Angel Down

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
394 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Angels are not only a staple of Abrahamic religions, but they have permeated pop culture so that they are favorite topics in books and films. Micky O’Brady puts a new twist on these entities and places them in a new mold in Angel Down. Her heroine, Lea Akiyama, a seventeen-year-old girl, is among the many who witnessed the arrival of the Founders ten years ago. The Founders are black-winged aliens that resemble angels. They claim to have come in peace and to help the Lord’s children develop their full potential. Yet the Founders do not score high when it comes to interpersonal skills for to touch them is sacrilegious and punishable by death. This is how Lea lost her parents. Under the Founders, the world has fallen into blind servitude, something that Lea and the Resistance refuse to adhere to. When a Founder named Jamie is beaten up and Lea saves him, she violates the rule of non-contact. Jamie appears to be different from his fellow Founders, yet Lea still feels like she is walking on a tightrope, unsure if she should trust him completely. Jamie decides to join the Resistance as he is sick and tired of serving the Lord that he has never seen or cared about. Lea and Jamie will soon discover that the Founders are harboring a secret that will unleash Armageddon on Earth.

Like most young adult fiction novels, the young protagonist narrates the tale. Lea has a tragic past from losing her parents, but her tone is pure sunshine in most cases as if she has learned to embrace her tragedy. As for Jamie, her love interest, O’Brady has done to angels what Stephenie Meyer has done to vampires. Micky O’Brady, however, explores Lea and Jamie’s relationship on a more grounded level, as their romance blooms at a time when humanity is on the brink of a great rebellion. Another amazing thing here is the divided feelings among humans about their receptiveness to the Founders’ rule, much like our differing stand on the dogmas of organized religion. Angels here are trying to save us from our own folly, but there seems to be a catch. The secret of the Founders that will determine the fate of humanity is something that you need to discover—a secret that makes Angel Down a must-read.

Cecelia Hopkins

Angel Down by Micky O’Brady starts when angels arrive on Earth in a spaceship, taking control of the human population and calling themselves “Founders”. The lead angel “Luke” strikes down Lea’s parents, leaving her an orphan. On the way home one evening, Lea sees a group beating a victim. She intervenes and accidentally touches Jamie, who is a founder. Marked by the touch, Lea hides, but Jamie seeks her out. The pair is blackmailed into joining the resistance and spying on the founders, attending Founder social functions, and eventually discovering that Luke’s master plan involves using the humans as fodder in his war with God. After a sizzling confrontation at the “Founder bowl”, Jamie is taken captive by the watchers and Lea finds allies in another resistance group.

Angel Down by Micky O’Brady is a paranormal romance with action-adventure elements that appears eminently suited to the young adult audience. Angel Down includes the thrill of a forbidden romance, the excitement of reconnaissance, and the satisfaction of suspicions confirmed. O’Brady cleverly represents a class system based on inequity and institutionalized abuse of power, together with the struggle to right ancient wrongs. The confrontation between Jamie, Lea, and the Founder assemblage is dramatic, followed by the surprising sacrifice of an unexpected character. The characters created by Micky O’Brady are likable and complex, developing throughout the novel. Angel Down is full of surprises that Micky O’Brady cleverly unveils as the story progresses, and includes clever nuances that will make the story appeal during second and subsequent readings.

Ruffina Oserio

Humanity has been conquered by the Founders – angel-like creatures who arrived in a spaceship. Seventeen-year-old Lea Akiyama has witnessed the entire event and she knows that nothing will ever be the same again. The Founders are the “untouchables” and Lea knows their commandments better than anyone, especially the Eleventh: “Thou Shalt Not Touch Those Descended from The Heavens.” Breaking that commandment has ensured the death of her mom and dad. Touching Jamie, even if it meant saving his life, is a mistake Lea regrets. Everyone knows there is no escape for her. Jamie is the one who is supposed to kill her. But things change, and she finds herself attracted to him, and both of them are entangled in the human resistance. The discovery of the Founders’ greatest secret is a strong awakening for Lea, a weapon she can use to destroy the Founders’ grip on humanity. Her life is in danger, even from Jamie for whom she is quickly falling. Can she trust him?

Angel Down by Micky O'Brady is a compelling meld of science fiction and the supernatural, featuring memorable characters and a conflict that takes readers by the scruff of the neck and defies them to put the book down. This is an imaginative story that does not lack realism. Told from the perspective of Lea and in an exciting narrative voice, it seduces the reader right from the beginning. Micky O'Brady creates a story with a female protagonist that readers will care about. In fact, Micky O'Brady is able to open a path to escapism so cleverly that I crossed the threshold unknowingly. It is the kind of craftsmanship that elevates the art of storytelling to a worthy calling. I enjoyed the strong plot points, the excellent writing, the emotional depth of the characters, and the unforeseeable twists in the plot. Angel Down is a great read for anyone looking for an engaging science fiction story with hints of the supernatural.