Thursday, July 16, 2015

Holy and the Fallen (Watchers of Men #2) by Amanda Strong Review

Hey readers, Ethan here on this hot Thursday evening to bring you a review for an incredible young adult novel. Last week I posted my five-star thoughts on book one in the series and I am so excited to continue with this series. On the chopping block this time? Holy and the Fallen, the second novel in The Watchers of Men series by Amanda Strong. Here's a bit about the novel and our author before we get to my thoughts:

With the Northern City under construction, Micah and Eden's lives are about to change again, when Micah is given new directions. It's time for the Watchers, the fallen angels buried in the earth, to make their final choice—serve the captain or choose to remain loyal to Semjaza, the dark leader who led them to their downfall. Micah soon learns, however, that Eden is the one thing Semjaza wants more than anything, and he will go to great lengths to obtain her.

Torn between fulfilling his mission and not wanting to leave the ones he cares about, Micah must learn what it truly means to be the captain's seer. Eden's friends will be tested as they try to protect her, while each one of them discover there may be more to their gifts than they'd thought. In the war between angels and demons, gifts will be discovered and truths uncovered. All the while, one moment of weakness can prove to be the undoing of them all.


Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.                                                          
 Find Amanda Strong

My Thoughts

Last week I posted my review of The Awakener, book one in this series, and raved all about how much I loved the read. Honestly, when it comes down to the bottom line, what really appealed to me about this series was just how unique and different it was. Sure the concept isn't completely unheard of, but Amanda Strong's delivery sure is. I have never seen an author tie in so many literary elements together into one genre and make it work. It truly was a beautiful story. Flash forward a week later and I absolutely devoured the sequel, Holy and the Fallen. If I thought I loved Awakener, there just aren't words to describe this one!

Holy and the Fallen picks up pretty much right where we left our character in Awakener so I can't say much there in an effort to avoid spoilers. When it comes to the plot, Strong really took it a step farther with this second installment. The stakes are much higher and, now that the foundation has been laid, the plot is gripping and non-stop from cover to cover. Action, suspense, and intrigue await you at every turn. I could not have been more pleased with the plot if I tried. I'll admit I was a bit hesitant to see how Strong was going to handle the increased stakes while keeping her story at a clean YA level, but she pulled it off incredibly. 

Strong's writing is truly a labor of love. It's clear in each word how much research and thought she has put into this series. Each little nuance and character trait is important and no detail is too small to be overlooked. Remember everything you read, there are clues everywhere. And just when you think you've got it figured out? BAM! She throws a wrench in your plan. I love the constant state of surprise, it had my itching for more!

As with Awakwner, HatF has a huge cast of characters, and with each passing novel, it's only getting larger. While some of these characters are merely mentioned in passing, each is of vital importance to the plot. Don't worry, it's nothing an attentive reader cannot handle, but just a warning. Unlike Awakener, this story isn't just told from Micah and Eden's stories, we get chapters devoted to all of our MCs. With such a huge cast it's really interesting to see so many things going on at the same time.

Strong really ups the ante with her settings in HatF. The entire story has turned into a worldwide journey to build the Golden Cities and save civilization. From America to Europe and more-to-come, Strong puts such great description in her setting that I merely had to close my eyes and I was there in the vineyards of central Europe, grazing through the cornfields of DeKalb County, Illinois. Each setting is beautifully written to set the tone for the storyline with great accuracy. 

This series deals with a huge plethora of themes, but the primary one that is reoccurring is spirituality. As you can read in the synopses for this series, these novel rely heavily on religious retellings, themes, and stories from Christianity. While this may be a turnoff for some readers, I was blown away. Strong was able to take a vast amount of inspiration from religious texts and transform them into a young adult, supernatural tale for the ages. It's by no means a church sermon, but readers will find themselves immersed in the history of the sources she quotes and may send you on an adventure of your own. I love how Strong is able to influence such thoughts with her words. 

If you read my review of Awakener, you'll remember that I noted how 'clean' it was. That was my largest complaint of the story. I was really blown away to read how much more 'mature' HatF was. The stakes are higher, the romance element is more true-to-life, there is a bit of language, the tone is darker, it's definitely on-par with what I would expect from a story in this genre designation. 

With all this being said, Strong has already gone on to say that there will be at least two more novels in this series. I have no knowledge as to when we can expect more from The Watchers of Men series, but I do know I'll be first in line to see what Strong has in store next for Micah, Eden, and the gang! 

Another grand-slam from Strong, Holy and the Fallen will leave you on your knees, begging for more! A gripping sequel full of emotion from cover to cover: you won't be able to set this one down! All-in-all, I loved this novel and it should come as no surprise that I am granting this one another near-perfect 5-star review. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to shake up their TBR with something a bit different. Fans of YA, supernatural, and uplifting stories will find Holy and the Fallen to be right up their alley!


Check out my 5-star review of book 
one by clicking the cover below.

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Holy and the Fallen by Amanda Strong. As you can see, I loved every second it it. That being said, I have absolutely no idea when the next installment will be hitting the shelves, but you can best believe I'll be checking it out. Special shout out to our author Amanda Strong for being amazingly amazing, go give her a like and say hello! Add this one to your TBR, today!

Until next time, Happy Reading!



  1. Ethan can I just say thank you for how well thought out your reviews are!! I really appreciate that you take your time explaining what works (or doesn't work) for you and why. You write beautiful reviews!!! Thank you for this one of HATF!! :) I couldn't be more happy with it!!!

  2. Ethan can I just say thank you for how well thought out your reviews are!! I really appreciate that you take your time explaining what works (or doesn't work) for you and why. You write beautiful reviews!!! Thank you for this one of HATF!! :) I couldn't be more happy with it!!!