Tuesday, September 28, 2010

REVIEW: "Flaming Dove" by Daniel Arenson

Armageddon. We know this to be the day when good vanquishes evil, light triumphs over dark, and God wins out over Satan. Or does He? In Daniel Arenson's "Flaming Dove," the battle between Heaven and Hell has yielded no clear winners, and, 27 years later, we find both sides exhausted and unsure of the next step. Unsure, that is, until the day Laila, the half demon/half angel child of Armageddon's most powerful forces, returns to Jerusalem, and each side begins to formulate a plan.

Set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Earth, where demons and angels have settled into an uneasy co-existence, and humans are all but extinct, Laila struggles to find her place. Heaven's godlight burns her, Hell's hellfires scorch her. She is of two worlds, but can belong to neither. Incredibly strong physically, emotionally vulnerable, and full of rage against both worlds, Laila unwillingly finds herself the key player in the continuing battle between good and evil.

Although filled with exciting battle scenes, and a cast of characters known to us all (Nathaniel, Lucifer, Beezlebub, Michael, to name a few), this is truly Laila's story. As Laila struggles to find her place, angels and demons alike try to use her for their own end. Each side believes Laila to be the key to victory. It is soon apparent that the entire outcome of Armageddon depends upon this one soul, and such an unwilling soul at that.

This book is a delightful read, with fluid writing and a nice pacing of action interspersed with tender moments. It was easy to get into this story, and hard to put it down. I love the way nothing is really cut and dry throughout this story; the Ruler of Hell is not without merits, and the archangels not without sin. The author really forces you to take a step back and question where the line between good and evil actually falls, if there is even such a line. The story seems predictable, but I was surprised many times with the events leading up to the climax of the story. Even when I thought I had finished the story, there was one last surprise waiting for me at the end, a surprise that really drove home a main theme of the story. Best of all, the ending did what all the best endings do; it left me with something to ponder.

I really enjoyed this story, and I believe Daniel Arenson is an author to watch! "Flaming Dove" is available on Smashwords, Amazon for Kindle, as well as in paperback.

5/5 stars

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