There just isn’t any other way to start this review. Alice, Vin, Mallory, and the rest of the angels are back in the sequel to the excellent Blood and Feathers, and things are getting a whole lot worse: kicked out of hell, the Fallen have nothing to lose and everything to win and have taken the battle to the humans, pulling strings behind the scenes whilst Earthbounds and Descended alike struggle to keep the balance at the very least even. Tipping it back in their favour seems all but impossible.
Alice is feeling the same about her life. Left alone now that Mallory has his wings back, and with little to nothing to her name, she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Apart from the fact that that’s not quite true. Alice just doesn’t know how to find a day job when she knows Hell is being unleashed on Earth, and when she fights alongside the Earthbounds every night to drive back the Fallen. Gifted as she is, Alice is a powerful ally to them, but she fails to make the difference she herself desires.
Everything changes for her, however, when she gets hired to work at a funeral home by the Angel of Death himself. There she starts to get the frustrating impression that something more is going on behind the scenes, which is only strengthened when she sees Descended appear in the midst of a riot, Mallory in their midst.
Morgan builds on the excellent character development of the first book with simple grace and ease. Characters have changed but not, the circumstances surrounding them obviously affecting their world whilst they struggle to remain who they are. Alice in particular is torn in between her human and angel nature and Morgan does a very good job of showing her struggle to remain herself despite the chaos around her. Mallory, wings or no wings, is still Mallory, sarcastic, gun-wielding, and with a tendency to drink more than he should. Vin hasn’t changed much although the betrayal from the previous book still haunts him and has pushed him to actions he would never have usually considered.
We also get to see a whole lot more of the Archangels, with Michael being arrogant in thinking there is only one way to win this war: his way. No matter the cost. Or perhaps, by the end of the book (and one hell of a heart rending scene I still haven’t forgiven Morgan for), not so much. Gabriel is there too, making amends for past mistakes, working for Michael, searching for something that would help them put Lucifer back in his body so they can kill him.
Morgan maintains the brilliant characterisation and dialogue of the first book and adds even more fast paced action, mystery, and heart stopping moments. She has all the perfect ingredients in her hands, and damnit, she knows what to do with them. This book made me laugh out loud (I’m sorry Mallory, I’m far too much like Vin), brought a few tears to my eyes, and made me angrier at a certain character than I have been at anyone in a book in a long, long time.
Blood and Feathers Rebellion is an excellent book, well-written, funny in the right places, with brilliant pacing, and shows what modern UF has in stock for us. I finished the book wanting for more: more of the characters, more of the writing, and more of the story. Because holy hell (no puns intended…okay maybe a little), Morgan knows how to leave us hanging right at the end!
As a little added note, I’d like to add that I was lucky enough to attend Lou Morgan’s signing at Forbidden Planet in London and that, despite having to run there not to be late after I got lost, it was fantastic. She is one lovely lady and getting to meet her was very special. Also, the angelic sigil biscuits were really good!