An Ordinary World

books, blabberings, and a life semi-common

How Does One Fall?

As a generalization, there are good angels and there are those who fall from Heaven. When someone dies, he or she either rises to Heaven or falls to Hell. It’s supposed to be simple.

In Leah Clifford’s A TOUCH MORTAL, there’s a bit more than that. There are angels who are stuck in a limbo of Earth because they’ve done something to be cast out of the Upstairs but still have a choice to return before they Fall to the Basement. There are also those called “Siders,” a group of people who have committed suicide and are stuck in a gray area where no one remembers them from their previous life and they have powers of sorts.

The latter group is one which Eden, the main character, falls into. She’s thrust into this new sort of “life” and the readers are shoved there with her.

It makes for a confusing read.

Though the plot was interesting, its execution is lost within the first few chapters. Readers are given jumps of time so it’s a bit difficult to find a connection with Eden and subsequently, the characters of Az and Gabe, the two angels Eden has come in contact with. Both Az and Gabe seem to be more thought-out than Eden; in fact, it seems that many of the secondary characters have more interesting stories to tell than the one that is unfolding throughout the length of the book.

There is more confusion and contradiction as the book continues and finally ends – though it’s done in a way that makes me want to pick up the next book in this (supposed?) series to learn more. Whether that was done purposely or not is something I’m not entirely sure about but I hope it’s intentional if only so there will be explanations for the oddities I found.

Clifford manages to write a tale of Angels, Siders, and the Fallen that is somehow both intriguing and disturbing for what I see as the glamorization of suicide. A TOUCH MORTAL is a book I would recommend to those interested in the genre but it would be one I’d give with a warning.

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