War of Wings by Tanner McElroy
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Source: Review Copy from NetGalley
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The battle for Paradise is about to begin... In the beginning Heaven was perfect. All of the angels lived in complete harmony and bliss. Gabriel skated through existence on the many simple pleasures Heaven had to offer, Michael led the worker angels proudly, and Lucifer was the highest of the cherubim as well as the minister of music right under God. With one question everything changed. When God’s highest angel placed reason over faith to corrupt Heaven, a secret movement separated loved ones into two sides. After Lucifer discovered the power of the seven deadly sins and used them to empower angels, the two sides violently collided in the first war of all time, The War of Wings.
When I got a review copy of this book, I didn't know what to expect. I mean, obviously it was about the fall of Lucifer, but beyond that I was in the dark. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by War of Wings. I only read the first chapter of Paradise Lost in high school (I know, the shame!), but I feel like this is a more approachable version. Don't get me wrong—I love the classics—but sometimes I don't have the patience to sit through them.
War of Wings is a seamless interpretation of the Fall and integrates a unique perspective. I'll be honest, I'm not up to date on my Sunday School teachings, but I think it is interesting that one of the main perspectives is from Gabriel and not Michael. Granted, when I think of Gabriel I think of Richard Speight Jr. in Supernatural, and that definitely warps my interpretation.
But Gabriel is a refreshing protagonist, given his juxtaposition to Lucifer and Michael. He is humble (relatively) and disbelieving of what is occurring in Heaven. He is not resolute in his beliefs at the beginning; quite contrary, he is tempted like most angels to join Lucifer. He is very much the "Average Joe" of Heaven; so to see the events of the Fall from his point of view is unique in its being ordinary.
Along the same vein of thought, Lucifer's point of view was also compelling. As someone who typically needs to "see it to believe it," it is very easy for me to follow Lucifer's logic. Don't get me wrong, he is still the bad guy, but I can sympathize with him. His shift from discontent to hatred of God is subtle at first. It is easy to see why so many angels choose to follow him... But then he starts going off the deep end. Like exhibiting classics signs of being a psychopath. It went South pretty quickly. So, ultimately the reader comes out on the right side.
One of the aspects that interests me the most is the fact the angels seem so...human. It's something I've never considered. When I imagine angels, I imagine stoic beings unwavering in their convictions. So, to see angels fight, joke, and love, just like humans, is a little shocking for me. But I enjoyed it. It makes the characters much more relatable.
In short, I greatly enjoyed this story. It is beautifully written and endlessly fascinating. I would definitely recommend to lovers of Angel Lore!
About the Author
Tanner McElroy was raised in Dallas, Texas in Lake Highlands. While gaining the knowledge from the Bible from his mother and learning a deep love of epic stories from his father, he was able to combine the two in War of Wings.
McElroy has worked with a talented team. His editors included Natalie Shaw Revell, the CEO of Crystal Frog Marketing, Genevieve Van de Merghel Ph. D., who works closely with Adducent, Inc., Tim Boswell Ph. D., and Janet Harris Ph. D., editor of Brown Books Publishing and teacher at SMU in Dallas. He has also worked closely with renowned concept artist of Montpellier, France, Bastien Grivet, who has done projects for many films and video games and The Old State House of Design and Marketing in order to come up with concepts, images, maps, and cover art. His brother, Travis McElroy, has been paramount in the process all the way from implementation to production.