Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

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Stars: 2.5 out of 5.

This book had promise. I was intrigued by the premise and the worldbuilding, so I dived into the story with a lot of excitement. Unfortunately, it fell short in the end, at least for me.

The world is criminally underutilized and and not fleshed out enough. I understand that it’s hard to dedicate a lot of time to worldbuilding in a 129 pages novella, but a few more details would have helped make this world real. As it stands, there are simply too many questions left unanswered. 

Like are the Elect just normal humans or are they descendants of the angels? The Fallen are descendants of the fallen angels, and they retain some physical attributes of that parentage, but for the Elects, apart from their blue eyes, there doesn’t seem to be any divine treads in their physiology. So are they humans playing pretend to be the eyes and ears to a silent and uninterested God? No clue. 

Also, when is this story taking place? Right after Lucifer’s fall or after Armageddon, when the armies of Hell and Heaven clash on Earth? Is this ancient history or post-apocalypse? I know that it might not be relevant to the story, but inquiring minds want to know. Also, the whole civilization seems very steam-punkish, only instead of steam, they mine the body of a fallen angel, like carrion. 

But I think my biggest issue with this book is that I absolutely hated the protagonist. Granted, none of the characters in this book are saints to say the least, but Celeste takes the cherry on top of the cake. She doesn’t hesitate to lie and cheat and use anyone and everyone around her to obtain what she wants. Sad thing is, what she wants doesn’t exist. She painted a picture of her sister as this innocent damsel that is perpetually in distress, and Celeste is the dragon guarding her. And she tried to lock her sister into that role, then acts all surprised when her sister turns out to be nothing like that.  

She ends up alienating all her friends, even going as far as accusing one of her friend’s lovers of murder just to save her sister. She betrays the trust of her own lover and uses him for her goal, oh and she steals the prized invention of another one of her friends. All this to get what in the end? Nothing. Celeste ends up with everything slipping between her fingers like dust. No family, no friends, no loved ones, no home. And good riddance, I say. It’s hard to root for a protagonist you despise.

PS: I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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