EH Walter, $0.99
God is supposed to be all wise and loving, right? In this story, he banishes Lucifer down not to hell, but to Earth, for who knows what reason. Lucifer’s fall takes a very long time, and when he finally hits Earth all naked and Terminator-like, he is in present day London. He quickly gets recruited to become a prostitute due to his comely appearance, and he soon begins to work his way through a series of women.
I have no idea what to expect at first from EH Walter’s Fallen, since the description of the plot and premise is pretty vague. The first half or so of this one feels like some 1980s sleaze-laden pop culture novel (think: Jackie Collins, Judith Krantz, etc) that offers some filth and dirt, but never really pushing itself over the edge into erotica territory. The last is a good thing, by the way, as our protagonist doesn’t really care for consent and he has a taste for very young girls – he is Satan, after all. The second half edges towards Anne Rice territory, as it becomes much darker and even disturbing as Lucifer decides to form a cult while pretending to be a prophet of God, just to knock up underage girls in order to beget as many children as he can (hoping to sire the next antichrist or something in the process) and give God the most pointed middle finger in the process.
The first half is pretty dull, to be honest, since it reads like some watered down, trashy fantasy soft porn that doesn’t deliver the raunchy stuff where it counts the most. Things become far more entertaining in a creepy-disturbing way as Fallen trundles into its darker second half, but even then, one thing prevents me from getting into the story fully. Lucifer has no problems overwhelming or manipulating his targets into putting out, and even when he has his first genuine setback as part of the denouement, he never seems bothered by it, nor is he held accountable in any way. His character never changes throughout the story – there is no epiphany, no progression, nothing of note that would have made him a more memorable protagonist. He is just in the story to be smug, whips out his willy, has his way with his victim, repeat and rinse for the bulk of the story.
This is a shame as there are some interesting elements especially in the second half of the story. Fallen could have been a marvelous, dark fantasy journey featuring an amoral protagonist, but the execution ends up being on the flat side and things never really take off even by the last page. Still, a great concept and some interesting possibilities to be had here – I really wish this had been a better put-together story.