BLOOD AND FEATHERS : REBELLION by LOU MORGAN
PB, 364 pages, Solaris
This review contains spoilers for both “Blood and Feathers” and “Rebellion.”
The war in Heaven has ramped up a notch in the sequel to Lou Morgan’s debut, “Blood and Feathers.” The Fallen have escaped from Hell and are running riot on the streets of the UK, manipulative archangel Michael has Satan’s body in chains, but his mind is still loose amongst his followers, and Alice has a new job. As a receptionist. In a funeral parlour. Working for the Angel of Death. Like you do.
Well, like Alice does, anyway. Because Alice is more than human, and in her down-time she hunts and burns the Fallen in the warehouses and back-alleys of a deeply troubled London. But the balance between the angels and the legions of Hell is tipping, irrevocably, in favour of the Fallen, and no one, not even her closest allies, can really be trusted. Not even Michael. Especially not Michael.
Our favourite bickering angelic twosome, Mallory and Vin, are back, and their sarcastic affection for each other provides much of the humour at the core of the novel. The book might be about theology, faith, free will and corruption, but it’s also stonkingly funny and crammed with action and a pace that rarely falters. At the same time, it’s also a thought-provoking read, especially when it comes to Alice, forced at one point to choose between saving Mallory, or saving an unknown human who, at the crunch point, turns out to be a good friend of hers. Being half-angel, Alice suddenly finds she doesn’t have quite the free will she always thought she had, and it’s an unsettling revelation. Especially when you consider the psychotic bastards who are giving out the orders. On both sides of the war.
This is the middle book in the trilogy, and it manages to deftly avoid mid-trilogy slump with some fiery apocalyptic action, while leaving itself wide open for a sequel which implies that everything will be cranked up yet another gear (Not sure how that’s even possible…) Whatever the outcome, heavenly or hellish, it’s going to be quite a ride.