The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie by Jamie Brindle (2013) Book Review

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The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie by Jamie Brindle

Bedlam Press (Necro Publications)

*”Do you believe in Angels and Daemons? It doesn’t really matter, because
they believe in you”…..*

Reading first-time published novels can occasionally be a tricky business –
they can occasionally be excellent, sometimes often reasonable, but even
more often be instantly forgetful (and that is being distinctly kind).
However, It has been my pleasure in my last couple of book reviews to read
two very different, but equally excellent first-time novels with (*
Starblood*, by Camilla Voiez and *Siberian Hellhole*, by Michael
Mulvihill).

So after answering the urgent request of the Grand Master and Generalisimo
of UKHorrorScene for someone to review a brand new debut Horror Fantasy
then I was pretty certain that my luck would have run out on this third
occasion. After all, my weekend has gone as good as it could possibly get
with England winning again in the cricket against Australia and then
finding a forgotten bottle of rather expensive wine languishing in a
kitchen cupboard – surely there there had to be a sting in the week’s tail?
There had been no more information than that the story was a horror fantasy
and it was the writer’s debut novel – not much to go on really.

So when the friendly and dependable postman dropped the
well-wrapped package through my letter box on Wednesday I did wonder
whether my run of two excellent reads was about to end. I could have
started the review earlier in the week as I had been offered the choice of
either an electronic copy or or in the traditional as-god-intended-
paper-state every book should be – not that I’m old fashioned when it comes
to books you know….well actually I am. I love the feel of them, the texture
of them, the weight of them and ( call me strange) especially the sound
they make when you tap them…… Yes I know….

So after opting for a proper copy of a book I eagerly unwrapped it and onto
the table place the book ‘*The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie*’ by Jamie
Brindle. As a consequence of opting for the paper edition I had
given myself less time to read & then review it ……. In other words, if it
was bad then the pain wouldn’t last as long.

So, in the long anticipated and still imagined words of Bellatrix Lestrange
after a night of Wizardry and Witch shenanigans – ” Well, how was it for
you, Stuart?”

In all genuine honesty,* The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie *is quite simply a
triumph.

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*PLOT OUTLINE*

It is not my intention to give away many details of the plot. I don’t hate
many people in life, but people who divulge book details, or even worse,
people who skip to the end of a book to read the final few pages should be
taken out and shot at dawn. So consequently, i will endeavour to relay as
much as I can about the story without hopefully giving too much away.

The story essentially deals with a timeless battle between the Angels and
Daemons for the possession of human souls, ALL human souls. It is a war
between the immortals fought not with weapons of destruction, because
direct intervention is not allowed. Instead we are moved, influenced,
*tempted* with the merest of whispered suggestion in a person’s ear, a
barely noticed nudge on one’s will.

The fact that much of humanity no longer believes in heaven or hell, god
and the devil or Angels and deamons is inconsequential. In fact it is
playing right into the hands of the immortals – because it makes their job
all that easier, they are everywhere and they are fighting over you.

The plot moves from the Angel’s realm, the Gardens of Avalon where
the grass is green and the sun always shines to the Deamon realm of
Daemonhearth where pain, damnation and darkness stretches for infinity. And
in-between there is the planet Earth, with its cites of endless
possibilities for battling over our souls.

So what about the character from the title, Nathalie? Well she is
a powerful, beautiful Angel and her task is to make sure she stops evil
being committed. The problem is that the realm hierarchies believe in
the utmost importance that humans should be given as much free will as
possible – direct intervention is frowned upon……And that is frustrating for
Nathalie, very frustrating.

The Deamons too are bound by the same rules, they cannot
intervene directly…..but they can tempt. The finely tailored and flawlessly
handsome Jason, once an Angel but now fallen to become a deadly daemon is
set on one particular target of his own, tempting one individual who
should definitely NOT be tempted…

The story is a wonderful rich tapestry of Sin, temptation and the notion
of whether we actually have, or need free will. It examines thoughts that
all of us have had at one time – if we could stop evil taking shape before
it happens, just how far would we go? If we choose to commit murder to stop
murder, or even just to think about committing a sinful act in itself but
which in turn could stop increased pain and death……does that make us just
as bad, or worse.? And just because we stop someone murdering simply by the
merest act of suggestion, does the fact that they wanted to in the first
place mean that in their soul is damned?

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The characters of *The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie *are wonderfully drawn
and layered. The complexities and contradictions in Nathalie and Jason are
delightfully described and the cast of ‘supporting’ characters are given
plenty of room to breath and eve love – though not always in ways that we
expect. The fact that not some may not be quite as they seem keeps you
guessing right to the end, there is no black and white here.

Sometimes…the best things are done by the worst people and the worst
things done by the best of us.

The are a couple of negatives, though I would hardly call them complaints,
more accurately they could be described merely as minor quibbles. The main
one being that the story occasionally travels a little too fast with a
couple of the episodes feeling ever so slightly rushed – the introduction
of Nathalie’s first ‘understudys’ Blake and Laura being a case in point.
The underworld of Daemonhearth could have benefited from a more detailed
description of the realm. Moreover, the relationship between Nathalie and
Jason, which is the cornerstone of the narrative is merely hinted at. I
would have loved to have read a more detailed back story of their
relationship. The last two points to make up some elements of a future
novel perhaps Mr Brindle?

However, as I mentioned these are but minor quibbles about a story that had
me transfixed from the very first chapter to the heart-stopping finale. I
would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who
has even the most tenuous affection for Fantasy. For those of us that love
fantasy with a true and unrelenting passion, then this will not disappoint.
In fact it may even reaffirm those who may have become jaded and
somewhat disillusioned with fantasy and horror in this post-Twilight
sparkly world that we inhabit.

To those out there who poo poo the idea of anything fantasy or horror
related, then I suggest you read The fall of the Angel Nathalie – it may
just change your mind.

Overall rating 9/10

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*About the Author Jamie Brindle*

“Jamie was brought up by loving ex-hippy parents who sold boomerangs for a
living and had a hedge maze in their back garden. He was home-educated
until the age of fourteen, before being eased gently into the idea that the
world, by and large, expects you to get up earlier than is really civilised
for the majority of your life.

Jamie trained as a biochemist at the University of Sussex. Following
graduation, he realised he would find this deeply boring, and after a brief
sojourn working in a school for deaf children (which he enjoyed much more
than his home-educated prejudices had led him to believe), he studied
medicine at the University of Warwick. He now works as a junior doctor, and
writes speculative fiction mainly as a way to ground himself after long
shifts in the bizarre fantasy world of the NHS.”

You can buy The Fall Of The Angel Nathalie
*HERE*
at
Amazon

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Stuart Anderson

About Stuart Anderson

I can trace my love of horror back to my first experiences of the genre when I was about 9 years old and allowed to say up and watch one of the Universal classics (The son of Frankenstein). Since then I've had an obsession not only with the classic Universal horror, but also Hammer horror and a variety of sub-genres such as slasher and zombie films etc. The current independent horror and sci-fi movie scene is fascinating - so much so I decided 6 months ago to write my own blog (The Fifth Dimension) which full of lovely reviews and interviews. The links to the fb page & blog is https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fifth-Dimension-A-Sci-Fi-Fantasy-Horror-Blog/158402424305832?ref=hl http://stuart66.blogspot.co.uk

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