Chronicles of the Fallen
Julie Harthill Clayton
In Chronicles of the Fallen: Rebellion, Aya Lancaster tells the story of an epic war between heaven and hell. She writes, “From another world to the depth of the abyss, it’s a race to survive.”
A college student from Jakarta, Lancaster’s enthusiasm for her subject is apparent. A self-described voracious reader, Lancaster mines her passion for conspiracies, thrillers, and stories about the supernatural in this first installment of a three-part series.
As readers enter the author’s richly imagined world, they are immediately introduced to Ezryan, the commander of the First Legion, who is being threatened by “a massive sphere of blazing holy flame descended from the heavens.” Ezryan is one of only two “unholy”—those fallen from Heaven, determined to strenghten Hell’s dominion over humanity. The other is Lucifer. Ezryan has been sent to obtain a forbidden secret from Earth. And the Holy Army, led by Heaven’s archangels, is determined to stop the Legion at all cost. Rebellion is a classic showdown between good and evil. The reader is drawn into the action at breakneck speed, and the action does not slow down.
Unfortunately, despite its exciting premise, the story’s execution has a few problems. Lancaster’s language can be stilted, “I recognized the scent of doppelganger all over her,” or confusing, “He was sweating and looked so tense that I didn’t even dare to ask him what he felt in that piece of arm,” and “A woman walked into the forest outside a small human city which, unknown by its citizens, was governed by a duke of Hell.” And Lancaster struggles with her tenses: “Heaven never ceased when they seek to deliver punishment, why had they stopped now?”
While Lancaster’s enthusiasm is admirable, her overuse of exclamation marks is distracting for the reader. “No f***ing way! There’s no way that could happen! If it were angels, the Veil should’ve shown it!” And it is sometimes difficult to follow the story line. The characters seem to know things that the reader does not: “‘I definitely know where this is going,’ Faemirad thought in amusement laden with fear.”
Despite its flaws, Chronicles of the Fallen: Rebellion does have the bones of a great adventure story. Lancaster’s passion for writing, combined with some editorial guidance, could make her a real contender in the world of supernatural fantasy fiction.