by Alina Popescu3 out of 5
How far would you go for the one you love? How much of yourself would you sacrifice?
Trapped on a decaying Earth and cut off from the rest of the Universe, humans are no longer allowed to leave their planet. Break this one law and you die: a penalty enforced by flyers, aliens who look like angels of long-lost religions. Michael, the flyers' leader, is the Punisher who carries out every public execution.
Adam, a young human with near-perfect memory, is committed to rebuilding Earth and a true believer in the flyers' dominion. While Adam's support for flyers isn't a secret, his deep love for Michael is. Not even Michael knows, for his kind never take human lovers, and to Adam, they are too far above him to reach.
In his broken and unwelcoming world, Adam's love can only lead to pain, loss, and disaster. Yet there is no force in the huge expanse of stars and galaxies that can stop Adam from following Michael to the end of existence. Not even Adam's own beliefs.
Most of the primitive humans hate the rule of the flyers, but Adam has always admired them. They are the perfection humans should be striving towards, rather than struggle against.
I received a free copy in return for an honest review.
This book is an interesting mix, that really draws you in. There's gay romance, dystopia, sci-fi and angels. I thought it was a really original idea, to have the "angels" as alien beings, with wings (of course).
After humankind has ruined their own world, and spread their destructive behaviour throughout the stars, the flyers/angels are the enforcers to make sure we stick to our own little world. Anyone who attempts to build a ship capable of space travel is immediately killed, to stop people from trying to damage the rest of the universe.
My main problem was the lack of world-building. Reading the book, I have no idea why the Earth has been ruined; when the angels came, and where they came from. I don't know why it's important for humans to leave their world, and what the bigger picture is.
The story is very narrowed in on Adam, and his obsession with the angel Michael.
For the first half of the book, Adam is pro-angel. He goes against the popular undercurrent of rebellion, and tries to persuade those around him to embrace the life they have here, and work on making it better. This is a shock contrast to the second half of the book where he becomes a dark shell, bent on defying the angels.
In both halves, Adam is equally unlikable. To begin with he's overly sensitive, and self-absorbed. He's rather cowardly, too. Later, he's pretty much a psycho. He bullies and intimidates, and feels nothing about the potential death of those that follow him.
For all that, I didn't mind Adam as our central character. Oh, I hated him, he was a whiny/evil dick. But as long as you don't come into this story expecting a sweet romance, it's an interesting insight into a twisted soul.
I think that may be where Angel's Feather falters, it seems to peg Adam as our hero. He's not a hero, he's willing to abandon everyone he's swore to protect, to satisfy getting what he wants.
Oh, and a couple of points in the plot that just really wound me up:
1) It takes Adam many months to repair a tractor engine, to improve farming for the "starving" people. But building a spaceship takes 12 weeks. OK.
2) Dystopian world in ruin. People starving. What the hell is Adam doing in his day-to-day life? As far as I can make out, he spends his time with his mum, or day-dreaming about Michael. What, no job or duties beyond fiddling with a rusty tractor? (I actually working the agricultural sector, and I can tell you that the people doing the back-breaking manual work wouldn't put up with his shit).
So overall, and interesting premise that just lost its way.