Review – Avenging Angel (The Fallen #4) by Cynthia Eden

Avenging Angel  cover image
Publisher: Brava
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher


With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.

Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I have read and enjoyed all of Eden’s Fallen series. I was lucky enough to review two of the previous installments, Angel of Darkness and Angel in Chains so I was eager to pick up this fourth installment. Eden has created a huge world that she continues to flesh out with each series and each story that shares this world. Not only does she expand the world but she also increases what is at stake for the supernaturals. Most of them were trying to live undiscovered by humans but that was becoming more difficult as word of new highly addictive drugs specifically for the supernaturals spread. Living hidden also became more complicated because of some messy power grabs by a few supernaturals that resulted in an increase of fatal confrontations. Because Avenging Angel takes place immediately following the events of Angel in Chains this review will contain some spoilers for previous books.

Marna was a Death Angel who really didn’t like her job but she continued to work as directed. During one of her soul retrieval trips she was attacked by a powerful rogue shifter who cut off her wings so he could both produce Angel Dust and eventually have his own pet angel. She was rescued and doctored by two of his sons but was told that since she lost her wings she was considered Fallen. Typically to become one of The Fallen, the angel breaks the rules and literally falls from heaven with his wings burning off. They land on earth with a scarred back, patch memory, no power and are a target for anything stronger then they are. As discovered in previous installments, if they survived long enough they regained both but their wings and therefore heaven were forever lost to them. The implication was that provided you didn’t break any egregious rules you would never fall but Marna’s situation showed that things were continuing to change for the angels and their status amongst the supernaturals. I loved watching Marnie turn from someone who was motivated by hatred, anger, and focused on regaining her power so she could make those who ruined her life pay into someone who once again cared, trusted, and could protect herself from just about any threat. She went from being considered delicate, weak, and in need of sheltering to a force of her own.

Poor Tanner, talk about coming from a seriously messed up family. His father was a sociopath who deliberately took and abused women who had power so he could control them and their children as he tried to dominate supernatural society through fear. Tanner took the exact opposite path and tried to protect the weaker and innocent by becoming a police officer. He rescued Marna and did his best to watch over her from a distance as she recovered from the attack. Unfortunately, when they met again, he had to arrest her for two vicious murders because of very vivid eye-witness descriptions. Tanner’s drive as a protector meant that he also became a target for whomever or whatever was trying to frame Marna. Tanner kept finding himself in situations when he had to make a choice to trust someone or when someone tried to make him choose who he would protect. I felt for the internal torment he must have experienced each time because regardless of his choice it would tear him apart because it went against his nature.

I enjoyed Tanner and Marna’s interaction together as well as how they pulled in other characters from previous installments and some new ones. Eden is able to give equal attention to world-building and character growth which is one of the reasons why I will read just about anything she writes. She is also able to keep the action moving without confusing the reader with the various moving pieces. In this particular case she provided two different but equally compelling views as Marna and Tanner tried to survive supernatural politics. Tanner’s character transition was more of learning who he could and could not trust. To me in a way given his past history this was a very cruel lesson to relearn but watching him keep his internal essence just made me admire him even more. I thought Marna’s journey was probably the most drastic of all of The Fallen because she didn’t fall as a result of breaking angelic law but lost her wings while surviving a vicious attack. She went from relative innocence and a feeling of invulnerability to the exact opposite and had to find her way back to some sort of equilibrium.

Eden once again provided a very satisfying read that tied up threads of this particular couple but she added a few others that really have me wondering how much more can this world take before it all implodes. The increasing numbers of Fallen angels are making me wonder if they are just a symptom of something bigger. That tied with the increasing vulnerability and targeted attacks once they are Fallen also make me wonder about the underlying cause. Like always I look forward to seeing what Eden releases next and how she continues to expand her world.

I give Avenging Angel a B+

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4 thoughts on “Review – Avenging Angel (The Fallen #4) by Cynthia Eden”

  1. @Lexi: Yes I thought that was very fascinating. Marna also undergoes some other significant changes but they were too spoilery for me to post on the blog *grin*.

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