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Come Hell or High Water: The Book of Raphael

By

Worth reading 😎

This is an interesting theological take on the lives of the angels and their purposes in the Father's greater plan for the world.

As a disclaimer, I have not read book one of this series.


This was one of the most interesting takes on spiritual warfare that I have ever read. Starr uses the perspectives of the archangels and Lucifer to tell the story of Earth's creation to its first "end" of the flood. We watch the aftermath of the first battle in heaven and the consequences that follow Lucifer's choices, as well as how he begins to gain control over the earth.


Starr expresses some interesting theological ideas by granting the angels an inclination towards disobedience that only needs a slight push by Lucifer. The angels struggle with feeling trapped in a purpose they haven't chosen and a desire for freedom to make their own choices. They are kept at a distance from the Father and question his often vague directives. Starr also gives them an inherent violence and this is one of the bloodiest stories I have read in a while.


While I enjoyed my read through and was impressed with the concept, some of the mechanics were underwhelmingly executed. I often found myself struggling to picture the characters in scene and the different "realms" we saw were often only vaguely described. Starr's main focus was decidedly on dialogue and character motivations, and while that is clearly shown, it is mostly at the expense of these other important aspects. I did however enjoy the discussion on time and it's flexibility outside of Earth, as well as the mechanics of "interdimmensional travel" between the realms.


Overall I enjoyed my read and would like to go back and read book one of the series. I wish that a bit more time had been dedicated to putting meat on the bones of the world and fleshing out some of the overarching plot lines, but I do think the greater context of book one will clear up some of my lingering questions and confusion.

Reviewed by

Booktuber learning how to become a better reviewer on the daily! I read a little bit of everything, but I love speculative fiction and reflective reads. My favorite thing in life is reading a fantastic book and breaking down exactly what makes it so wonderful.

The Song of Sariel

About the author

Christopher C. Starr is the founder of Sanford House Press and the author of the Heaven Falls series. He lives in Austin with The Wife and a pack of dogs. Chris has a sense of humor like a Gremlin, a trash TV fetish, and telling stories is absolutely what he was meant to do. view profile

Published on December 11, 2020

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

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