I've been asked a few times why there aren't many wholly negative reviews on this site. Why is a "Not Recommended" rating so rare? Surely there are some books in Christian fiction that aren't worth the time to read. The simple answer is that there are such books, but usually I don't read them. When I do discover myself reading a bad book, I usually can't bring myself to finish it, which prevents me from doing a review. I refuse to write a review of any book I haven't read cover to cover.
So why did I finish reading The Fall of Lucifer? I'm honestly not entirely sure. In some ways, I kept hoping and hoping to find something - anything - to praise. In other ways, it was like watching a train wreck - fascinating in spite of everything.
It starts out with a grand enough concept: telling the entire story of Lucifer, Satan, the Devil: from his past with his angelic "brothers" Michael and Gabriel through to his ultimate fall from heaven and subsequent corruption of the Earth. Imagine Paradise Lost (from which Wendy Alec borrows liberally in places) expanded in prose form and much greater detail.
From the beginning, I suspected this would not be a book that I agreed with theologically. So I went in with the determination to separate that aspect from whether or not it was a good story. I would treat it just like any other fantasy novel and not worry about whether it was explicitly true to Scripture.
It didn't help. There are simply far too many logic holes and inconsistencies throughout this entire novel. It begins with an utterly bizarre framing sequence - why would the writings of the angel Gabriel be buried in an archaeological dig for humans to discover? We are then transported to a vague time before Earth's creation, where Lucifer was highest of the archangels, along with his younger brothers (?) Michael and Gabriel. They lived in harmony... although Michael is head of the army for some reason and they all have swords... Michael and Lucifer enjoy fencing together... with broadswords. Yes, fencing - compete with fencing masks, etc. - with broadswords. Outside of that and a few other inexplicable conundrums, the angels lived... well, pretty much exactly like humans live: riding their horses, having parties, learning, getting promotions.
Until the Earth and humanity are created by God. Or is it by the angels? Because there are lengthy segments where the angelic "scientists" are figuring out how humanity's DNA code will have to be written. Most amazing of all to the angels is that humans will have the ability to reproduce.
Stop. Wait. If angels don't reproduce in this story, how is that some of them are related to each other (brothers, etc.) and some are younger than others?
Even the cause of Lucifer's rebellion is confusing. Is it because of pride, as one angel abruptly announces with no evidence of it beforehand? Or is it because he is jealous of humanity as is built up within the actual plot? Or is it yet again because he has a split personality as is demonstrated a couple of times? Did God make a mistake in his DNA?
As I said, I kept hoping it would get better. That something would turn out right. It never did. Not Recommended.