After Twilight and all of its…something…graced print, it became very clear that there was a hungry market for paranormal romance. As such, several soulless clones rose up to follow the footsteps of the original the way that a zombie follows a necromancer. All of these books follow the same basic pattern: An ordinary high school girl that has always been somehow different than everyone else comes to a new school. There she meets a dark, brooding, attractive guy who both follows her around and gives her signals that he’s not interested in her. Eventually, she finds out that he is some kind of humanoid supernatural creature, and they both angst about their love and brood together for a few books in which a pointless love triangle is set up, and some random somewhat evil guy is made up in order to give something like a plot to the trash.

One of the first books to follow into the footsteps of SMeyer’s joy was called Fallen by Kate Lauren. As she’s never written anything before this, it’s pretty safe to say that she was either a Twihard who got inspired or a pragmatist who saw a good money making scheme. I’m going to guess Twihard.

This book got fairly popular and pretty much launched the fallen angel romance genre. With all of it’s smug religion fail and utter lack of anything that resembles research. It’s even got a movie in the works by Disney. Which I am very, very disappointed in Disney for doing.

So, let’s dive in.

Cover Impression

The cover also launched something: the girl’s in prom dresses for no real reason that most YA paranormal romances seem to think is necessary. So, we have a girl who looks like she’s never seen the sun in her life, or is just a statue, with her face in her hands wearing a gothic prom dress. The dress looks like it’s trying to be Victorian and failing because as even the most causal observer would tell you, there was no such thing as a completely strapless Victorian dress. Our goffic weeping chick has long black hair to go with her dead pale skin and black dress. She’s standing in what seems to be a winter woods with some crows around her for no reason. Above is a quote from P.C. Cast, a charming mother/daughter team that seems to think that being ugly is sufficient reason to die, recommending the book, and the words: “What would you know if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours” or something to that effect on the back.

I’d get a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, rant about what a jerk he was and how I was better off without him and work on my next chapter/review/whatever.

Thank you.

Plot

From Amazon:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—and goes out of his way to make that very clear—she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

A word to the wise, something that calls itself the ‘ultimate love story’ is pretty much doomed to failure.

Here’s my recap:

Taking out the pointless prolog, Luce1 Price is a girl who’s been accused of arson. It’s said she started a fire which killed her crush/boyfriend. (I’m not sure what he was.) Like any good YA parents, her parents would never believe their daughter’s claims of innocence, even though she’s never shown any pyromaniac tendencies before, and send her off to a school called Sword and Cross. This pretentiously named place is a reform school where students have to wear black for no reason, no one can ever leave the property or contact their families more than once a week, parents aren’t allowed to really know about the conditions, and all of this is totally fine.

Luce claims that she’s innocent and it’s the fault of the anthropomorphic shadows that she sees that caused the fire. But she can’t tell anyone this because they would think that she’s insane. This makes sense. Still, why wouldn’t her own parents at least believe that their daughter might not be guilty?

Walking through the halls on the first day, Luce comes face to face with a guy named Daniel Grigori. Who is a badboy and breaking the school’s all black dress cold by wearing a red scarf. The horror.

He flips her the bird on first sight.

Swept off her feet by this sign of love, she begins stalking him relentlessly.

Like most clones, there is very little actual plot in this novel, and the sentence above could easily account for three-fourths of what is going on. But I’m feeling sadistic, so I’m going to recap.

So, Luce goes to her first, painstakingly described class, and ends up getting flirted with right off the bat by a guy named Cam…who looks like Harry Potter. Black hair, thin, emerald green eyes. It’s Harry Potter. Luce’s roommate, Arrianne, a self-proclaimed psychopath, obviously is taking notes from that girl in The Roommate and proclaims that Luce is ‘hers’. This disturbs me.

Not one to care about the psycho roommate, Cam continues flirting with Luce, who is more interested in seeing if Daniel, the guy who flipped her off two seconds ago, is looking at her. Later, Luce meets our Scary Sue, named Mary Margaret2 AKA Molly Zane, who antagonizes Luce for no real reason and ends up getting meatloaf all over Luce. Luce angsts. I would feel more sorry for her if she had an actual personality.

Later, Luce goes to a party3 and realizes that Daniel might be seeing someone else, a blonde (the horror) girl named Gabrielle (Gabbe) Givens.4 She goes off to angst. Later on, she meets a girl named Pennyweather (Penn) Van Syckle-Lockwood. I am not making this up. The two become friends and start to stalk Daniel together. They make plans to go through his personal files.

Meanwhile, Luce is still stalking Daniel in person. They have a swimming class which is apparently built in what used to be a Catholic Church, and the students call it Our Lady of Fitness. This allows Luce to talk about how enlightened she is as an agnostic. Talk about tolerant. Luce sees a shadow that messes up her little swimming race, and she and Daniel manage to have a conversation about how Daniel knows things about Luce that he shouldn’t. Such as the fact that she has ‘always’ been a good swimmer. Luce feels a connection, and Daniel thinks she needs to get over herself.

I agree.

This conversation repeats itself a few times at a lake on the grounds and in the graveyard that also exists on the grounds. Do you think that Kate was trying to be gothic? Still, Daniel himself has very little actual presence in the first four fifths of the novel. He rarely interacts with Luce, and while the whole plot revolves around him, it’s mostly Luce’s obsession that keeps it this way.

So, after being assigned a project to learn about their genealogies, Luce, who claims to be smart, decides to forget learning about her own genealogy, and starts to learn about Daniel’s. What she learns with Penn’s help is that Daniel got arrested for jaywalking, and that someone named D. Grigory published a book about fallen angels, here called ‘Watchers’ like the Book of Enoch calls them. Hrm, I wonder what this could mean…

But the library doesn’t have the book! How could this be! Even the librarian, Miss Sophia, the only teacher that Luce likes, doesn’t know. While she’s sitting around the library, thinking of what to do after Penn leaves her, a fire starts for no reason in the library. She is trapped with only her and a quiet guy named Todd5 who manages to save her, but breaks his neck in the process.

Luce wakes up in the hospital, talks to Arrianne and Gabbe, who so far have had no real point in this story. They are about as flippant with Todd’s death as everyone was in the death of Elliot the ugly guy in House of Night6. Luce decides that they’re right. Todd was just a minor character, so who cares. The police appear, and, as they’re in a cruddy YA novel, are all suspicious and mean to the ‘totally innocent’ Luce. Her parents turn up for no reason other than to say ‘see, see, she’s not Bella! Her family lives together!’

At the funeral of the guy who saved her she goes to stalk Daniel, who hints that he does really like her. Luce is happy.

I feel sorry for Todd. He had so little presence in the novel, but I actually morn him slightly.

Cam, the rival, decides to get her to skip class with him and go have a picnic in the cemetery a week or so later. They sit, talk about normal things and sound like actual teenagers for once. Cam says he wants to meet up with Luce at some point when they’re supposed to all be in their rooms. Luce says sure. Despite the fact that she’s obviously more interested in Daniel. That night, instead of calling her worried family or so called best friend who never appears in the novel, she decides to meet up with Cam, who somehow manages to fool all the security cameras and gets a friend to smuggle her out to meet him in the nearby town. Why he doesn’t meet her himself is beyond me. Luce gets taken to a bar where Cam is kind of sleazy, gets in a fight for no real reason other than to show how bad he is for Luce and to murder his prior characterization. Luce leaves and is suddenly picked up by Daniel who is now channeling Edward Cullen and stole a car to get her.

Cam runs after her, and Luce is given a moment of Significant Choice between Cam and Daniel Obviously, she chooses Daniel. He, still challenging Edward, calls Luce a silly little girl. Luce has some awkward exposition where she suddenly gives her grades and ambition to be a psychiatrist which is never mentioned before and never will be mentioned again, and finally Daniel admits that they do know one another but that every time that he meets her, she dies before she’s legal, and basically admits that he’s one of the Fallen. Then he kisses her.

Now this is what I call a romantic first date.

The next day, Miss Sophia, the librarian, tells Luce that she found the book that Daniel’s supposed ancestor wrote, and when she looks at the author’s picture (surprise, surprise) it’s Daniel with a girl who looks just like Luce!7 I am not impressed.

Luce doesn’t get this. The Fallen thing, I mean. She’s alright with the past lives. Cam gets Luce to see her again, and tells her that she’s making a mistake with Daniel to do avail since she’s already kissed him and apparently that’s as good as being married in this world. Then he gets her to kiss him and tries to rape attack make out with do something to her and then Gabbe turns up and saves her from something.

She goes to see Daniel in the auditorium with Penn, and Gabbe and Arianne are waiting for her. They all tell her that they’re good Fallen, and that she gets reborn every time that she dies. Cam appears with a bunch of shadow monsters, reveals he’s an evil Fallen, and he and Daniel basically start fighting over Luce with Arrianne and Gabbe helping.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Miss Sophia turns up and makes Luce and Penn follow her, while the Fallen have it out with one another. We never see this fight. After all, that would be violent and not good for our little darlings. Violence is bad. The messed up themes of this book are perfectly alright though.

Penn shields Luce from an attacking shadow monster. Miss Sophia leads them both into the gym8 and commits the Unfortunate Implication ridden act of killing Penn, the only human character in the cast. Miss Sophia reveals that she too is an angel. Only she’s not Fallen and she wants to kill Luce so that Daniel will suffer. Or something. The story isn’t overly clear on why she wants to kill Luce. I think Kate thinks she’s being mysterious. Either that or at this point, my mind was so overcome with stupid that I just didn’t care anymore.

So, Sophia’s been behind a lot of Luce’s past live’s deaths, and she says that this time, because her parents are super rare agnostics and Luce hasn’t been baptized, she will die permanently but she also has a spark of individuality. Which is very tolerant of people and ideas that Kate doesn’t agree with.

Sophia also has this utterly awesome line right before she’s about to stab Luce:

“When you die tonight – you die. That’s it. Kaput. In this lifetime you’re nothing more than you appear to be: a stupid, selfish, ignorant, spoiled little girl who thinks the world lives or dies on whether she gets to go out with some good-looking boy at school. Even if your death wouldn’t accomplish something so long-awaited, glorious, and grand, I’d still relish this moment, killing you…”

I admit it. I cheered, and I was in the car at the moment going, and everyone looked back at me like I was insane. But, Kate, when your reader reacts like this to a line that we’re supposed to shake our heads at and go ‘NO!!! U DON UNDERSTAND HER!!1one!1!elevenzies!’ you have a major problem.

Tragically, Daniel saves Luce and kills Sophia off-screen. He explains that she’s in some extremist group in Heaven that no one had taken seriously. This might be interesting if it had happened about four hundred pages of plotless drivel earlier.

At any rate, Daniel decides that Luce is in too much danger to stay at the school, and Luce goes off in a stolen plane to some unknown island without a thought in her pretty little head about just what her parents and best friend are going to do, what this is going to look like to the police, why she’s a target, or just how this is going to affect her future. The book ends with Daniel in full Edward mode, watching Luce sleep while Cam appears and solidifies that there’s going to be a pointless love triangle in future books.

Excuse me while I go vomit.

Characters

Unlike the Mortal Instruments series, Kate isn’t trying to live up to some kind of dream. Like the Mortal Instruments, she throws characters around, gives them almost no real point to the book, and calls it good. There are a lot of characters who come in this this book and few, if any, have any point. I’ll talk about the ones that actually existed for a reason. Let’s take a look at our cookie cutouts, shall we?

Lucille (Luce) Price is our braindead heroine for this novel. Most of the time, she’s pretty bland, but where Daniel is concerned, this girl is downright creepy. I can understand why her parents thought that there was something wrong with her. How many mentally healthy girls start following everywhere, break into the files of, look up everything about, and do nothing but think about a guy who has on no uncertain terms told her he wasn’t interested in her? Luce has plenty of informed traits, like being smart while she does a lot of really, really dumb things, and Kate beats into us three times in the book that Luce is agnostic and this somehow makes her more tolerant of other people while she makes intolerant comments about those of her classmates, who she assumes are all churchgoing. We’re told about how kind and humble she is, but really, she’s about as arrogant and unfeeling as Bella Swan. She actually dismisses the fact that a guy died to save her a few minutes after she hears about it as not a big deal. She is irredeemable.

Daniel Grigori really doesn’t have much presence in this book until the end, and he really has about as much personality as your average Ken doll. He is there to be handsome, desirable, and love Luce. Kind of pathetic really. I suppose that in that way, he’s superior to Edward Cullen, as his presence is so non-existent that it’s hard to actually dislike him throughout most of the book. Also, for the first part of the book, he reacts like a somewhat normal person to the fact that Luce is stalking him: by at least acting like he thinks she’s insane. There isn’t a whole lot more to say. Unfortunately, the moment that he shows an actual presence, it’s really had to tell him apart from the many other Edward clones.

Cam who doesn’t seem to have a last name in this book, is our rival. Unfortunately, he’s about ten times more likable since he actually has a presence in the novel. Apparently, Kate realized this, as she suddenly derailed his personality into being a jerk and making Luce do things that weren’t good for her, like sneak out of school. Same thing with his suddenly being an evil Fallen. It just seemed to sudden and forced that it felt like Kate had just realized that Luce and Cam had more chemistry than Luce and Daniel did.

Molly is our Scary Sue9 for the novel. She doesn’t really seem to have a reason to hate Luce. She just does. She also warns her away from Daniel for some reason, and makes fun of Luce’s name during a reading of Paradise Lost to note the fact that Luce and Lucifer sound alike. I found it very astute of her. Like most of the characters in this book, she only has few scenes, and really doesn’t play much of a role in the overall story. It’s revealed that she’s an Evil Fallen, but it doesn’t really matter all that much to the ‘story’ of the book either way. She contributes very little, other than a little angst, and disappears once there is something resembling a plot in the novel.

Penn the unfortunately named is the only human who is one of Luce’s friends. She’s also the only one of Luce’s friends to die. This is not a good thing. It leads me to think there is some kind of anti-human discrimination going on. She’s the daughter of the dead caretaker, is only allowed to go to school because of that, and because she’s with a bunch of psychos and delinquents, she learns as much as she can about them and seems to use that as leverage for them to leave her be. In good hands, her character had potential. Unfortunately, she was only used as a means for Luce to learn more about Daniel. Though, Penn did have one moment where she pointed out the Luce was in fact stalking the guy, and that did kind of make me like her.

Miss Sophia is our villain for the novel. Though she doesn’t really do a whole lot. Through most of the novel, she’s a bland teacher like all the other bland teachers so it…feels odd when she suddenly becomes the villain. We’re told that she’s a part of an extremest group of angels that no one took all that seriously until now. Apparently, she doesn’t like the Fallen. Her motives are very vague at best. She is also one of the most likeable characters in the book simply because she calls Luce out for acting as if the the world revolved around her and her ‘true love’. Luce used that phrase. True love.

Love Triangle

Yes. And it is terribly handled.

If you are going to make your male protagonist dark and mysterious through most of the book, it’s not a good idea to build up his rival. The triangle is treated as one, but in reality, I don’t know enough about Daniel to really care one way or the other about the guy. Just because he’s tall, blonde and brooding doesn’t mean much.

Also, because Daniel acted like a jerk when you first meet him, I forever kind of think of him as ‘the guy who gave the main character the finger’ and not much else.

Setting

An old military academy from the Civil War turned Reform School where cameras watch the students’ every move, and no one’s allowed to tell their parents what things are really like is interesting. In the hands of a capable writer, the whole thing could have had a really claustrophobic, creepy feeling to it. The problem is that there are some slight holes in the whole setting, and nothing is handled well at all.

I also have some issues with the Catholic church in a Southern military academy. While I know that many of the upper classes were Catholic, it doesn’t ring true that they’d only have a Catholic church on the grounds, when Catholicism wasn’t the most popular religion in the country. Particularly to many of the people who would have been attending that school. I know for a fact that after the Civil War, the KKK seemed to think that the Pope was sitting in the Vatican, twirling his nonexistent mustache and plotting how to take over America.

Also, Kate drops bits and pieces of the place’s past, but it feels like nothing more than an infodump. She’s obviously not really interested, and that disinterest kind of passes along to me.

Parents

Handling parents in a YA novel is hard. It’s boring when the adults do everything, so the parents have to be busy with something so that the protagonists can have an adventure. That doesn’t give an excuse for bad writing. Luce’s parents are horrible people. I mean, one look at this place, and most people wouldn’t be inclined to think that it would be good for their daughter. Particularly if they thought that she was innocent. To actually sign her over to a place where they can’t check on her reeks of self-centered, uncaring people who don’t care if their daughter is abused.

Another thing, Kate seems to think that I’m going to believe that these parents suspect her? Despite the fact that Luce never showed any signs of this before and there’s no proof that she did anything? Unless Luce’s stalking habits are normal, this just doesn’t seem like something that real people would do.

Theme

Stalking a guy is a perfectly healthy way to start a relationship. If said guy is uninterested, it just means that you need to stalk him a little more. He’ll come around.

Really, I’d assume that this is some kind of ‘love conquers all’ story. But the whole plot is so ridiculous, and the characters have so little chemistry, that the whole thing feels like a mutual stalking session. Luce stalks Daniel. Cam stalks Luce. Daniel stalks Luce. Stalking is love.

Mechanics

While Kate doesn’t fall into the Land of the Purple prose, it doesn’t fall into good prose either. The dialog particularly seems stilted and unnatural, other than a few times where the editor seemed to have a good idea what a normal teenager would say.

Kate does, thankfully, writes in third person, possibly because there isn’t much going on in Luce’s head. I’m grateful. It was bad enough to hear her whining without having to constantly listen to her thinking whiny thoughts.

There is also the issue that Kate has with her names. Everyone in this novel has some kind of ‘special’, ‘meaningful’, or ‘foreshadowing’ name, other than maybe Cam, and it’s done with all the tender subtlety of an anvil dropping on your head. Who names their child Pennyweather this side of the nineteenth century anyways?

While I understand that it’s kind of fun to make jokes with your readers or make allusions to something using the name, it’s another thing to give your guy a last name like Grigori. It would have been like Edward Cullen’s last name being Van Helsing or something to that effect.

Mythology and Religion

How do you fail, Kate? Let me count the ways.

First of all, pretty much everything we know about angels is either speculation or comes from Apocryphal works such as the Book of Enoch. Now, Kate doesn’t reference anything directly, other than referring to the Fallen as the Watchers, and she certainly doesn’t bother to even acknowledge hundreds of years worth of tradition regarding just what the Fallen are. Because she knows better. She certainly doesn’t consider the fact that, as far as pretty much all religions that deal with angels are concerned, the Fallen are evil. Irredeemably evil. A fallen angel is a demon. Why? Because, unlike a human being, they understand the full implications of a sin. They’re not doing something because they think it’s the right thing or that it isn’t a big deal. They’re doing it for the evils and for no other reason.

Once again, she seems unaware, or possibly just uncaring, that people actual believe in angels in the traditional sense. Instead of at least touching on how hers are different from the traditional view of angels in a respectful, well thought out way, Kate just plows on ahead, sneers a little at all religions worldwide, and proclaims herself so much better.

She also doesn’t seem to comprehend that by saying that there are angels, she has also inferred that God exists, and has therefore given herself a whole new group of problems that need to be dealt with. How can an angel defy God and still be good? Have they repented? Or is she making some point reminiscent of His Dark Materials? We get nothing. This is kind of a major thing to overlook, but she sure has.

Finally, her treatment of every single religion in the world is abominable. I should probably state here that I hate smug, self righteous, preachy fiction whether it’s smug Christian, smug Atheist or smug Hindu/Buddhist/Agnostic/New Age/anything else. It’s all equally rude. As such, I really, really, hate Kate’s attitude. Daniel mentions that Luce has practiced every major religion and then Kate has Sophia basically mention that they all destroy people’s individuality.

While I am fine with her stating an opinion, you have to have more than one opinion in a book. For instance, in Supernatural prior to season four, Dean Winchester believes in demons, because he kills them, but not God or angels. His brother Sam believes that if there are demons, there must be God and angels. When one states on opinion, the other will state the other. Hence, the writers of the show are not preaching. Two characters are showing their opposing views, and the writers haven’t said anything. Kate just assumes that her audience agrees with her and doesn’t give those that might not a voice.

Literature

Once again, we have Paradise Lost being referenced, mostly as a way to have some very ‘subtle’ foreshadowing, allow Luce to sit upon her laurels about how she’s so much more enlightened than all the churchgoing Christian delinquents,10 and have Molly mention that Luce is similar to Lucifer. I pray that I’m not going to find out in the next book that she is Lucifer, and she was misunderstood. She only tempted Eve, caused the fall of man and is trying to send all of humanity to hell for LOVE!

I hate everything right now.

Final Assessment

This book is boring. Even Twilight pretended that there was a plot. This just seems to be Kate’s random fantasy that should have never seen the light of print. It’s boring, pointless, and stupid. The characters are utterly flat; the main character is creepy; the only halfway interesting character is suddenly turned evil; and the best line was said by a random evil character.

Don’t read this book. At least Clare had some moments of fun dialog and STUFF HAPPENED. Yes it was stupid, inconsequential stuff, but it was stuff, and it happened. I’ll tell you right now, watching paint dry is more entertaining than reading Fallen.

Rating: 2/10 (I give it some points for not being purple prose and the setting would have been interesting if she’d actually worked on it.)

Next up is Hush Hush.

1 Huh, Luce…Lauren… blast it all, you suethors are so easy to catch…

2 I c whut u did there, Kate.

3 Which the reform school is perfectly fine with or doesn’t know about. Doubtful, as Kate goes through great pains to point out to us at every opportunity that there are cameras watching the students’ every move.

4 These names are…painful.

5 STOP, KATE, you’re not being creative. You’re being annoying. I know what ‘Todd’ means. THANK YOU FOR THE SUBTLE FORESHADOWING!

6 Basically, they mention it and kind of joke about it. Luce joins them and even gets snotty to someone (I believe it’s Penn, but this novel is so vapid that it slips my mind, and I’ve only finished reading it) who actually points out that a person died. This is the point where my feelings went from boredom to complete hatred.

7 I’m not sure that Victorian nonfiction books like this would actually have author’s pictures in them. The history books that I own from the Edwardian to late Victorian eras don’t. Neither do the novels I own. Photographs were a pretty big deal back then.

8 You know, the one that used to be a Catholic Church. Insert creepy music here.

9 In case you’re not aware, a Scary Sue exists as a foil to a Mary Sue. She insults the Sue pointlessly, is a toothless kind of problem, and really is there so that the reader feels sorry for the Sue. Often in fanfic, a canon female character, like Kairi in Kingdom Hearts is turned into a Scary Sue.

10 Another thing that Kate doesn’t seem to realize is that agnostics aren’t as uncommon as they were when she was a girl.

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Comment

  1. Fell Blade on 8 August 2012, 15:49 said:

    Wow. This book sounds like it fails on so many levels. I hope that the popularity of this kind of “literature” dies out soon. I think I’d rather have Eragon clones than Twilight clones. These normal chick/bad-boy-monster relationships can’t be healthy for the next generation. It can’t go away fast enough for me (and from the looks of things it has no intention of going anywhere soon). Great review though, Pryotra!

  2. Pryotra on 8 August 2012, 16:11 said:

    I think I’d rather have Eragon clones than Twilight clones.

    Hm…honestly…I have to agree. The Eragon clones would actually have the potential to be interesting or at least readable without my wanting to spork my own eyes out.

    Paopao could at least go from point A to point B. Through I stopped reading after Eldest so I don’t know if he was able to hold it up.

  3. Danielle on 8 August 2012, 16:26 said:

    Yeah. Agnosticism was kind of fashionable at my high school. And most of the agnostics I knew were either apathetic toward religion in general (“Eh, if it makes you happy, good for you, but it’s not for me and nothing can be proven for certain anyways”) or they were really atheists who called themselves agnostics and took every opportunity to berate the nearest religious person, who was usually a Christian. (They left Islam alone, though.)

    Smugness I cannot stand. And Kate’s attitude toward religion is just abominable. You don’t play with religion in fiction and call yourself tolerant. Heck, even Pullman didn’t have the audacity to call his books “tolerant,” as far as I know.

    I’d love to sit this author down and explain to her that Fallen are demons and therefore Always Chaotic Evil, Satan’s rebellion was really the only “extremist” group Heaven ever saw, and calling the Fallen “Watchers” makes me think of the Watchtower, which makes me compare the Fallen to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Crap. Now I’m picturing that scene in Coneheads where the Jehovah’s Witnesses visit the Coneheads.

    Kate sucks.

  4. Tim on 8 August 2012, 16:30 said:

    I pray that I’m not going to find out in the next book that she is Lucifer, and she was misunderstood. She only tempted Eve, caused the fall of man and is trying to send all of humanity to hell for LOVE!

    Ehhh, the Bible gets a bit complicated there. It’s the New Testament writers (and Jesus) who believed that Satan was also the Serpent from Genesis, and was explicitly evil. In the Old Testament “Satan” is a title meaning “adversary” and is used to refer to beings appointed by God to test the faith of men; in the Book of Job, for example, the being called Satan is called before God and cannot act without his express permission.

    While mainstream Christianity agrees with New Testament interpretation, you could easily create a fictional interpretation based on the OT and assuming the NT writers were wrong somehow.

  5. Danielle on 8 August 2012, 16:44 said:

    True, in Job Satan does appear before God, but he isn’t assigned to test Job. Satan wants to make Job suffer to prove to God that Job is something of a fair-weather friend. He cannot do what he wants until God gives him permission (implying divine protection over Job, rather than a master-servant relationship between God and Satan). In the New Testament, Satan is described as “a prowling lion, seeking whom he may devour,” and trials are God’s tools for refining one’s faith. Satan does not act on God’s authority, but on his own. God’s authority is demonstrated in how much leash He gives Satan and why.

  6. Tim on 8 August 2012, 17:07 said:

    Job 1:12

    And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.

    God tells him to do it. In the OT Satan is not the same thing he is in the NT, and in fact isn’t a he, it’s just a title given to those tasked with acting as man’s accusers. They test men’s faith and report back to God, and are harsh but fundamentally fair. The NT writers had a totally different view on the question of why bad things happen to good people, hence their view of Satan as a singular enemy of God rather than a series of interchangeable beings appointed by Him.

    Believing the latter is called being Jewish.

  7. Danielle on 8 August 2012, 17:13 said:

    Christians believe that was God giving Satan permission to do what he had wanted to do in the first place, a request He could have easily denied. That’s all. Theological difference; not an indictment or an attack.

  8. Tim on 8 August 2012, 17:44 said:

    Yeah, what I’m saying is that there are multiple interpretations possible and not all of them result in Satan actually being an evil being. Though I think we both know this is really going to end up with the usual “lol YHWH is actually evil” Gnostic bullshit.

  9. Pryotra on 8 August 2012, 18:47 said:

    While I agree that you could interpret things a lot of different ways (the OT never expressly says anything about Satan being the serpent after all), and a Jewish interpretation of things would be utterly awesome to see done right, my issue with Kate is that she just shoves angels into the story and thinks she’s being clever.

    Also, the fact that she uses Paradise Lost as a means to make that statement implies that she’s using the Christian perspective.

    Oh, on the whole ‘Watchers’ thing, that’s the name for them in the Book of Enoch which I know is part of most Christian’s Apocrypha but I’m not sure how accepted it is for Jews. I think Kate thinks shes being clever.

  10. Fireshark on 8 August 2012, 21:38 said:

    I’ve heard there’s another angel-romance novel out there called Halo, and all that it’s the absolute worst of the genre. Has anyone else heard of it?

  11. Pryotra on 8 August 2012, 21:43 said:

    Yes.

    I was going to review it, but there was too much wrong with it for me to just summarize it.

    So I’m going to rip it and it’s obnoxious, preachy, self satisfied author to shreads. Chapter by chapter.

  12. ThaArmada on 8 August 2012, 23:27 said:

    Hmm, Eragon clones? I wrote one once. Now its getting rewritten on my writing thread.

    Enough shameless self advertising. I got depressed just reading your review Pryotra, you are truly a sadist.

  13. autumnfey on 9 August 2012, 01:43 said:

    Reading this review made me remember, with vivid clarity, why I hated this book so much. I even tried to read the sequel to see if the series improved . . . nope. If anything, it became even more of a mess – I mean, Daniel and Luce had a fight because she dyed her hair blonde. The horror! D: How can their true love withstand such conflict?

    I look forward to your next review. “Hush, Hush” is another . . . winner.

  14. Mingnon on 9 August 2012, 02:51 said:

    “Daniel and Luce had a fight because she dyed her hair blonde. The horror! D: How can their true love withstand such conflict?”

    Oh teh noes! How CAN love triumph over the evul of… PREP HAIR!!1one

  15. Tim on 9 August 2012, 03:40 said:

    While I agree that you could interpret things a lot of different ways (the OT never expressly says anything about Satan being the serpent after all)

    Yeah, in the original Genesis story the Serpent is basically just the “father of all snakes” as Adam is the father of all men. I guess when you want to find an irredeemably evil creature and you live in a desert full of deadly snakes it’s something of a no-brainer.

    If you read the Bible as a narrative rather than trying to unify it as you read you see some interesting changes in the perception of God; in the early Bible God is a very Greek-style deity who fears man being able to exceed His power (and keeps referring to Himself in the plural, too). There’s a particularly weird part in Exodus where Moses argues with God, Moses wins and God repents, which is one of those real “huh?” moments in the text which most scholars just ignore.

    Also, the fact that she uses Paradise Lost as a means to make that statement implies that she’s using the Christian perspective.

    Paradise Lost is one of those books like The Art of War where someone’s tendency to quote it is inversely proportional to their likelihood of having actually read it. She’s probably just read the wikipedia summary and then quote-mined on wikiquotes.

    Oh, on the whole ‘Watchers’ thing, that’s the name for them in the Book of Enoch which I know is part of most Christian’s Apocrypha but I’m not sure how accepted it is for Jews.

    It’s not canon, though there are some references to it left in the Bible (even in the New Testament) and God’s speech about how the world works in the Book of Job mirrors Enoch’s description of it. The explicit description (in Job it could be interpreted as poetic) was probably ruled out because the early Bible’s model of the universe is completely ridiculous.

  16. Tim on 9 August 2012, 03:47 said:

    I’ve heard there’s another angel-romance novel out there called Halo, and all that it’s the absolute worst of the genre. Has anyone else heard of it?

    I heard it’s about this pretty cool guy called Halo. Eh kills aleins and doesn’t afraid of anything.

  17. Sahgo on 9 August 2012, 08:30 said:

    Oh my, Hush Hush. I sporked this thing (in my language). Get ready for people pretending to live in the 80s, more failed research on angels, the most selfish main character ever, and tons of plotholes.

    I mean it. You can make a drinking game of all the plotholes in that thing.

  18. Fireshark on 9 August 2012, 09:00 said:

    I heard it’s about this pretty cool guy called Halo. Eh kills aleins and doesn’t afraid of anything.

    If only.

    If you read the Bible as a narrative rather than trying to unify it as you read you see some interesting changes in the perception of God; in the early Bible God is a very Greek-style deity who fears man being able to exceed His power (and keeps referring to Himself in the plural, too). There’s a particularly weird part in Exodus where Moses argues with God, Moses wins and God repents, which is one of those real “huh?” moments in the text which most scholars just ignore.

    Yeah, the relationship between man and God does change over time, in the Bible. At least early on, He was considered dynamic, rather than static. Most people are at least a little aware of this, as God’s promise to never flood the Earth again is pretty common knowledge. God also is not seen as omnipresent in certain early parts of the Bible, able to descend from heaven, and to “[go] away.” That’s the fate of any anthology, that not everyone who works on it sees things the exact same way. Most Christians take anything Christ said to be the final word on things that had been disagreed on before (like heaven vs sheol, for example).

    I believe God referring to “Us” is usually considered to refer to His angels.

    fears man being able to exceed His power

    I think that people once (arrogantly) thought that they could challenge God (Which is why the notion makes it into the Bible). Of course, once we actually began to build huge things, we found that we couldn’t reach the top of existence, and that we weren’t any more like God than we were to begin with. Actually challenging God, as I understand it, would probably have to involve a weapon that could make the universe go boom, tearing a hole in reality, or somehow destroying the laws of physics. Since we are still here, as a theist, I can only assume that God has made it impossible for any species anywhere to become advanced enough to destroy reality.

  19. Nate Winchester on 9 August 2012, 09:54 said:

    Hmm… not bad, but I would have enjoyed some more quotes from the book. Especially the more lulzy sections.

    Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

    ….
    When did the American South start being treated like the dark heart of Africa? There’s so much wrong in that one description. Google earth – IT’S NOT THAT HARD!

    A word to the wise, something that calls itself the ‘ultimate love story’ is pretty much doomed to failure.

    No kidding. Or all the other movie trailer cliches like “beyond imagination”. (that one gets on my nerves so much)

    He flips her the bird on first sight.

    Swept off her feet by this sign of love, she begins stalking him relentlessly.

    So THAT’S what I’ve been needing to do to get girls. I will test this today, and let all of you know the results.

    This allows Luce to talk about how enlightened she is as an agnostic.

    Note to writers: “enlightened” is one of those things which is VERY dependent on showing/telling. Namely, you can ONLY show it. If you tell it to your readers, it’s immediately dismissed.

    that Daniel got arrested for jaywalking

    WHAT?

    No seriously, this I find the most unbelievable aspect of the book. I walk back and forth to work every day, jaywalking… dozens of times. I’ve never even had so much as a warning from cops (usually they just wave as they jaywalk in the opposite direction). It’s just one of the most hollow-toothed laws in existence.

    Cam, the rival, decides to get her to skip class with him and go have a picnic in the cemetery a week or so later.

    In a concentration camp of a school with cameras everywhere. Reinforcement people! Reinforcement! Stuff like this just undermines whatever motifs, themes and feelings you were trying to build upon before.

    finally Daniel admits that they do know one another but that every time that he meets her, she dies before she’s legal,

    Right… because in all her lives, her “legality” (which I think would also vary across cultures) is what was important.

    I admit it. I cheered, and I was in the car at the moment going, and everyone looked back at me like I was insane. But, Kate, when your reader reacts like this to a line that we’re supposed to shake our heads at and go ‘NO!!! U DON UNDERSTAND HER!!1one!1!elevenzies!’ you have a major problem.

    Hmm…. Hope I avoided that in my own book.

    We’re told about how kind and humble she is, but really, she’s about as arrogant and unfeeling as Bella Swan.

    Writing tip: See above about “enlightenment”. Whether a character is “kind and humble” is inversely proportional to how often we are told that.

    When one states on opinion, the other will state the other. Hence, the writers of the show are not preaching.

    Not to mention (and more importantly), the writers gave both characters a good and consistent REASON to believe what they believe.

    While I agree that you could interpret things a lot of different ways (the OT never expressly says anything about Satan being the serpent after all), and a Jewish interpretation of things would be utterly awesome to see done right, my issue with Kate is that she just shoves angels into the story and thinks she’s being clever.

    Wait till you see what I do with it… XD

    fears man being able to exceed His power

    I think it was more He was laughing so hard earthquakes were happening.

  20. ThaArmada on 9 August 2012, 12:14 said:

    Halo? I heard that was about some guy in armor who beats that crap out of alien zealots. Can’t see how there would be a romance in there.

  21. Nate Winchester on 9 August 2012, 13:08 said:

    Halo? I heard that was about some guy in armor who beats that crap out of alien zealots. Can’t see how there would be a romance in there.

    You’ve never seen how Master Chief feels about his guns…

  22. Pryotra on 9 August 2012, 15:18 said:

    I got depressed just reading your review Pryotra, you are truly a sadist.

    Or a masochist. I seem to have a thing for inflicting the worst books.

    Paradise Lost is one of those books like The Art of War where someone’s tendency to quote it is inversely proportional to their likelihood of having actually read it. She’s probably just read the wikipedia summary and then quote-mined on wikiquotes.

    Most likely. A lot of wank writers seem to do that. Or they end up seeing love triangles where there aren’t any.

    I would have enjoyed some more quotes from the book. Especially the more lulzy sections.

    Unfortunately, I tend to have to return my books the moment I start on the review, so I tend to not have some of the good lines. I’ll do my best to write some of them down or something.

    When did the American South start being treated like the dark heart of Africa?

    It’s getting more common. One snoozer called Beautiful Creatures that I’ve tried to read twice and got bored with halfway through is that way.

    I think it was more He was laughing so hard earthquakes were happening.

    Probably. That was always my problem when I read Paradise Lost. People talked about what a rebel Satan was, but I found myself thinking that he was a complete idiot for challenging someone who could just decide that he didn’t exist anymore. I guess I’ve always seen God as something as an author who really can break the laws of physics if He wants to.

  23. Tim on 10 August 2012, 03:46 said:

    Yeah, the relationship between man and God does change over time, in the Bible. At least early on, He was considered dynamic, rather than static. Most people are at least a little aware of this, as God’s promise to never flood the Earth again is pretty common knowledge.

    Yeah, though the thing he’s arguing with Moses about there is flooding the Earth again anyway.

    Of course, once we actually began to build huge things, we found that we couldn’t reach the top of existence, and that we weren’t any more like God than we were to begin with.

    At the time the Tower of Babel story was written it was believed that there was a solid structure above the Earth (the Firament of Heaven) which would mean you could construct a literal stairway to heaven if you built it tall enough. The idea of a solid Firament above a flat Earth IIRC fell out of favour as people started studying the sky and found there were other planets rather than Heaven above the sky, and the story of the Tower started being interpreted as a tale about hubris rather than actual history which happened to be a good tale about hubris.

    Actually challenging God, as I understand it, would probably have to involve a weapon that could make the universe go boom, tearing a hole in reality, or somehow destroying the laws of physics. Since we are still here, as a theist, I can only assume that God has made it impossible for any species anywhere to become advanced enough to destroy reality.

    Well, Judges 1:19 (which is just a record of a military campaign with God’s name stuck on it) implies that you could beat up God if you had a tank, but yeah. Logically you can’t do anything to an omnipotent being because he can remake Himself the instant you destroyed Him (and unmake you before you did, and arbitrarily alter the laws of the universe so your weapon doesn’t do anything, and…), though like anything involving omnipotence that brings up the Omnipotence Paradox (could God make a rock so heavy he could not lift it) and isn’t really possible to solve.

    I think it was more He was laughing so hard earthquakes were happening.

    Naw, talking specifically about the Genesis account and the Tower of Babel. In the former God expels man from the Garden of Eden because if, after eating from the Tree of Knowledge he eats from the Tree of Life, he’ll become as God is. In the Tower of Babel story God specifically states that if men continue as they are there’ll be nothing they can’t do.

    It’s worth noting that the Genesis account of the fall of man is similar to the Greek story of the Titan Prometheus, who created man from clay and then stole the secret of fire (ie, knowledge) so that man didn’t have to dwell in ignorance. One could say it’s an authoritarian re-telling where the crime of disobediance is focused on instead of the arbitrary nature of the decree that was supposed to be followed. It’s not like most mainstream Christians regard Gen literally anyway, especially since we no longer consider it just to punish offspring for the sins of their fathers as the ancient Israelites did.

  24. VikingBoyBilly on 10 August 2012, 09:48 said:

    There can’t be Eragon clones. You couldn’t distinguish it as such because Eragon itself is already a clone of generic high-fantasy. The standout thing that’s clone-able is the dragon riding, but Pao even ripped that off from the Dragon Riders of Pern.

  25. Nate Winchester on 10 August 2012, 11:00 said:

    In the former God expels man from the Garden of Eden because if, after eating from the Tree of Knowledge he eats from the Tree of Life, he’ll become as God is.

    There is no “because” listed in the original, so all reasonings are just speculation. If anything it was an act of mercy to keep us from becoming unimaginably worse. Just imagine all the evil in this life (heck, just the 20th century) compounded with the fact that none of the evil doers (or victims) can ever die.

  26. Tim on 10 August 2012, 11:13 said:

    There is no “because” listed in the original, so all reasonings are just speculation. If anything it was an act of mercy to keep us from becoming unimaginably worse.

    Yes there is.

    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

    “Lest” is “because otherwise he will.” The precise statement is that man has become like God by having knowledge of good and evil (or “knowledge both good and evil” in some translations) and is banished so he can’t also live forever like God. With your excuse, you’re saying God is unimaginably worse than man.

  27. Pryotra on 10 August 2012, 11:35 said:

    The standout thing that’s clone-able is the dragon riding, but Pao even ripped that off from the Dragon Riders of Pern.

    That’s probably why I’d be alright with it. You’d just be cloning things that somewhat capable writers already had written. Though Anne McCaffrey’s later works were not very good in and of themselves. It was the Stu rider.

  28. Asahel on 10 August 2012, 11:38 said:

    Yeah, though the thing he’s arguing with Moses about there is flooding the Earth again anyway.

    No he isn’t. What he says to Moses is that he’s going to destroy the Israelites because of their idolatry and make Moses into a great nation, thus fulfilling his promise to Abraham through Moses. However, Moses makes intercession for the people and God relents for Moses’ sake. There is no mention whatsoever of a flood or of destroying any other people besides the Israelites.

    Well, Judges 1:19 (which is just a record of a military campaign with God’s name stuck on it) implies that you could beat up God if you had a tank, but yeah.

    Right, but only if you take it out of its context. After all, Joshua was before Judges, and God had no problem beating armies of chariots there. Exodus was before both of them, and the chariots of Egypt were no difficulty there either. Read Judges chapter 2 (specifically verses 1-3) and you’ll find out it wasn’t because of the iron chariots that the Israelites didn’t drive them out; it was because they disobeyed God (as usual).

  29. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 14:34 said:

    Ah, but you see, those probably weren’t IRON CHARIOTS.

    But honestly, the only thing it shows is that no matter what happened they had an excuse.

  30. Asahel on 10 August 2012, 15:13 said:

    But honestly, the only thing it shows is that no matter what happened they had an excuse.

    How about the Egyptian chariots archeaologists found at the bottom of the Red Sea? What do those show?

  31. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 15:24 said:

    It means you believe anything you hear that supports your beliefs. Although I’m open to your sources, I must admit I wasn’t able to find any of my own.

  32. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 15:28 said:

    And it’s actually one archaeologist, as in singular, and he also claims to have discovered the ark of Noah and the commandment tables.

  33. Asahel on 10 August 2012, 15:40 said:

    And it’s actually one archaeologist, as in singular, and he also claims to have discovered the ark of Noah and the commandment tables.

    Look, I don’t care what else he may have claimed to have found, but he has pictures of the chariot wheels and the human bones found on the site were authenticated by Stockholm University. So, you have evidence that the photos are shopped and that Stockholm University lied about their test results?

    And, by the way, I just want to let you know that you don’t know me. I don’t believe anything I hear that supports my beliefs. There are things I used to believe that I no longer believe in light of new evidence, so don’t make sweeping generalizations about people you don’t know.

  34. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 16:12 said:

    The picture doesn’t look like any representation of egyptian wheels I’ve ever seen. It does look, however, with pieces of coral.

    It was authenthicated by Mr. Lennart Moller, a very neutral professional that is also an evangelist and a believer of the aforementioned discoverer of impossible things. Mr. Lennart Moller also keeps the evidence to himself instead of giving it to the university.

    And that’s besides the point because it’s not inconceivable that wheels can turn up under water without defying the laws of physics. Nor has it anything to do with the other event, in which a God can win battles with but 300 people against thousands, but suddenly can’t and the best excuse they find is chariots.

    I apologize for assuming things about you, I very much hope that what you just said about yourself is true.

  35. Pryotra on 10 August 2012, 16:13 said:

    It means you believe anything you hear that supports your beliefs.

    What a generalized statement. Almost as irritating as the ‘oh, you’re religious, therefore you can’t possibly study science’ stereotype.

    And we were doing so well in trying to avoid being insulting to people with opposing beliefs.

  36. Minoan Ferret on 10 August 2012, 16:34 said:

    How about the Egyptian chariots archeaologists found at the bottom of the Red Sea? What do those show?

    I hate to further derail poor Pryotra’s review, but they could be there for a number of reasons. Hell, most of the whole biblical plagues of Egypt, even the withdrawing sea, can be theoretically linked to the eruption of Thera. Try and roll some chariots through what was recently sea floor and you’re bound to get bogged down.

  37. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 17:05 said:

    I didn’t see it as a generalizing statement at the time. It was very individually-tailored. I saw the supposed presence of wheels drowned near a beach, as objects are found underneath the sea all the time, and an implication that the only way I could explain that was through the literal interpretation of Exodus. And that is obviously not true, so I didn’t understand how someone impartially seeing those evidences could imply that at all.

  38. Juracan on 10 August 2012, 17:30 said:

    This book got fairly popular and pretty much launched the fallen angel romance genre. With all of it’s smug religion fail and utter lack of anything that resembles research. It’s even got a movie in the works by Disney. Which I am very, very disappointed in Disney for doing.

    It’s a subgenre? While it’s an intriguing idea, I suppose, I don’t get how so many people can get away with writing a series about fallen angel teen romance and NOT get called out for unorginality.

    Really, Disney? I was considering working for you…

    An old military academy from the Civil War turned Reform School where cameras watch the students’ every move, and no one’s allowed to tell their parents what things are really like is interesting. In the hands of a capable writer, the whole thing could have had a really claustrophobic, creepy feeling to it. The problem is that there are some slight holes in the whole setting, and nothing is handled well at all.

    I certainly agree. A setting like that is just begging to get a kind of Flannery O’Connor meets Edgar Allan Poe type place, but I’m really sad it was wasted on a piece of garbage like this.

    While I understand that it’s kind of fun to make jokes with your readers or make allusions to something using the name, it’s another thing to give your guy a last name like Grigori.

    THIS. Meaningful names is one thing, but in fiction, having names that obvious, especially with a badly written story with no lampshade, is just infuriating. What makes this worse is that this hardly the only book to use ‘Grigori’ as a surname for a fallen angelic character.

    Finally, her treatment of every single religion in the world is abominable. I should probably state here that I hate smug, self righteous, preachy fiction whether it’s smug Christian, smug Atheist or smug Hindu/Buddhist/Agnostic/New Age/anything else. It’s all equally rude. As such, I really, really, hate Kate’s attitude. Daniel mentions that Luce has practiced every major religion and then Kate has Sophia basically mention that they all destroy people’s individuality.

    Um… wow. You’d think a book about angels would be at least a bit more respectful towards world religions. That’s kind of problem when referencing real world religions in your writing— and I try to avoid making offensive comments to any religion in my own work.

    Um… how does she practice ‘every major religion?’ Was she reborn into radically different cultures across the world? Why would she be an atheist in this life if she’s actually a reborn angel? Is that ever explained? Are there even any hints to her angelic nature?

    I feel like I should read this book, if only just to criticize it. Angels are an interest of mine, but seeing them butchered like this just pains me. I understand that creative liscense is allowed when writing a novel, but why on Earth would you write a teen paranormal romance about angels, contradict your source material (the Abrahamic religions), and then preach about atheism?

    I wouldn’t even mind that so much, if it was done well.

    …trashy teen literature depresses me.

  39. Pryotra on 10 August 2012, 17:48 said:

    I didn’t understand how someone impartially seeing those evidences could imply that at all.

    It depends on how much you know about the picture. For instance, I’m not overly inclined to believe in Bigfoot, however if a picture turned up that was authenticated by a university and was obviously not shopped or a guy in a suit, I might give some tentative agreement that this was possible. Obviously, you’ve given some good reasons why the pictures of the stuff in the Red Sea isn’t legitimate. The question would be if both the archaeologist and the man who verified it have had other, reputable things they’ve varified. However, if they haven’t, you have an excellent point against those pictures. My irritation is in the assumption that no one who didn’t agree completely could possible look at it and not dismiss it.

    Was she reborn into radically different cultures across the world? Why would she be an atheist in this life if she’s actually a reborn angel? Is that ever explained? Are there even any hints to her angelic nature?

    It’s explained that she never remembers who she is before she dies. But she’s the same person, other than the whole ‘individuality destroying’ religion thing. No, there are no hints other than the fact that she sees the shadows and has, like every other Sue, dreams every so often after she meets Daniel.

    …trashy teen literature depresses me.

    I’ll drink to that.

    I swear I’m going to murder someone if I find that she is Lucifer.

  40. Fireshark on 10 August 2012, 18:01 said:

    No moar religious bickering, k? This is like the third time this has happened.

  41. Fireshark on 10 August 2012, 18:05 said:

    I mean, if we’re going to have a long discussion completely unrelated to the original post, at least make it about something cool like whether wizards can block bullets.

  42. gervasium on 10 August 2012, 18:25 said:

    Does Protego only stop spells? Otherwise, it’s pretty likely that they can.

    Okay, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and there’s this supernatural creature whose followers call him The Watcher. There’s also a group of powerful people who like to associate themselves with the mythos of the Fallen Angels/Nephilim. I had never heard of the connection between fallen angels and the title of the watchers, so my question is, do you think I should change the creature’s name? Or in other words, would people automatically associate the two?

  43. Tim on 10 August 2012, 18:40 said:

    No he isn’t. What he says to Moses is that he’s going to destroy the Israelites because of their idolatry and make Moses into a great nation, thus fulfilling his promise to Abraham through Moses.

    Yeah, I misremembered there, mea culpa.

    It depends on how much you know about the picture. For instance, I’m not overly inclined to believe in Bigfoot, however if a picture turned up that was authenticated by a university and was obviously not shopped or a guy in a suit, I might give some tentative agreement that this was possible.

    I think the main question I’d ask in that case would be if any scientists who didn’t already believe in Bigfoot before seeing the evidence had authenticated it. Besides, everyone knows Bigfoot is real, nothing else could have crushed all those cars. You believe in Gravedigger I bet. >:(

  44. Nate Winchester on 10 August 2012, 20:57 said:

    “Lest” is “because otherwise he will.” The precise statement is that man has become like God by having knowledge of good and evil (or “knowledge both good and evil” in some translations) and is banished so he can’t also live forever like God. With your excuse, you’re saying God is unimaginably worse than man.

    Pardon, let me clarify. While a “because” is listed in an “if/then” statement, the exact motive (or plural) is up to speculation. To amend a saying, we cay say “We must push that old lady aside lest she be hit by that bus”. One can say saving her life is the ‘because’ we’re pushing the old lady, but our motive over doing it (general moral sense? appreciation of humanity? she’s our grandmother?) cannot be drawn from that statement.

    And we were doing so well in trying to avoid being insulting to people with opposing beliefs.

    You’re tearing us apart, Fallen!

    Okay, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and there’s this supernatural creature whose followers call him The Watcher. There’s also a group of powerful people who like to associate themselves with the mythos of the Fallen Angels/Nephilim. I had never heard of the connection between fallen angels and the title of the watchers, so my question is, do you think I should change the creature’s name? Or in other words, would people automatically associate the two?

    One of my favorite episodes of SPN’s 6th season (really the only one I can say that of), is the revelation on there that the lore of “aliens” were all a hoax perpetuated by Fairies. You could do something like the reverse where angels/demons/etc are a hoax perpetuated by aliens or something else. Then you can have both! You can make reference to the actual names and then have new creature names once you have the “revelation”.

    You believe in Gravedigger I bet. >:(

    I believe in Gravedigger.

  45. Tim on 10 August 2012, 21:17 said:

    Pardon, let me clarify. While a “because” is listed in an “if/then” statement, the exact motive (or plural) is up to speculation.

    Well, not really. A motive is given, you’re speculating as to whether it’s the only one. It’s certainly the only canon motive (hands up, who thought we’d be using the original meaning of that when they joined the site?) that God gives for what He does there.

    One can say saving her life is the ‘because’ we’re pushing the old lady, but our motive over doing it (general moral sense? appreciation of humanity? she’s our grandmother?) cannot be drawn from that statement.

    The obvious motive one could draw from that action is we do not desire for that person to be hit by a bus. We already know just from the way the statement is phrased that the motive isn’t, for example, to protect the bus from being damaged due to hitting the old lady, or to protect the driver from the trauma of hitting an old lady, etc.

    In a case where someone says “you’ve done X, X makes you like me, I’m going to throw you out before you do Y which is another thing I can do” the only evident motive is that that person does not want you to be like them. Supposing other motives that aren’t even hinted at is pointless.

  46. Nate Winchester on 10 August 2012, 22:03 said:

    We already know just from the way the statement is phrased that the motive isn’t, for example, to protect the bus from being damaged due to hitting the old lady, or to protect the driver from the trauma of hitting an old lady, etc.

    Oh this we’ll have to disagree as nothing is implied from the statements phrasing at all, and indeed from the example, it’s entirely possible that protecting the bus or driver could also be legitimate interpretations.

    It’s especially wise to be wary of drawing meaning from methods of phrasing when dealing with something translated from another language and culture.

  47. Tim on 11 August 2012, 05:00 said:

    Oh this we’ll have to disagree as nothing is implied from the statements phrasing at all, and indeed from the example, it’s entirely possible that protecting the bus or driver could also be legitimate interpretations.

    The phrasing was:

    “We must push that old lady aside lest she be hit by that bus”

    So we must push her aside, or she will be hit by the bus. She is the subject. Protecting the bus would mean it was the subject, ie “the bus is coming, we must push that old lady out of its way.” This sentence is formed with more concern for the bus than the lady.

    Ignoring what a sentence actually says is not how you analyse something. A motive can be drawn from the sentence for the pushing (it is to protect the lady, not the bus, and not just because we wanted to shove an old lady and happened to save her life), and since that is the only evidence we have, it is fair to say that barring any more becoming available, that is the most valid way to read it.

    It’s especially wise to be wary of drawing meaning from methods of phrasing when dealing with something translated from another language and culture.

    Except it matches the statements made about the Tower of Babel, where God is also concerned that man could become able to do anything. Selectively arguing against one while ignoring the other is also not how you analyse something.

  48. Asahel on 11 August 2012, 12:16 said:

    Except it matches the statements made about the Tower of Babel, where God is also concerned that man could become able to do anything. Selectively arguing against one while ignoring the other is also not how you analyse something.

    Well, then, how about I analyze them both? I’ll go ahead and use the KJV, though it’s not exactly my favorite translation. Here’s what God said about Adam and Eve right before driving them out of Eden:

    Genesis 3:22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and live for ever:”

    And here’s what God said before confusing the languages at Babel:

    Genesis 11:6,7 “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

    Let me get this straight, you read fear as the motive behind these statements? I sure don’t. Take the first one. All God has to do is drive them out of the Garden of Eden (which is what he does). It’s not even hard for him. What I gather from his statement as possible motive is that it would not be appropriate to allow man to live for ever on the Earth after they introduced sin into it, so God doesn’t allow them to live for ever. And as for the second one, the idea of a fear motive is even more ludicrous. The Tower of Babel takes place after the Flood. God already demonstrated his ability to wipe out the vast majority of humanity in one fell swoop, but now he’s supposed to be afraid of one town building a tower? What I gather from what he says is his disappointment in what people do with the great power given to them. Working together as one people, we can do great things and what do we do? Try to set ourselves above God. God had plenty of options to deal with the Babelonians (ha ha!) and he chose one of the nicer ones (after all, he could’ve gone with the Smite Town option or the Make 80% of them Fall Over Dead option)

    So, basically, saying fear was his motive in these statements is imputing motive, and it’s not even a motive that fits with the rest of the text. Now, was what I said about God’s motives correct? I don’t know, but at least the motives I imputed were consistent with the rest of the text. (Also, I want to be clear to everyone that I’m not making a religious argument here; this is a language argument.)

  49. Nate Winchester on 11 August 2012, 17:03 said:

    So we must push her aside, or she will be hit by the bus. She is the subject. Protecting the bus would mean it was the subject, ie “the bus is coming, we must push that old lady out of its way.” This sentence is formed with more concern for the bus than the lady.

    Ignoring what a sentence actually says is not how you analyse something. A motive can be drawn from the sentence for the pushing (it is to protect the lady, not the bus, and not just because we wanted to shove an old lady and happened to save her life), and since that is the only evidence we have, it is fair to say that barring any more becoming available, that is the most valid way to read it.

    Except I can find no suggestion that the subject of a sentence has anything to do with concern or motive unless the point of the sentence is concern or motive. Technically speaking, the subject of my example would be “we”, not the lady or bus (which are objects).

    And like I said, I disagree. Until more information becomes available, the most “valid” way to read it is as a simple statement of fact – no more, no less. Though it can be fun to over-analyze things (heck, I’m doing it to MLP:FiM right now), we must remember that a lack of telepathy among us makes every guess just idle speculation.

    Except it matches the statements made about the Tower of Babel, where God is also concerned that man could become able to do anything. Selectively arguing against one while ignoring the other is also not how you analyse something.

    If you want to talk about selection, then one should keep in mind that the tower of Babel was also in violation of an explicit command (sort of like how eating of the tree was also in violation of an explicit command). If you want to talk about analyzing, then we can eliminate “copying God” as a concern because 1) the forbidding command did not include the tree of life, so man could/would have been immortal, like God, and the command was not “you can eat one or the other, but not both”, only “don’t eat that one”. 2) another command was “to fill the Earth” which is also something that is like God (He fills His creation after all). Thus, your theory forms a paradox with other data.

  50. swenson on 11 August 2012, 20:49 said:

    On completely different notes…

    her parents are super rare agnostics and Luce hasn’t been baptized

    I find this… unlikely. While it’s true that infant baptism was pretty widely practised in the European world up until the past few hundred years, depending on how often she’s reborn it seems odd that she never would’ve been born into a Baptist, Pentecostal, Mormon, Amish, Mennonite, etc. etc. family, all denominations that do not practise infant baptism. Or, for that matter, one of a surprisingly large number of Deistic, atheistic, or agnostic families that have existed throughout history. Rejection of an entrenched religious system was hardly invented by we modern enlightened types, after all!

    Or, for that matter, how come she was never born into a Hindu or Muslim or whatever family?

    (Is this discussed, actually? While Christianity is a pretty widespread religion and has been for a lengthy period of time, it’s never been like 95% of the world’s population were Christians or anything. So is there something that guarantees she’ll be born into a Christian family? And if so, how did she end up in a nonreligious family this time?)

    (They left Islam alone, though.)

    That is because religion is evil, unless it’s any religion other than Christianity in which case we must be culturally understanding and sensitive to the religious beliefs of others and all that.

    Honestly, if you want to be an atheist, go right ahead. I disagree with you completely, but if you’re going to disagree with me completely as well, will you at least treat me the same as you treat everyone else you disagree with?

    I will test this today, and let all of you know the results.

    If this works, please run very very very far away from that girl very quickly, and probably alert the authorities.

    You’ve never seen how Master Chief feels about his guns…

    And then there’s that sketchy half-naked glowing purple chick he hangs out with all the time…

    I kid, I kid. Cortana is, after all, my seventh-favorite Halo-related AI. Or fifth favorite, depending on how you count.

  51. Pryotra on 11 August 2012, 22:01 said:

    Or, for that matter, how come she was never born into a Hindu or Muslim or whatever family?

    She was. That’s what I meant by every religion in the world. Apparently, according to Kate, everyone has an indoctrination ritual that kills individuality. If she was one of the Christian secs that didn’t do infant Baptism, she would have been baptized when she was older or if she was Hindu there are some rituals that girls do…yadda yadda for all religions.

    Or, for that matter, one of a surprisingly large number of Deistic, atheistic, or agnostic families that have existed throughout history. Rejection of an entrenched religious system was hardly invented by we modern enlightened types, after all!

    Kate doesn’t seem to be aware that these existed. She is certain that everyone around her is a church going Christian and that agnosticism is a really new thing. She doesn’t even see that nominal/moderate Christians exist.

    That is because religion is evil, unless it’s any religion other than Christianity in which case we must be culturally understanding and sensitive to the religious beliefs of others and all that.

    Honestly, if you want to be an atheist, go right ahead. I disagree with you completely, but if you’re going to disagree with me completely as well, will you at least treat me the same as you treat everyone else you disagree with?

    This. So much. Unless you’re Kate. She doesn’t seem to think so.

  52. Nate Winchester on 12 August 2012, 00:04 said:

    If this works, please run very very very far away from that girl very quickly, and probably alert the authorities.

    But it’s twu luv! How can I fight it???

    And then there’s that sketchy half-naked glowing purple chick he hangs out with all the time…

    Please, we all know MC is a total blasterbater.

    I kid, I kid. Cortana is, after all, my seventh-favorite Halo-related AI. Or fifth favorite, depending on how you count.

    The way I count, I think you mean second. lol

  53. swenson on 12 August 2012, 00:25 said:

    The way I count, I think you mean second. lol

    Fair point, it’s an equally valid method. XD

  54. Tim on 12 August 2012, 04:50 said:

    Let me get this straight, you read fear as the motive behind these statements? I sure don’t. Take the first one. All God has to do is drive them out of the Garden of Eden (which is what he does). It’s not even hard for him. What I gather from his statement as possible motive is that it would not be appropriate to allow man to live for ever on the Earth after they introduced sin into it, so God doesn’t allow them to live for ever.

    That doesn’t work because man is “as one of us,” in other words if you read it that way God was the first sinner, not man. Which is a far worse thing to suggest, really.

    And as for the second one, the idea of a fear motive is even more ludicrous. The Tower of Babel takes place after the Flood. God already demonstrated his ability to wipe out the vast majority of humanity in one fell swoop, but now he’s supposed to be afraid of one town building a tower?

    Nobody ever accused Genesis of being consistent. It has two creation accounts in different orders one after the other. Comes of it sort of accumulating rather than really being edited.

    What I gather from what he says is his disappointment in what people do with the great power given to them. Working together as one people, we can do great things and what do we do? Try to set ourselves above God.

    And the text makes it clear He thinks humans can somehow actually do that. It’s to do with the older perception of God; at that point in the Bible they seem to be picturing a God closer to the Greek pantheon who can be exceeded, make mistakes and not know things, rather than the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God the later Bible authors saw Him as. You’ll notice in the early Bible there’s also implication that other gods actually exist and can grant people powers (such as the Pharaoh’s priests replicating the first two plagues with the power of their gods), which later writers didn’t believe and which in the New Testament was ultimately attributed to Satan.

    One of the biggest problems with the success of modern scientific rationalism is when people try to apply it to ancient scriptures which were never supposed to be read that way. The Bible is a truthful account of God as the writers percieved Him, not a documentary. This means that, unlike a textbook, contradictions do not actually render it untrue or invalid.

    Except I can find no suggestion that the subject of a sentence has anything to do with concern or motive unless the point of the sentence is concern or motive.

    Perhaps it’s just because I’m used to analysing motives when writing dialog, but that’s not really true; the way someone chooses to articulate a thought does say a lot about the thought process behind it.

    And like I said, I disagree. Until more information becomes available, the most “valid” way to read it is as a simple statement of fact – no more, no less.

    The main problem with your granny example is you’re not disputing why the granny was pushed here, you’re saying we must accept that we didn’t push the granny, and were probably pushing an invisible object using the granny’s body. We know one statement exists (man is like us, we must cast him out or he will eat from the tree of life and live forever / man will be able to do anything if he keeps this shit up), so simply reading what is present is the most valid thing to do, not try to come up with excuses to not make up our minds.

    If you want to talk about selection, then one should keep in mind that the tower of Babel was also in violation of an explicit command

    Except he’s misquoting Gen 8:17. It doesn’t say “fill the Earth,” it says to be fruitful and multiply upon the Earth, which doesn’t stop people multiplying in one place at all. Neither does Gen 9:7. There’s nothing where he actually orders Noah to not let his sons gather together. The only time he tells anything to be fruitful and fill something he’s talking to the fish about the sea.

    (sort of like how eating of the tree was also in violation of an explicit command)

    Actually it was ignoring a warning that Adam would surely die, which turned out to only be true indirectly. The account of the Fall is best not either read literally or subjected to any kind of logic, because otherwise you start asking questions like how Adam was supposed to know it was bad to eat from the tree that would tell him if things were good or bad. Or what God needed with a tree that gave people knowledge of good and evil when everyone He wanted to have that knowledge already had it.

    Obviously, divine accessories that grant powers to the gods are a very contemporary thing for Genesis (Greek myth was full of godly castoffs) but the trees themselves don’t fit the later perception of God either. It’s best read as a metaphor for how one can enter into sin through being beguiled and misled rather than actually saying “I am going to sin…now” and not as something God was ever stupid enough to either need or want to do.

    another command was “to fill the Earth” which is also something that is like God (He fills His creation after all). Thus, your theory forms a paradox with other data.

    Not only is that semantics (he wasn’t telling men to simulataneously occupy all of existence at the same time), you assume that the early Bible authors interpreted God as omnipresent. This despite that He called out to Adam and Eve because they’d hidden from view, and routinely has to go to a place in order to see what’s going on there in the early books.

    Again, the early Bible’s image of God is not the same one later authors had; He can be wrong (as with Moses), people can hide from Him, His powers can be replicated by calling on other gods, and, per these two examples, the earliest perception was of a God who feared man gaining as much power as Him. In light of the later Bible this is patently ridiculous and nobody believes in interpreting those statements in that way, but bear in mind the earliest stories didn’t always have the later ones to make the interpretation used by modern Christians and Jews possible. There is absolutely no way you would be able to make your current argument if all you were working from was the actions and statements by and about God in the Pentateuch.

    Barring the most completely insane fundamentalists, everyone accepts that not everything in the Bible is right; for example, no sane modern Christian or Jew believes that raping a woman is a crime against her father or husband’s property (as it is treated in the Mosaic laws) or that it’s perfectly ok to take female POWs as sex slaves (Deuteronomy 21:10-13). We accept that the Bible represents different views from different times and that perceptions of God and the Law changed as it was written. It should not surprise you that this includes the nature of God’s relationship with man.

  55. Asahel on 12 August 2012, 13:57 said:

    That doesn’t work because man is “as one of us,” in other words if you read it that way God was the first sinner, not man. Which is a far worse thing to suggest, really.

    No, that’s not what I suggested at all, and I’m not even sure how you got that from what I said. God says that man is “as one of us.” In what way is man “as God?” Knowing both good and evil. So, now that man knows good and evil (just like God does), God has to kick him out of the Garden because having immortal humans running around deciding to do evil because they can is an adverse outcome. Nowhere in there do I suggest that God is the first sinner, nor is there still any implication of fear on God’s part. He’s still just doing what has to be done, and it’s not even a difficult task for him.

    Nobody ever accused Genesis of being consistent.

    /raises hand. I do. But, let me get this straight, you interpret what’s written in an inconsistent way and then declare that Genesis is inconsistent? My approach is to look at what’s written and see if there is a consistent way of understanding it. If there is, then it’s not inconsistent. And, by the way, there is a consistent way of understanding Genesis even when you include…

    It has two creation accounts in different orders one after the other.

    There’s a consistent way to understand that as well. Like, if you asked me how my weekend vacation was, and I told you, and then you asked me how the last day of weekend vacation went, and I told you, I could tell two different stories that were still consistent with each other. Not exactly a big deal.

    And the text makes it clear He thinks humans can somehow actually do that.

    Really? Because when I look over what he said, I didn’t notice him saying, “Hey, we have to stop them or they might actually build something tall enough to get to our dome in the air where they’d be able to walk around and fight with us!” No, what he said was if humans work together nothing is restrained from us. Did anyone back then think humans could move mountains? We can and have done it. Did they think we could divert rivers? Done it. Did they think we could land on the moon? Been there, done that. Can we colonize Mars? Can we travel to the other side of the galaxy? Well, the answer to those last two seems to be: You don’t have enough people working together for it yet.

    But, whatever floats your boat. You want to believe Genesis is inconsistent? Go ahead, keep reading it that way. I’m just going to keep reading it consistently.

  56. Tim on 12 August 2012, 15:09 said:

    No, that’s not what I suggested at all, and I’m not even sure how you got that from what I said. God says that man is “as one of us.” In what way is man “as God?” Knowing both good and evil. So, now that man knows good and evil (just like God does), God has to kick him out of the Garden because having immortal humans running around deciding to do evil because they can is an adverse outcome.

    But this would mean there are already immortal beings running around who can do good and evil who don’t have to be thrown out. Including God Himself. There has to be something more to it than that which specifically requires man be thrown out but not anyone else who is already there.

    My approach is to look at what’s written and see if there is a consistent way of understanding it.

    There is. The consistent way of understanding it is to accept it’s a collection of somewhat fragmented subsections put together with little to no editorial oversight. It is not supposed to be read with a scientific rationalist mindset which regards inconsistency as proof that one or other statement is false rather than that both are a mixture of revealed truth and interpretation by the writer based on his own education, circumstances and culture.

    There’s a consistent way to understand that as well. Like, if you asked me how my weekend vacation was, and I told you, and then you asked me how the last day of weekend vacation went, and I told you, I could tell two different stories that were still consistent with each other. Not exactly a big deal.

    It’s not consistent when God creates things in a different order in the second account to the order in the first (for example, he creates trees after man in the Genesis 2 account). It’s pretty obvious it’s two creation stories fitted back to back, and not really designed to be read sequentially. It’s a book of teachings, remember, not a coherent sequential narrative.

    Really? Because when I look over what he said, I didn’t notice him saying, “Hey, we have to stop them or they might actually build something tall enough to get to our dome in the air where they’d be able to walk around and fight with us!”

    He says “look, men can do this. If we let them keep doing this, there will be nothing they can’t do!” Man gaining power is a matter of concern to God. The only thing we are given that could concern Him is the power itself.

    No, what he said was if humans work together nothing is restrained from us.

    Specifically regarding the act of building a tower whose top would reach heaven. God says that if man is allowed to do that, nothing will be beyond his power, so he must be stopped from doing that. The fact that God has not done this again since then would suggest we have in fact not managed to do anything of the same scale since then.

    Again, there has to be some element that makes God act in this specific way when the Bablyonians built their tower which is not replicated by any other large construction project in history, because God did not scatter man in reply to any other such project. Otherwise your statements are inconsistent with reality, never mind the Bible.

    But, whatever floats your boat. You want to believe Genesis is inconsistent? Go ahead, keep reading it that way. I’m just going to keep reading it consistently.

    By which you mean deliberately interpreting things that don’t fit figuratively or twisting words from what they say to what you want them to say. That’s called intellectual dishonesty.

  57. Asahel on 12 August 2012, 15:43 said:

    But this would mean there are already immortal beings running around who can do good and evil who don’t have to be thrown out.

    No, that’s not what that would have to mean at all.

    The consistent way of understanding it is to accept it’s a collection of somewhat fragmented subsections put together with little to no editorial oversight.

    I may disagree depending on what you mean by “little to no editorial oversight,” but I already know it’s a collection of somewhat fragmented subsections. That doesn’t mean it has an inconsistent narrative. I simply don’t see that.

    By which you mean deliberately interpreting things that don’t fit figuratively or twisting words from what they say to what you want them to say. That’s called intellectual dishonesty.

    No, that’s not what I mean at all and since I’ve just been called intellectually dishonest, I’m done with this discussion. My general experience is that discussions go downhill after this point.

  58. Nate Winchester on 12 August 2012, 21:40 said:

    Perhaps it’s just because I’m used to analysing motives when writing dialog, but that’s not really true; the way someone chooses to articulate a thought does say a lot about the thought process behind it.

    When writing, sure. But until you gain way cool mind powers, it’s just speculation when it comes to real people.

    The main problem with your granny example is you’re not disputing why the granny was pushed here,

    I agree with “why” if you mean an “if-then” statement. I do dispute “why” if you mean “motive behind”.

    you’re saying we must accept that we didn’t push the granny, and were probably pushing an invisible object using the granny’s body.

    Now you’re obfuscating as if a motive and an action are interchangeable. They are not. To argue about why X happened is not to argue about whether X happened in the first place. Nobody’s arguing the final cause.

    We know one statement exists (man is like us, we must cast him out or he will eat from the tree of life and live forever / man will be able to do anything if he keeps this shit up), so simply reading what is present is the most valid thing to do, not try to come up with excuses to not make up our minds.

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen on the internet someone try and claim that there’s a moral duty to read more than is written.

    Except he’s misquoting Gen 8:17. It doesn’t say “fill the Earth,” it says to be fruitful and multiply upon the Earth, which doesn’t stop people multiplying in one place at all. Neither does Gen 9:7. There’s nothing where he actually orders Noah to not let his sons gather together. The only time he tells anything to be fruitful and fill something he’s talking to the fish about the sea.

    Weird, my bible has Genesis 1:28 in it.
    “God blessed them [mankind] and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” “

    Again, it might be better to read what’s actually written before you start trying to add to it.

    Actually it was ignoring a warning that Adam would surely die, which turned out to only be true indirectly. The account of the Fall is best not either read literally or subjected to any kind of logic, because otherwise you start asking questions like how Adam was supposed to know it was bad to eat from the tree that would tell him if things were good or bad. Or what God needed with a tree that gave people knowledge of good and evil when everyone He wanted to have that knowledge already had it.

    Really? Well my Hebrew’s rusty, so let’s go to the Complete Jewish Bible for this:
    “You are not to eat from it…”
    Looks like an order (followed by justification/reason behind it) to me. Of course, anyone who has dealt with kids, knows that warnings and orders aren’t mutually exclusive. (i.e. “Don’t go into the street, lest you be creamed by a car.”)

    [ignoring next paragraph as it was nonsensical]

    Not only is that semantics (he wasn’t telling men to simulataneously occupy all of existence at the same time),

    Then you can drop the ToB as it’s not like building a tall building was going to be a threat to the Divine or anything.

    you assume that the early Bible authors interpreted God as omnipresent. This despite that He called out to Adam and Eve because they’d hidden from view, and routinely has to go to a place in order to see what’s going on there in the early books.

    Well tradition says Moses was the author of the first 5. And of those first five
    “But as sure as I live, and that the whole earth is filled with the glory of Adonai…”

    Again, the early Bible’s image of God is not the same one later authors had; He can be wrong (as with Moses), people can hide from Him, His powers can be replicated by calling on other gods, and, per these two examples, the earliest perception was of a God who feared man gaining as much power as Him.

    Except…
    1) No successful account of anyone actually hiding from Him. It’s nice to see, again, you reading the text as is, but as for motive, there’s no indication whether God really can’t see Adam, or if He’s pretending not to (like the parent that pretends to not be able to see their rugrat hiding under the kitchen table).
    2) SOME powers are replicated, and then said replications are trumped by the real thing (i.e. 1 snake eating the others). Looks like a clear case of imitations always being worse than the original.
    3) So God, made man, then made two trees that would allow man to gain as much power as Him? Instead of just one tree? The God who (in verse 1) “Made the heavens and the earth”. Yeah, knowledge of good/evil and eternal life are really going to give man the ability to make universes ex nihilo. Looks like you’re making it up as you go along.

    In light of the later Bible this is patently ridiculous and nobody believes in interpreting those statements in that way, but bear in mind the earliest stories didn’t always have the later ones to make the interpretation used by modern Christians and Jews possible. There is absolutely no way you would be able to make your current argument if all you were working from was the actions and statements by and about God in the Pentateuch.

    Funny, because I’ve used nothing but the Pentateuch. Except you seem to be ignoring several actions and statements.

    Barring the most completely insane fundamentalists, everyone accepts that not everything in the Bible is right; for example, no sane modern Christian or Jew believes that raping a woman is a crime against her father or husband’s property (as it is treated in the Mosaic laws) or that it’s perfectly ok to take female POWs as sex slaves (Deuteronomy 21:10-13). We accept that the Bible represents different views from different times and that perceptions of God and the Law changed as it was written. It should not surprise you that this includes the nature of God’s relationship with man.

    I haven’t argued that, merely that you are adding things that aren’t there and making unwarranted assumptions.

  59. Nate Winchester on 12 August 2012, 21:49 said:

    It has two creation accounts in different orders one after the other.

    Oh for… this so bugs the hell out of me. (pun intended)

    So, per this, if I was to say:

    Ford may two cars; a red one and a blue one.
    It made the blue car first. Then it made the red car.

    I must be talking about like… 4 cars, because there’s no way those two sentences can fit together. /sarc

    ARGH, what is it about religious texts that cause people’s reading comprehension to plummet into the negatives?

  60. Pryotra on 12 August 2012, 21:54 said:

    Ok, guys, enough. I don’t see anything more coming from this discussion. It’s starting to spiral down, and this is probably the furthest we’re going to get before people really start throwing insults around. It’s already getting too heated for the subject matter anyways.

    Besides, we have a new Fifty Shades spork!

  61. Minoan Ferret on 13 August 2012, 02:26 said:

    “I grant others the freedom to live as they wish, to think and believe as they will. I grant also this freedom to myself.”

    Maybe we can try this?

  62. Tim on 13 August 2012, 04:25 said:

    Ok, last one.

    Now you’re obfuscating as if a motive and an action are interchangeable. They are not. To argue about why X happened is not to argue about whether X happened in the first place. Nobody’s arguing the final cause.

    But you’re arguing the statements about why God did things don’t count because we should assume there are other, invisible reasons that are never actually alluded to in the text. This is like arguing that the action of pushing the granny was not itself intended but part of an action the rest of which we can’t see. It’s simply not sensible to suppose that without any evidence it is so.

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen on the internet someone try and claim that there’s a moral duty to read more than is written.

    I’m reading only what’s written. You’re refusing to make up your mind because you want to read Genesis only in light of what the other end of the Bible says about God.

    “God blessed them [mankind] and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

    “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    You might want to ensure the word actually exists in every version before you hop on your high horse. And stop reading the NIV because it’s a terrible Bible.

    Granted, most use fill there, but that’s the first creation account where God simply creates humans and tells the to go forth. If it’s read in light of the rest of Genesis, the man he’s talking to there must actually be Noah since it’s not until Genesis 9:2 that God gives man dominion over all animals, and the command there is a restatement of Genesis 9:1. In that instance he blesses them and tells them to fill the Earth rather than actually commanding them “fill the Earth or else.”

    Looks like an order (followed by justification/reason behind it) to me. Of course, anyone who has dealt with kids, knows that warnings and orders aren’t mutually exclusive. (i.e. “Don’t go into the street, lest you be creamed by a car.”)

    Telling someone they’ll be harmed as a direct result of doing something isn’t really the same as telling someone you’ll punish them if they do something. God does the first one there but it turns out to be the second.

    As noted, if man actually made the decision without knowledge of good or evil it was an absurdly broken test since Adam and Eve were physically incapable of determining that disobeying God would be evil; it reads better if one assumes it as a metaphor for sinful behaviour, where your initial ignorance is not an excuse for what you ultimately do.

    Then you can drop the ToB as it’s not like building a tall building was going to be a threat to the Divine or anything.

    The Bible doesn’t agree with you. It never claims man is supposed to occupy all creation at the same time in the manner God does, but it does have God stop men building the tower because if they are united there is nothing they cannot do. That’s the only reason given.

    Well tradition says Moses was the author of the first 5.

    Yes, but Moses dies in one of them, so that’s not enormously likely to be totally true.

    1) No successful account of anyone actually hiding from Him. It’s nice to see, again, you reading the text as is, but as for motive, there’s no indication whether God really can’t see Adam, or if He’s pretending not to (like the parent that pretends to not be able to see their rugrat hiding under the kitchen table).

    He goes to look for them and calls out to them. This would imply he does not know where they are; if read in light of other . That’s putting 2 and 2 together and getting -1.

    In Genesis you can also leave the Lord’s presence (Cain does it in Gen 4:16) and God goes down to see things a lot (such as Babel in Gen 11:5). I think the first definate statement of divine omnipresence is way off in Jeremiah 23:24 (Psalm 139:7-8 just says you can’t flee him in either afterlife, Proverbs 15:3 that he’s omniscient). But almost all cases of God not knowing things, not seeing things or not having power over things are in the Pentateuch.

    2) SOME powers are replicated, and then said replications are trumped by the real thing (i.e. 1 snake eating the others). Looks like a clear case of imitations always being worse than the original.

    What does that matter? Other gods can grant people powers in the early Bible. The fact that they’re inferior to those of the God of the Israelites just shows He’s the most powerful, which is kind of the point at that time.

    Later the NT rationalises these happenings as being because Satan granted power to those who called on other gods, but the Christian devil doesn’t really exist in the OT, and it seems pretty clear the early writers thought other deities existed but were inferior.

    3) So God, made man, then made two trees that would allow man to gain as much power as Him? Instead of just one tree? The God who (in verse 1) “Made the heavens and the earth”. Yeah, knowledge of good/evil and eternal life are really going to give man the ability to make universes ex nihilo. Looks like you’re making it up as you go along.

    Looks like you’re blaming me for the fact that some parts of a religious text written by people who thought the Earth was flat don’t make much sense.

    Ford may two cars; a red one and a blue one. It made the blue car first. Then it made the red car.

    The first Gen account says that God made trees first, then man. The second said nothing had grown before he made man, and then he made trees and a garden afterward.

    This is not a case of my assuming that the second account takes place after the first, since 1:28 is clearly referring to the covenant God makes with Noah in Genesis 9. What I’m saying is the order of creation given differs from the original; the story starting in Gen 2 is a fleshing-out of the first one, but it doesn’t agree in the details.

  63. Fell Blade on 13 August 2012, 10:27 said:

    Tim, I would like to point out that your interpretation that the statement in Genesis 1:28 is directed towards Noah is based on the translation of a single Hebrew word in that sentence. First, almost all current English translation agree that it is “fill”, not “replenish”. Second, you assume that when it was translated as “replenish” in the original KJV, that meant “re-fill” the way we define it today. That may or may not have been the case (and it seems very likely that “replenish” at that point meant “fill” not “re-fill”). Third, the Hebrew word itself does not carry the understanding of “re-fill” or “fill again”, but instead simply to fill.

    You also assume that when Genesis 2:8 says “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden”, and Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food”, that this contradicts the creation of plants on day 3 (Genesis 1:11-13). But that may not be the case. There is no reason to think that God could not create plant life on day 3, and then continue creation by planting a garden on day 6. There is nothing to indicate that they are mutually exclusive.

  64. Pryotra on 13 August 2012, 10:36 said:

    Tim, Fell Blade, stop. Both of you. I’m serious. If you want to continue this, email one another and go for it, but we’ve already started throwing accusations around. Enough.

    There hasn’t been any serious insults yet, let’s quit while we’re ahead.

  65. Tim on 13 August 2012, 11:01 said:

    Tim, I would like to point out that your interpretation that the statement in Genesis 1:28 is directed towards Noah is based on the translation of a single Hebrew word in that sentence.

    Just to point this out because it’s not right; no, I’m not saying it’s talking about Noah because of that word, I’m saying it’s stating the covenant God later makes with Noah. Here, let me show you what I mean:

    Genesis 1:

    1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    Genesis 9:

    9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

    9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth [upon] the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

    9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

    It’s literally exactly the same promise he makes, Gen 1 just skips the Fall, Cain and Abel and the Flood and ends with Noah’s covenant. It’s a summary version which covers a few things Gen 2-9 does but condenses them down a lot.

    There is no reason to think that God could not create plant life on day 3, and then continue creation by planting a garden on day 6. There is nothing to indicate that they are mutually exclusive.

    Well sure, but nothing has grown when he’s creating man in the second variation is what I mean. But anyway, let’s give this a rest.

  66. Pryotra on 13 August 2012, 11:03 said:

    Tim, what did I say about stopping?

    You don’t have to have the freaking last word. I said enough, and I meant it.

  67. Tim on 13 August 2012, 11:12 said:

    Yeah, I know. Just wanted to clear up a misconception over what I was actually saying (ie that I wasn’t talking about that one word), I think that’s understandable. I’ll stop.

  68. Darkes on 13 August 2012, 11:22 said:

    Good God, man. Is this what it’s come to? What advances we have made.

    Things like this are why I’m so condescending.

  69. Kyllorac on 13 August 2012, 12:21 said:

    Enough. Pryotra has already asked everyone to stop nicely, and these comments have so little relevance to her review, it’s ridiculous.

    Next person to comment on the Bible issues is getting a temporary ban.

  70. Fell Blade on 13 August 2012, 15:01 said:

    I apologize Pryotra. I didn’t mean to keep something going (although if you look at the thread I made only one other entry, way back at the beginning).

    At the funeral of the guy who saved her she goes to stalk Daniel,

    Wait, so the guy actually gave his life for her, and she just shrugs it off?! And we’re supposed to sympathize with this character?!

  71. Nate Winchester on 13 August 2012, 15:49 said:

    Wait, so the guy actually gave his life for her, and she just shrugs it off?! And we’re supposed to sympathize with this character?!

    FILM CRITIC HULK NAME IT ASSUMED EMPATHY.

    HULK WRITES ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME, BUT ONE OF THE ONGOING PROBLEMS OF BLOCKBUSTER CINEMA THESE DAYS IS ASSUMED EMPATHY. IT’S AS IF OUR STORYTELLERS JUST PLOP A FILM IN OUR LAPS AND SAY, “HERE’S OUR MAIN CHARACTER AND WE’RE GOING TO ASSUME THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THEM FOR THAT REASON ALONE. THEY’RE THE MAIN CHARACTER!” … HULK DESPISES THIS TREND. IT TENDS TO GET EVEN WORSE WHEN STORYTELLERS FALL INTO THE MARKETING-CENTRIC TRAP OF “LIKABILITY,” WHICH IS A WORD THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MAKING CHARACTERS INTERESTING. USUALLY IT’S JUST A CODE WORD USED BY EXECUTIVES WHEN THEY’RE WORRIED A CHARACTER IS “DOING BAD THINGS.” AND TO ADHERE TO THE WORRIES OF LIKABILITY IS TO THUS EMBARK ON A FOOL’S PLAY AT DRAMA.

    If anyone is shopping for me for Christmas, it would be that paragraph engraved on a plaque so I can always hang it above my writing station.

  72. Pryotra on 13 August 2012, 16:24 said:

    Wait, so the guy actually gave his life for her, and she just shrugs it off?! And we’re supposed to sympathize with this character?!

    Yep. She does feel bad about it for about three seconds, but quickly shrugs it off since there’s nothing she can do about it, and he’s dead and that’s just the way life is.

    For added fun, it’s the two Fallen girls who impress her with this sentiment and sneer at the character who calls them out on it. Of course, the lives of puny humans means nothing to them. Of course this guy gave up his life for her. Luce is Speshul.

    And don’t worry about adding to things. It was when the thing wasn’t starting to cycle downwards.

  73. Danielle on 13 August 2012, 16:45 said:

    Yep. She does feel bad about it for about three seconds, but quickly shrugs it off since there’s nothing she can do about it, and he’s dead and that’s just the way life is.

    Grr….

    IT TENDS TO GET EVEN WORSE WHEN STORYTELLERS FALL INTO THE MARKETING-CENTRIC TRAP OF “LIKABILITY,” WHICH IS A WORD THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MAKING CHARACTERS INTERESTING. USUALLY IT’S JUST A CODE WORD USED BY EXECUTIVES WHEN THEY’RE WORRIED A CHARACTER IS “DOING BAD THINGS.”

    Thank you, Hulk. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Please smash Lauren Kate now.

    I hate it when writers make characters completely morally bankrupt and then call them “likable.” Or, even worse, make them as unlikeable as possible (Luce) and then force you to like them by putting them in a situation that no one would ever want to be stuck in (forced into a boarding/reform school). For visualization purposes, it would be as if J.K. Rowling wrote the entire series about Fenrir Greyback, and forced you to sympathize with him because he was molested as a child. It just doesn’t work.

  74. Pryotra on 14 August 2012, 08:36 said:

    make them as unlikeable as possible (Luce) and then force you to like them by putting them in a situation that no one would ever want to be stuck in (forced into a boarding/reform school)

    Kate doesn’t even do that right. Sword and Cross is, other than the introduction, treated almost like any other school and no attention is payed to the aspects that could have be really creepy. All in all, it was just an excuse to get her to meet a badboy and have her parents out of the way.

  75. Darkes on 15 August 2012, 17:00 said:

    Kate is the Eragon of Paranormal Romance novels.

    Seriously, there’s being pragmatic, and then there’s being completely devoid of empathy.

  76. Prince O' Tea on 18 August 2012, 15:18 said:

    I hate Luce. This guy saves her life, and she just shrugs it off as “ew, well he was unpopular and boring so who cares that he sacrificed his life to save me. Let’s get iced teas.”

    I actually think Miss Sophia is awesome. She’s like a more coherent version of Alana Terrance who doesn’t mince words when she calls Mary Sues out on their selfish, entitled, hateful behaviour.

    But seriously, for something that doesn’t really have much plot, the storyline is hella confusing. I didn’t think you could make something this empty be so ridiculous at the same time.

  77. Prince O' Tea on 18 August 2012, 15:21 said:

    Pennyfeather… what? That name is like the worst neo-victorian steampunk Mary Sue name ever.

    Why don’t you just call her Lady Maryweather Penelope Jane Eyre Earl Grey Princess Alice Kingsleigh Britannia Liddel and just leave it at that.

  78. Teesh on 25 October 2012, 23:38 said:

    What an ass you are! The Fallen series is an amazing book. I bet none of you have ever read it before, yet you’re here making these pathetic judgements about it. There are now five Fallen books, and they are all best sellers. The girl on cover is not simply some gothic girl – she has a whole life story, the book is as romantic as hell and the only one I’ve ever cried while reading, and it is a book that was written by a great author. How dare you talk about the series that way – keep your opinions to yourself you stuck up snobs because that’s what you all are, have you nothing better to do than say horrible things about books that most people love. It’s ridiculous and pathetic.

  79. swenson on 26 October 2012, 00:39 said:

    Aww, does this review give you a sadface?

    I’m sure your eloquent arguments will change Pryotra’s heart forever and cause her to renounce her evil stuck up snobbish ways and repent of daring to dislike a book.

  80. Asahel on 26 October 2012, 00:44 said:

    the book is as romantic as hell

    You know, I’ve never found hell to be all that romantic. To each their own, I suppose.

  81. Pryotra on 26 October 2012, 17:33 said:

    I’m sure your eloquent arguments will change Pryotra’s heart forever

    I thought you guys knew. I don’t have a heart. I have a black hole. I find that it allows me to write more clearly when I don’t have a crush on my own character and am, therefore, writing myself into the novel.

    I think I’d make a boring protagonist.

  82. Danielle on 26 October 2012, 20:17 said:

    What an ass you are!

    grabs popcorn Oh boy, this comment is gonna be hilarious!

    The Fallen series is an amazing book.

    Your opinion.

    Also, a series is, by definition, multiple books. /pedant

    I bet none of you have ever read it before, yet you’re here making these pathetic judgements about it.

    Actually, I’ve tried to read most of the books Pryotra reviews. I find I can’t stomach more than a few chapters with most of them, whether because of terrible writing, terrible plot, terrible characters, or all three. (I gave up on Hush, Hush when Fitzpatrick felt the need to specify that the demon—sorry, fallen angel—who appeared to Chauncy had arms and legs.) Since Pryotra has a much stronger constitution than I do, I read her reviews to justify my decision every time I give up on yet another crappy YA novel.

    There are now five Fallen books, and they are all best sellers.

    Know what else are best sellers? The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and the Maximum Ride books. Are any of those books well-written? No. Do any of them have compelling, well-drawn characters? No. Do any….you know, I think I’ll just sum up my feelings with a quote.

    “A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read ‘The Lost Symbol’, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.” —The Economist

    Can a bestseller be well-written? Of course. The Help and The Book Thief were both commercial successes, and they are some of the better books I’ve read (except for The Book Thief; that was one of the best books I’ve read). All I’m saying is that your opinion is probably somewhat skewed.

    The girl on cover is not simply some gothic girl

    Could you replace the girl on the cover with another goffick girl in a prom dress without the reader being any the wiser?

    Yes?

    Then she’s just some gothic girl.

    she has a whole life story

    An implausible, contrived, overly maudlin one, but a story nonetheless, I suppose.

    the book is as romantic as hell

    I agree. Hell is not romantic in the slightest.

    and the only one I’ve ever cried while reading

    Remember what The Economist said about people who read popular but trashy books and love them? Yeah. You should read more.

    and it is a book that was written by a great author.

    Again, your opinion.

    How dare you talk about the series that way[!]

    How dare you talk about Pryotra’s review that way!

    keep your opinions to yourself you stuck up snobs because that’s what you all are, have you nothing better to do than say horrible things about books that most people love. It’s ridiculous and pathetic.

    Funny, I find this entire comment to be ridiculous and pathetic. See, in my experience, the books people can’t bear to have criticized are books that aren’t very good in the first place. Take the Chronicles of Narnia books, for example. I love those books. I’ve read most of them at least four times each, and I’m still not tired of them. When I start a family, I will read those books to my children, and if my husband has never read them before, I will read them to him too. So when someone tells me they found those books preachy, condescending, childish, and scattered, what do I say to them?

    “Really? I loved them. What is it about those books that makes you feel that way?”

    And when they answer, I ask more questions. Soon we have a discussion going, one that is most often a civilized and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas. I learn why they didn’t like the Narnia books, and they learn why I liked them. I learn about their worldview, and they learn about mine, and we both learn more about how different ideas come across to different readers.

    TL;DR Sit down and stop shouting at us. You might learn something.

  83. Tim on 26 October 2012, 21:19 said:

    You don’t get a distinct vibe from the name “Teesh” that it’s probably not a serious post? If I’m not mistaken, isn’t the post made entirely of copy-pastes of things Gloria has said?

  84. Danielle on 26 October 2012, 23:02 said:

    Gotta love trolls, eh, Pryotra? XD

  85. Pryotra on 26 October 2012, 23:10 said:

    Yeah, they can be kind of fun. In a very…strange way of using that word.

    I kind of agree that they’re not a real person, but, hey, he/she/it led to some entertainment right? Though I must say that if they’re a real commenter, they didn’t read the whole review. I mean…I said a whole lot worse things about Luce than calling her Goffic.

    If I’m not mistaken, isn’t the post made entirely of copy-pastes of things Gloria has said?

    And what pretty much every single Twihard says to defend the series. It could be real, but with “Teesh” as a name it’s rather hard to tell. Unless Glo herself has graced me with a visit and thinks she’s being clever.

  86. Maxie on 15 June 2013, 11:37 said:

    What does the name “Todd” mean? I don’t understand how it was foreshadowing.

  87. Pryotra on 15 June 2013, 12:37 said:

    What does the name “Todd” mean?

    “Tod” means death in German. My dad speaks it, and I picked up a little here and there.