Angels are falling from the sky. Each one broken and bloody after their long plummet to the earth, their wings bent. There have been over eighty in less than a year and no one knows where they are coming from or why. And none has survived the fall.
Jaya has been uprooted by her father and taken to Edinburgh in search of answers. Along with her little sister, Rani, she is forced to watch her dad’s obsession with the Beings take him over. Still dealing with her grief from her mother’s recent death and the sudden disappearance of her girlfriend, Jaya wants nothing to do with her father’s theories.
Then Jaya witnesses a fall. And the angel is alive.
I wish I had liked this more. I think if I was a lot younger (and angels weren’t my least favourite supernatural being) I would have. I feel like it skews younger in its writing, more so than its 16/17 year old protagonist. The writing is very simple, as is the plot, to say it covers a lot of serious themes. The Beings are also used more to explore the main character’s feelings and motivations than being central to the point. You never find out where they’ve come from or why they are falling and the one who Jaya finds (and irritatingly calls Teacake – part of the ‘are you kidding me how old is she??’ problem) never fully communicates with her or her friends. She’s more than a cipher than a real person, and that’s a shame.
But it was nice to read a YA book not set in America with a white protagonist (Jaya’s mother was British-Sri Lankan), and for her to have not one but two possible female love interests. One of those, Allie, suffers from cystic fibrosis, which doesn’t seem to be mentioned much in literature. Plus there’s Jaya’s grief over the loss of her mother and figuring out her new relationship with her father. And a crazy angel cult to deal with. I think that might be part of the problem. There’s so much packed in here that there’s not enough room to deal with all of it fully, so the cult parts seem a bit silly and rushed, like it’s just trying to add drama and suspense because it has to, and the romance doesn’t really get going to the last couple of pages, so you don’t get to see any of it. I don’t need the angels/beings to have an explanation, using supernatural elements to explore other things without excessive explanation can be and has been done well by other writers, this just didn’t work for me overall.