Jun 02 2017

A Review of Lost Angels: As Above, So Below by Brian Thomas and Loren Rhoads

Lost Angels: As Above, So Below by Brian Thomas and Loren Rhoads

Lost Angels: As Above, So Below by Brian Thomas and Loren Rhoads

A review of the first work in a series that has some very unique characters, quite a number of succubi, and along the way a tale of redemption, loss, and discovery. The main characters are strongly told, they hold the story together, but along the way there’s some flaws among the good things to be found. It’s important to develop characters, to give them life beyond they being stereotypical in how they act, or are. A story needs all of the characters to be more than “just” who they are, missing out on that seems to leave something unexplored and unseen.

Souls can be found in places they aren’t expected to be. Some are bright, some are dark and some are tragic. Occasionally one soul can be all of these things, rarely three souls lost find themselves in each other.

The work tells the story of:

In the days before the Flood, Azaziel had been a Watcher, sent down to help God’s creatures on Earth. He fell in love with one of Cain’s granddaughters and they passed her mortal life in bliss.

Now he’s imprisoned in the Los Angeles basin. His angelic brethren, Heaven’s misfits, don’t understand the longing Aza feels: once he had been loved entirely for himself.

The succubus Lorelei doesn’t know any of this when she sets her sights on Azaziel. All she knows is that the angel’s fall will bring glory to Hell and acclaim to any succubus who accomplishes it.

Of course, it never occurs to Lorelei that Azaziel might try to tame her by possessing her with a mortal girl’s soul.

Can the succubus find an exorcist before the fury of Hell is unleashed?

There is a truth which neither heaven nor hell can ignore. Souls that are meant to be joined will be, regardless of the cost, the battles fought or the needs pressed upon them. Along the way, the questions of good and evil isn’t as important as what one will do for another that calls to them. Any angel can be tempted, any devil can be as well. But when that temptation offers something beyond understanding, then anything is possible. If they are able to believe in each other.

The work is an epic tale of the struggle between the angel Azaziel and the succubus Lorelei, but also it tells of those around them that have their own plans and desires wishing to be made real. That story is captivating, the struggle between Azaziel and Lorelei is deep, with many valleys along the way. It’s not a simple story, those other forces around them have their own agendas and reasons for what transpires, and that adds a lot to the work.

Lorelei herself, from the beginning, isn’t like the other succubi in the work that appear. That’s not to say she hasn’t done some very evil things in the past however. There’s just something unique about her that carries through the work which makes her development, her changing nature, that much more interesting. She has depth within her, her story, while shrouded in a lot of ways at times, held me throughout.

Similarly, Azaziel’s path is littered with loss, needs, and self-examination that I think did much to make him more alive than just simply being a foil to Lorelei and vice versa. I’d have liked to know more about his past than was shared however. Much of that story is told over the course of the work, but I feel like there’s something missing that wasn’t explored.

While I loved the main characters, the minor ones, and there are a lot of them, ran the gambit from fully formed characters to being rather stereotypical in their actions. Specifically I felt that the other succubi in the work were just in the story for the sake of being evil and not much more than that. I’d like to have them be more, perhaps being the hands behind what happened, as at times it felt like some of them were.

The writing is very good, if complex at times more than I think it really needed to be. Some of the side paths in the telling of the work didn’t quite feel needed, I’d have loved to have more time with one particular soul that matters a great deal. There’s an unfinished feeling to the ending, but then this work is the beginning of a series and that’s to be expected. I liked how things came to a close however, offering more story to be told, which I dearly would like to see.

Four of out five pitchforks.

It is a complex story, there are plots within plots, needs within needs. Lorelei and Azaziel are compelling characters and being so that brings so much depth to the work, which was just amazing. I wish that Lorelei’s sisters had been somewhat less stereotypically succubi and something far more. There’s a hint of that, it’s edging towards being seen, but that doesn’t really happen. I dearly wish it had.

At the time of this review, the second work in the series, which had been scheduled for November 2016, had not been released. I’m looking forward. hopefully, that the story will be continued sometime as Lorelei’s story is far from told. The only thing that I’d wish for, along the way, is that more of the characters in the story develop to some extent and aren’t just spinning in circles as all else happens around them.



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