Toss me in the deep end: This story starts like a boulder delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. By the time you reach the end of the first scene it’s already started rolling down the mountain, dragging you with it.
The art of a character: When a story progresses quickly (and has virtually no stasis to boot) character development often suffers as a result. That’s not the case here. The people who populate this story have strong motivations and are intriguing enough to capture your interest long enough to earn your empathy.
The price of magic: A witch’s use of magic is limited by their own inherent ability or power. When their power ebbs from continued use it has to be replenished, otherwise it causes physical damage. A simple concept, but it raises the stakes.
Dark and gritty: The big bad guys in this book are sick bastards. They take sadistic pleasure from the abuse they dish out, but the author only elaborates on this once. It could’ve been just as lame as fade to black sex scenes, but instead the author uses suggestion, insinuations, and the character’s emotions to vaguely fill in the blanks. This tactic relies on the reader’s imagination and it’s very effective.
What I didn’t like:
Deity mishmash: I’m not sure why the Judeo-Christian lore comes into this story. It’s not that it doesn’t work, or even that its inaccurate—there are Occult branches that feature biblical elements—but it strikes me as a little odd that it enters into a story where the witches are aligned with gods/goddesses/demons that are older than the concept of angels. To be fair, this could just be because I recently read a book involving angels and demons, and I generally prefer to have a big break between books with religious elements.
Last of the Fallen is a lean, mean, attention grabber of a book. I’m genuinely impressed with this author. I noticed some typos and slightly odd formatting (paragraph spaces as well as a first line indent which is a little large on my phone screen) but this is one of those instances where the book is so good that you'd read it even if it had been written in crayon on scraps of cardboard.