Monday, April 30, 2012

Hush, Hush Saga

Hush Hush, Crescendo, and Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

I am thinking that fallen angels and Nephilim are the new vampires.  There are a whole slew of books out there, especially in the young adult fiction world, that involve angels, archangels, fallen angels and Nephilim.

This is the story of Nora, a high school sophomore in Maine whose father was recently murdered.  She and her mother are trying to make their lives work with just the two of them and everything seems to be going fine.  Then, one day, Nora's biology teacher decides to make a change to the seating chart so Nora no longer has her best friend as a partner, she has a mysterious new transfer student named Patch.

Soon, Nora learns that when God first created humans, he put angels on the earth to watch over them and protect them.  Some of the angels lusted for the human women and when their children were born, Nephilim, the archangels of heaven ripped the wings from these angels and they became "fallen".    Still roaming the earth, the fallen angels do what they like.  Fallen angels have some of their angelic gifts like mind control but they can't feel.  They have emotions and they can see and hear but they don't taste and they don't have the sense of touch.  From the moment their wings were ripped from their backs, they wanted nothing more than to have the human sensory experience.

Two weeks a year, during the Jewish time of Cheshvan, fallen angels have to ability to possess the body of another.  Human bodies are weak and often die within a week but the bodies of Nephilim are strong and can easily last.  The downside of this possession is that the spirit of the Nephilim is still in the body when the fallen angel is but the Nephilim has no control at all - they are a helpless bystander in their own body.  The Nephilim are forced to swear an oath of fealty to the fallen angels so they have no choice in the matter of possession.

Needless to say, only two weeks a year isn't enough for many fallen angels and they are always searching for another way.  The Book of Enoch supposedly tells of how a fallen angel can become human by killing his Nephilim.  The Nephilim are immortal though so things get complicated and involve killing a human progeny of the Nephilim when she is sixteen.  At the same time, the Nephilim are tired of being vassals for the fallen angels and are planning a way to stop the process before the next Cheshvan.

Nora and Patch slowly unravel mystery after mystery.  This is a young adult novel so there is the teen romance aspect even though Patch appears to be a couple of years older than Nora but is really hundreds of years older.  The frustrating aspects of teen romance, such as not communicating, are very present and affect more than just the romance - of course.  This is an entertaining series thus far and book 4 which is titled Finale? is scheduled for release in late October of this year.  I will probably read it just to finish the series.  I can see a spin-off series ensuing from this but I am okay not reading any more than just the four books.  The world of fallen angels is an intriguing one but not compelling enough to read much more.

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