of All Things, it is only polite to give a nod to their Origins as well.
The Fallen Angel Lucien never expected the world to end. Inconveniently enough, it did. He and Lalael, an angel of the Higher Realm, are abandoned to make their way in what’s left of the world.
It has changed, however. Uncountable humans have died or vanished, and leftover groups are determined to survive however they can, fighting off new dangers and killing anything they do not understand.
But demons were not the only thing released into the world at the End: A strange new power fills the world, and no one knows what this might bring.
In The End features Fallen Angel Lucien enjoying his life on Earth, unaware that the apocalypse is near until the signs get too much. So once the Rapture has happened he drives over to the spot of the Final Battle and waits. This is when he meets the Angel Lalael, a reject in the Higher Realms, who limped away from the battle to catch a breather and is determined that Lucien is out to kill him. Of course, Lucien sees him as petulant and when they both end up abandoned and stuck on Earth, they stick together out of necessity.
The first thing I have to praise is the opening. This opening was the excerpt Alex sent to me when she first asked if I’d like to review her book and I was so sucked into the prose that I was left feeling a little jarred when it ended. That’s how I knew we were onto a winner with In The End and Alexandra Rowland. The opening is very Douglas Adamsesque without trying too hard to be him. It’s lightly humorous with a unique plot and Alex’s own, very comfortable voice.
My main issue with it was that I felt something was missing. You know when you’re reading a book and it’s great, you like it, but something isn’t quite there and you can’t put your finger on it? That. I also felt as though description was lacking a little. I struggled to create decent mental images quite often the way I usually do when reading. It is not effortless to imagine many of the things in this book. It took most of the novel to create any real kind of mental image of Lucien.. though once I did I realised he was one sexy Fallen, but that’s neither here nor there.
Despite some of the issues I had with description, I have to give kudos for characterisation. Alex really brought these characters to life. Lucien and Lalael have been left on Earth after the final battle between Riel and Rielat and whether Lalael likes it or not, they have to stick together. Lalael doesn’t instantly trust Lucien, in fact, I’m not convinced he realises the point when he does start to trust him but when it happens he does so begrudgingly. Lucien I find a funny little character. He’s not as messed up as I’d expect somebody with his history to be, instead he’s actually quite kind for a Fallen Angel. He has a cat called Antichrist and he cares about Lalael. Lalael’s change almost made the novel for me. I was worried I’d have to count his character as a lost cause but then something happened and I found myself liking him more than Lucien which I really didn’t expect because Lucien is awesome.
Alexandra Rowland has taken Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, and mixed them up in her own fictional pot of voodoo with her own particular brand of spices. I recommend In The End if you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman style fiction. It’s a really unique novel well worth a read.