Book Review: Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black

Title: Rise of the Fallen
Author: Chuck Black
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Release Date: February 2015
Genre: Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Series: Wars of the Realm, Book 2

For months now, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this, the second book in Chuck Black’s Wars of the Realm series. I assumed it would continue Drew Carter’s story from where the first book, Cloak of the Light, left off. (You can find my review of that book on the Edgy Inspirational Romance blog, if you’re interested.) I was already thoroughly invested in those characters – Drew, Sydney, and Ben in particular – and in their plight, and wanted to know what came next.

And I still want to know. Because Book 2 doesn’t really address that. [Feel free to imagine Karen pulling her hair out right about now, in anticipation of a lengthy wait before Book 3. Just kidding…mostly.]

Honestly, this book was not what I was expecting. Let me hasten to clarify, I don’t mean that in a negative way, because I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story too, and I think that what comes next in the series will have even more impact, for having had the extra groundwork laid in this book. I just had to wrap my mind around the shift in perspective and scope of this book before really digging in to enjoy it. But enjoy it, I did.

This book interweaves two main storylines, both told from the perspective of Validus, an angel we first met in Book 1 through his interactions with Drew Carter. Throughout this book, there’s a “Present Day” storyline in which we see the same timeframe of Book 1 retold from Validus’s perspective, first as he serves as Primus Commander for the angelic forces in North America and later as he fights to protect Drew. Interwoven with this retelling are a series of chapters exploring spiritual warfare throughout Biblical history as experienced by Validus and his fellow angels.

I enjoyed getting to know Validus better and getting a “behind the scenes” glimpse into what might have been going on in the spiritual realm during important moments in Biblical history like Noah’s flood, the Tower of Babel, and Jesus’ birth and crucifixion. The Reader’s Guide in the back was great for delineating which aspects of the story were drawn from Biblical accounts and which were more speculative.

With its emphasis on action, adventure, and heroics, this is a story I would expect to have great appeal for teen boys in particular, as well as anyone enjoying a fast-paced and exciting story. Battle scenes were described blow by blow to the point I could almost have been watching the story play out on the big screen (and yes, I would love to see this series made into a movie). There were quite a few scenes in this book that got my adrenaline going and gave me no choice but to keep turning pages!

Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah and the Blogging for Books program for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Web Site | Video Clip About the Series
Find This Book: Goodreads | Amazon

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