Book Review: Sons of the Fallen Series by Jaclyn Osborn

This post includes reviews of the currently available books in the Sons of the Fallen series:

  • Galen (#1)
  • Castor (#2)
  • Daman (#3)
  • Gray (#4)

Galen (Sons of the Fallen #1)

jlgribble.com | book cover of Galen (Sons of the Fallen #1) by Jaclyn Osborn

Paranormal romance featuring angels and demons have always been a mixed bag for me, but Amazon kept throwing the first book of the series into my recommendations list. Since a glance at the reviews showed them mostly positive, I figured I would give it a shot. I’m so glad that I did. I tore through the first book and have already started on the second, despite my usual practice of writing up reviews before continuing the storyline. But I can tell that this world and these characters are already worth the investment of seven books.

Found family is one of my favorite tropes, no matter the genre, and I loved the distinct relationships between each of the Nephilim (half-angel) characters. Galen, the embodiment of Wrath, seemed an interesting choice for the debut installment, and I’ll admit that I thought his pairing with nerdy human Simon might be awkward at best and contrived at worst. Except Osborn used the lightest touch of the “fated mates” concept to depict an evolving relationship that started as purely physical and evolved into genuine care, friendship, and love.

The external plot engaged me as much as the romantic arc. For being the first book in an evolving storyline, this novel featured plenty of drama, action, and real concern that everyone might not make it out okay (even for a character I already know has his own book later). Much of the angels versus demons fantasy element has already been mined to death for plot ideas, but Osborn throws in enough other paranormal elements to flesh out the world rather than clutter it up. I look forward to continuing the adventure with these crazy half-angels as they both fall in love and probably save the world along the way.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Castor (Sons of the Fallen #3)

jlgribble.com | book cover of Castor (Sons of the Fallen #2) by Jaclyn Osborn

Now that Osborn has introduced us to this fascinating world (and underworld), we’re ready for a deeper dive into what we caught glimpses of before. This book has a significantly different vibe from the first in this series, but that’s as it should be. Castor and Kyo, the leads of this book, are vastly different in terms of personality and experience from Galen and Simon.

The “fated mates” trope is once again in play for the romance arc, but I continue to appreciate Osborn’s take on it. The initial connection between Castor and Kyo is pure lust, followed by a reluctantly developing friendship. Neither man recognizes the real bond between them until it’s almost too late. Cue ALL the angst at this point, along with a dark moment that stretches for the last third of the book, leaving me in tears multiple times. Especially since this time, I didn’t have the reassurance of a future book title to know that everyone would make it out alive.

While all this (delicious and sexy) drama is going on, the Nephilim brothers are tasked with their first mission supporting the upcoming war. This is primarily how the reader is introduced to elements of the world beyond Echo Bay as we travel to Greece and the Caribbean to seek out and meet other Nephilim. They all have very different perspectives on their place regarding humanity, showing that the war between angels and demons isn’t as clearcut to the rest of the supernatural societies who exist. We also learn a significant amount about the dragons of this world, and I have the feeling that they will also play a large part in this series’ overarching plot.

Is it too cliché to say that I’m already greedy for more of this world? Luckily, two more books are available in the series!

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Daman (Sons of the Fallen #3)

jlgribble.com | book cover of Daman (Sons of the Fallen #3) by Jaclyn Osborn

Writing middle books is hard, whether for a trilogy or longer series such as this one. Osborn has to balance new point-of-view characters who are vastly different while also progressing the intricate external storyline. So, while I wasn’t as enamored with this particular book as the first two in the series, it was still highly enjoyable and had a lot going for it.

Daman has so far been a mysterious figure, especially considering his grouchy lurking at home versus the way he lets loose at a local club. He was “volun-told” to become part of an arranged marriage at the end of the previous book, but he’s been resigned since childhood to the short end of the stick in life. None of the Nephilim brothers have a particularly easy time with their sins, but Envy seems like a particularly difficult burden to bear. One of the things I love about this series is how each brother has had very different relationships with their sins, which is an especially stark contrast here.

Osborn attempts to balance Daman by having fate bring him his mate. Warrin comes so close to being as full-dimensional as Daman, but he works so much better as a foil to Daman than he does on his own. Since I’m a staunch proponent of romantic heroes being complete characters outside of their relationship, this is the only part of this story that fell flat to me. However, I love how Osborn uses the “fated mate” trope in this series. Fate may bring them together, and their souls may recognize the match in each other, but love and friendship must still develop naturally. Daman finding his happiness in Warrin did a lot toward making up for the bits that I wasn’t as enamored of.

One thing Osborn doesn’t have a problem with is moving along the external plot in a way that does not feel like filler. We’ve reached the chess phase of the upcoming war, with pieces being moved around the board and learning more about the enemy and their potential. I’m waiting for Lucifer’s son to be more than a cardboard villain. Still, I’m definitely intrigued by the roles his fallen angel, Belphagor, and demon, Phoenix, advisor’s roles will play out in the upcoming books.

I started book 4 this morning, and I’m already bummed that I’ll have to wait in real-time for the next books to be released. That’s always the highest praise for a series I can think of.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Gray (Sons of the Fallen #4)

jlgribble.com | book cover of Gray (Sons of the Fallen #4) by Jaclyn Osborn

Osborn once again delivers two vibrant, unique personalities to add to the set of Nephilim and their happily ever afters. Gray is just as much of a cinnamon roll as he appeared in previous books. I enjoyed how Osborn presented that external and internal attitude without losing the thread of regret Gray carries from his past, making him a three-dimensional character. In a way, Mason Hawk is Gray’s perfect fated mate—the former Marine has a similar load. Even without the burden of Sloth, Hawk is where Gray was at the beginning of his life, and it is only the benefit of Gray’s thousands of years that has allowed him to progress to where he is today.

One aspect of Hawk that I particularly appreciated is that he’s 100% human. Osborn has shown that humans are aware of the supernatural in previous books, but Hawk is not one of those living away from society with the dragons or other Nephilim. He, and others like him, hunt monsters. Osborn manages to make Hawk and his ilk reminiscent of the hunters from Supernatural without it feeling like vague fanfiction, which is a good trick since that property has taken over the concept in the fantasy genre in the last 15 years. Hawk’s initial conflict with Gray and his brothers felt realistic and was not easily resolved, which fit his character and contributed to his excellent arc within the story.

Since the beginning, Gray’s father has been one of the big bads of this series, so I was not surprised by how the two are put into direct conflict in this story. That is only a small part of the external drama in this tale, which sprawls across the world and into the angelic realm. One of my both favorite and least favorite aspects of this adventure was how the fight with the fallen angels affects the “real” world, but then how that issue is resolved without changing the general status quo of the world Osborn has created. I can’t fault an author for their creative decision when it doesn’t agree with mine, but I was initially excited that this might turn from a secret- to open-world sort of fantasy.

I’m now caught up with the available books in this series, and I’m looking forward to what comes next. I want to know how all of this conflict is resolved and dive into the heads of the remaining brothers. Bellamy is up next, and Osborn has already sown the seeds of a particularly explosive romance in store for the avatar of Lust.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by J.L. Gribble

Author, Editor, Worldbuilder

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