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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review of author Skyler White's "and Falling, Fly"

The angel of desire is damned . . .

Olivia is a vampire bored with modernity. Tattooist,
boyfriend, black-metal singer: everyone you don’t love
tastes the same. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered
for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O’Shaughnessy is a
neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions.
When his research and her despair collide in Ireland’s L’Otel
Mathillide – a subterranean hell of beauty, demons and
dreams – rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and
damnation that threatens to destroy them both.


VampirePhiles review of and Falling, Fly

I had the pleasure of reading Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly on an uninterrupted 10 hour train ride (5 hrs in each direction), and I was very glad I had had that time to delve into her world. And what an intriguing world it was.

Honestly and Falling, Fly is unlike any other vampire based genre novel I have read. A captivating concept of a world in which: “Every vampire is a fallen angel of desire, and we nourish our deathless beauty on what we fleeting inspire in mortals who live, but briefly.” (p.16).

A place where science, mythology and magic meet and create an interesting, thought provoking meld.

Skyler weaves a world that is, at the same time beautiful yet gritty, beginning in the first few chapters in America, then continuing across the Atlantic to Ireland in the hell that is L’Otel Mathillide.

Centering on the two complex protagonists, Olivia (the fallen angel of desire) and Dominic (the self medicating neuroscientist), and each ones quest for understanding, acceptance and freedom.

Dominic seeking to understand himself “mentally”: Is he crazy? Why does he have so many memories of lives previously lived? Can he erase these memories with the skills of science?

Olivia, is seeking to be understood “physically”, and once seen for what she really is (a fallen angel, now vampire) through eyes that are not blinded by her beauty, she can thereby gain her freedom from the trap of unfeeling mortal flesh.

I found that, and Falling, Fly put to question the notion of the superficiality of desire. Are we only considered desirable, if we meet the requirements of what is dictated or expected? And if one does not fit into it, are we thus damned, undesirable and unworthy?

Furthermore the language in which Skyler writes evokes a wonderful sense of lyric and poetry (that was not lost on this fellow poet). Her use of metaphor helps to drive the story along in the minds eye, conjuring images that add to the uniqueness of the novel. For example: “Tonight, I will hunt with Adam’s rage on ruined shoes, and I will feed full-tooth. Desire denied consumes.” (p.22)

As well, personally, I like Skyler’s approach with the points of view in the novel. Using the “I” point of view for the strong female persona of Olivia, yet not over shadowing (and giving equally to) the voice of the male protagonist Dominic.

To quote Julie Kenner (USA Today bestselling author): “Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly puts a unique and intelligent spin on the vampire legend… will have readers turning pages… and thinking about the book long after they’ve reached the end.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Skyler White's and Falling, Fly makes for a provocative and intriguing debut, that takes you on an intellectual ride, that's well worth reading!


Be sure to join VampirePhile later on this week, when author Skyler White will be stopping by for an interview.

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