It was her last hope to save them. In a desperate attempt to keep their relationship from deteriorating any further, Mrs. Lancaster sends her three children – Alex, Amanda, and Tori – to England to live with their remarried father. But when the cab driver shows up at the door – a bizarre old man with a deteriorating limousine – the strangeness begins. An unearthly wind is blowing – a wind that crashes the Lancasters’ plane into the middle of the ocean and sends them drifting into another world.
Washed up on an ethereal shore, the Lancaster children discover an unfathomable world that feels deeply familiar. As they take their separate paths, they unfold a dream that allegories the spiritual existence of our own world. Heaven, hell, angels, Satan, demon possession, the Last Judgment, the rapture, and God Himself are just some of the things the book recreates, all strung together in a nearly incomprehensible string of events.
This book plunges to depths that other allegories merely scratch. A godly concept lurks on nearly every page, tugging at the string in the Christian’s heart that says I know this is true. Complicated theology is masterfully portrayed in a way that the reader can grasp. Satan is explained and exposed; the fatherliness of our compassionate God is embodied. Heaven is sensed, hell is tasted, demons and angels walk in the midst. Worship soars. The apt writing style makes it even the most fantastical elements seem real; it is almost as if the book is felt rather than read.
But these wonders come with a price. The book treads the border with horror as it weaves a fantastical nightmare. The darkest depths of sin are probed until the reader can not only understand the heart of evil but empathize with it. Human nature is exposed in pure wretchedness, reveling in untainted hate. Suicide is contemplated and attempted several times. Sensual lust is exposed as a taunt, a lure, and an excuse; a girl revisits the fear and shame of being sexually abused. Even the triumph of good can have a terrifying glare for the sheer unearthliness of it all.
Yet, the author delivers these horrors with a strange amount of tact. The violence is not painted in a grotesque way; only in the darkest hour does the gore swell, and rightfully so. Sexual sin is never described directly, only implied; beyond a few fleeting sensations, the worst offense is a bizarre incident involving a kiss. There is no obscenity, just a few casual references to a shirtless man in a non-suggestive setting. A smattering of moderate language is truly the grittiest element of the book.
More importantly, righteousness shines through the blood. The book holds firm theology and portrays good and evil in a startling black-and-white sense. Even though sin is explained in darkest detail, it is always exposed as lies and emptiness – and nowhere is the difference between righteousness and wickedness more clear than in death. For the unsaved, death is the imprisonment before judgment; for the saved, death is a victorious bend in the road, the break that allows their soul to fly to their Master and await the final battle.
Angel Fall impacted me like no other book has. Never before has a book breached my subconscious so deeply, and in so doing portrayed the mysteries of Scripture in a way I could feel. I wish every creature of God could have the faith-strengthening experience of this book. But the journey is not for the faint of heart. Because of its content and strength, this nightmarish epiphany is only suitable for mature, discerning, and prepared readers.
In the end, it must be remembered that Angel Fall is only one fallible human’s interpretation of Scriptural truths. It is but a dim shadow of the wonders to come.
Published on 7 March, 2011. Last updated on