Thursday, 14 April 2011

Review: Flaming Dove by Daniel Arenson

 I am Laila, of the night. I have walked through godlight and through darkness. I have fought demons and I have slain angels. I am Laila, of the shadows. I have hidden and run, and I have stood up and striven. I am Laila, of tears and blood, of sins and of piety. I am Laila, outcast from Hell, banished from Heaven. I am alone, in darkness. I am Laila, of light and of fire. I am fallen. I rise again.

 This has to be one of the most original story's I have read. The idea's not only great, but also well executed. Laila is a half-angel/half-demon, born after Armageddon. During Armageddon the human race became largely extinct and angels and demons battled it out in Jerusalem, Israel. Being a half-demon Laila can't live in Heaven with the Angels, but because she's a half-angel as well she can't live in Hell.

At the beginning of the book Laila returns to Jerusalem, where both Heaven and Hell are trying to get her to join them, hoping that with her on their side they can end this war. Years ago Laila almost married Beelzebub, now leader of the forces of Hell. What side will she join if the victory of either side will make Earth inhabitable for her?

I really enjoyed this book. I was familiar with most of the "Biblical" characters, such as Beelzebub, Raphael etc. I really liked Beelzebub's character, because Arenson really investigated the angel aspect of the 'fallen angel' concept. How would a fallen Angel feel, leading armies of demons? He loved Laila, perhaps because he saw the same conflict inside her. Laila is a complex character as well. I love the relationship she has with her wolf, Volkfair. Maybe because I am a sucker for wolves, but he actually is important to her character development.

I already said how ingenious I think the idea for the story is, but I just wanted to say it again, in more detail. Stories about angels and demons aren't anything new, but this was something different. Not only does it give palce to epic battles, which Arenson already mastered in 'The Gods of Dream'. but also gives him the possibility to show his skill in analysing and developing his characters. Laila's flashbacks wo then  she was young are a great wat of getting to know her more and explain how she became who she is. I also enjoyed Bat El, :aila's sister. She's the perfect angel, pious, beautiful and strong. Yet during the book she not only starts to question her own feelings and morals but also those of Heaven and hell.Also, may I say I love Laila's mantra, which is at the beginning of this review. I think everyone has a little something they say to keep their spirits up, but mine definitely isn't as epic or impressive as thins one.
I give this book ...

I really enjoyed the story and think anyone with a love for fantasy would genuinely enjoy it. It's rich in characters and the story has depth. And you'll love the twist at the end! Daniel Arenson has the talent to write an intriguing story that will have you hold your breath until the last page. 


  1. I should check this one out, it seem a very special book. Great review!

  2. Hi there,

    A wonderful review, thank you! :-)

    I can't wait to read your NURTURE book tour post for The MPire: In Search of the Lost by T.L. James. Can you send me the link when it's up? Thanks so much!