and Falling, Fly

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Read Skyler White's posts on the Penguin Blog.

View our feature on Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly.

An edgy, erotic blend of fantasy and romance-from a debut author whose star is on the rise.

In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels- turned-vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must pit medicine against mythology in an attempt ...

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And Falling, Fly

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Read Skyler White's posts on the Penguin Blog.

View our feature on Skyler White’s and Falling, Fly.

An edgy, erotic blend of fantasy and romance-from a debut author whose star is on the rise.

In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels- turned-vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must pit medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what cost?

Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'OtelMathillide- a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Neuroscientist Dominic O'Shaughnessy seeks in science a rational means of "curing" his memories of past lives, while Olivia, a vampiric fallen angel of desire, seeks a way to return to a state of grace. Both turn to L'Otel Matillide, a strange asylum located beneath the city of Cashel, in Ireland and to the ministrations of its proprietor, the seemingly ageless Gaehod, for a cure that will bring them either salvation or utter damnation. VERDICT The author's fluid style and ability to alternate convincingly between his two protagonists creates an affinity in the reader for both Olivia and Dominic. Strong storytelling and an unusual interpretation of vampires should attract fans of supernatural fiction and urban fantasy to this outstanding debut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425232347
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Skyler White crafts challenging fiction for a changing world. Populated with angels and devils, rock stars, scientists, and revolutionaries, her dark stories explore the secret places where myth and modernity collide.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 16 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    it's worth the money

    I bought this in book form from the barnes and noble, and I'm glad that I did. So yes, it's worth the money. I enjoyed the unique take on vampires. There was good language, and it was a page-turner.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    Disturbing, Dreary, Depressing & Haunting

    This book was by FAR the strangest, most out-there piece of disturbed writing I've EVER read.

    It is NOT a vampire book. It is NOT a romance. It is pure psychosis in written form.

    I did find the book sucked me in--and I recommend reading it in one marathon sitting. Once you're in the strange poetic-prose writing style, removing your brain back to the real world is don't leave it until the book is finished.

    Overall, I can't recommend it. Gave me strange dreams & nightmares for a week. I think the author is more than a little off-her-rocker perhaps nightmares were the intended result.

    If you want WEIRD...this is the book for you. If you want paranormal romance...this ain't it. Find it ANYWHERE ELSE.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010


    First of all i want to say that this is not the typical vampire novel. Forget everything you had read about these creatures so far and prepare to be surprised.

    Olivia is a fallen angel, that is, a vampire. These angels have a feature: each person sees them differently according to their wishes. If you want Olivia to be tall, small, fat, skinny, with blue or green eyes ... you'll see her like that. She is a fallen angel of desire, she's designed exclusively to produce pleasure, but she's destined not to ever feel it.

    After a long life full of disappointments, hate for herself and for the others, Olivia has lost all hope of finding his loophole: the person who will be able to help her regain her wings, set her free and release her of the curse.

    Fully convinced that she will never be happy, she decides to retire to a hotel called the Hell located in Ireland which is underground. There, with her sisters, she spends her time away from the lascivious gaze of mortals.

    At the same time we have Dominic. Nueroscientist working on a system to locate and erase memories based on specific neurons. Since he turned eighteen hes constantly haunted by memories that he thinks are not his: he has lived several lives, had children, whe was white, black and has died and reborn countless times.

    To advance his research on neurons he must go to a place with sick people he can study. And is there a better place than the Hell Hotel to do this? But this place is not new to him. He spent some time there 9 years ago because of his memories. The owner told him that he was not sick, he was cursed. And that he is a Reborn: a being who is destined to be reincarnated forever.

    Both coincide in the hotel and will gradually heal each other. At first he will try to convince Olivia to participate in his research, but when he begins to feel something for her, he dismisses the idea and try to avoid her. But that isnt going to be a very easy task. Will they be able to have a happy ending?

    At first the book is pretty complicated and until both characters are in the hotel things are not very clear. Little by little can be deciphered the history and the truth is that the reading is very grateful. The story alternates between Olivia and Dominic and sometimes you don't know who's talking, but i loved the book.

    As for the plot, its unbelievable. Very complex, deep, almost mystical, with twists everywhere and some truly amazing scenes. Reading it might get pretty uphill at some times, but the ending makes it worth. The love story is very beautiful and the ending is absolutely unforgettable.

    If you seek a simple reading of boy-meets-girl don't bother to look at this book, but if you are tired of the typical vampire books with a very simple plot, you are going to love it.

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  • Posted March 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Despair, Desire and Damnation

    Quick & Dirty: A complex, intriguing and atmospheric read that will have you thinking.

    Opening Sentence: The angel of desire is damned.

    The Review:

    Olivia is a vampire and fallen angel of desire. She goes through the motions, but in reality she's dead inside. Olivia feeds off the fears and desires of others while she herself derives no pleasure. Trapped in hopelessness, despair, and unable to feel pleasure or pain, Olivia is on the hunt for love. She wants to get her wings back so that she can return to Heaven. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist battling his own demons. He's haunted by memories of suffering and loss and struggles to separate reality from delusion. They both end up at the Hotel of the Damned in search for answers.

    "and Falling, Fly" is a philosophical journey that delves into desire, life and death. Ms. White certainly did an excellent job of setting the mood of the novel, making it very atmospheric. In addition, The Hotel of the Damned especially is a fascinating concept/place. Olivia has pretty unique abilities that intrigued me, but I don't want to give too much away.

    I had a hard time writing this review. This dark tale of despair, desire, damnation left me a little frustrated as a reader. Ms. White switches between narrative POVs, which at times pulled me out of the story. I was never able to really establish a connection with Olivia, and as a result I didn't like her character. She never felt sympathetic to me. I also found the pace of the novel to be a bit off at times, and certain elements of the story confusing. I did enjoy many elements of the worldbuilding, but sometimes I thought that the mythology was a bit dense.

    Overall, lovers of dark fantasy should read this book. I love dark fantasy but found this debut novel to be a tough and complex read. The book has a great premise, but falls a little short in the execution. Ms. White does skillfully blend some creepy and chilling elements in this twisted world to give the book a unique appeal.

    Notable Scene:

    In the moon's naked light, all the places where his face wears rage are stripped to an ancient, bare pain. His eyes pierce me. "Thank you," he says again. "I needed to get away." His beautiful lips curl into a soft smile before he presses them against the knuckle of my thumb. A hard, motionless shiver radiates from that point through the deep bones in me. My nails quill against my crushed fingers, but he's looking right into me, warmth and memory in his night-blue eyes.

    FTC Advisory: Berkley provided me with a copy of and Falling, Fly. No goody bags, sponsorships, "material connections," or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don't receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    Outstanding and multilayered!

    This isn't your garden variety vampire story; it's much, much more. Not only is Skyler White a master of mythology, she is also an extraordinary wordsmith. And Falling, Fly isn't a book to be scanned quickly; it's a work to be savored slowly and read carefully lest you miss something in the marvelously multilayerd story. It's one of those books you remember long after the last page...and continue to think about. I predict great things for this gifted new author. Don't miss this one!

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Elegant prose, beautiful book

    Skyler White's first book, and Falling, Fly, is genuinely a work of art. She brings both allure and fragility to the gritty, night-time world of clubs and tattoo parlors, absinthe and intoxication. Her dark, steampunk world, peopled by both man and fallen-angel-turned-vampire, comes to life through the elegance of her lyrical prose, a prose which draws the reader in and pierces her to the core with its beauty.
    But it's not the prose that makes this book. This is really a modern myth, a retelling of vampires and angels that examines the nature of both love and desire, searching for an understanding of what it is that drives us. The philosophical aspect of the novel is interwoven with the characters' thoughts and struggles, giving them a grace and depth that transcends the norm. And the story itself is artfully spun. White weaves myth, philosophy and plot into a seamless piece that avoids easy or obvious devices to create an intense, unique tale.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    And Falling, Fly

    The story of and Falling, Fly seemed to me to be a love story set in an urban fantasy world. I loved the created connection of fallen angels to vampires. There is a lot of mythology used in creating the story, along with scientific study of the current day. These are two different beliefs that seem to contradict each other, and with two different people put to the test to be seen through each others eyes.

    I found myself in the end enjoying all the characters. I found myself pulling toward Dominic more in the story from the beginning. I think, for me, I found the science easier to believe than the mythology. I felt I could understand Dominic easier in the world based on todays. Shortly after meeting Dominic I started to learn there is something special about him as well. I loved this little secret Dominic has and is trying to run from.

    There where passages in the beginning from Olivia's view point in which I felt confused. There was a lot of legendary information given to help understand Olivia and where she comes from in her ways and thinking. There where times I did not understanding why she was doing what she was doing or the reasons behind things. For instance, Olivia made a point of mentioning she didn't work as she didn't need to, she had all the money she needed. I was curious as to where she got this money (which by the end of the book you will find out). But, this part of being confused was cleared up as the book went on. I just had to learn the way of the laws and legends of the fallen/vampires. After we got to Ireland the story really started to grip me.

    I also liked the secretive magic Gaehod, the innkeeper, held in the story. Just enough to enjoy but not over do it.

    The story telling was nicely done. You do get to see things from two point of views, Dominic and Olivia. This helped to better understand their opposing beliefs. I found myself wondering: Which way of thinking is correct in this world? What do I believe. As what I believed in the beginning started to change the more I read. I could feel the love growing between the characters as well. The paths that are needed to be taken in order to find what you need, or even desire. What happens if you get what you want? Is the grass always greener on the other side? What do you want and what do you think you want? Great questions to think on.

    In all I enjoyed the journey I took in this book with love, mythological beliefs, and scientific beliefs. A wonderful love story to add to the urban fantasy world. If you are looking for a lot of action this is not the book for you, but if you want to read of an endless love blooming I would read this book.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a complicated read but a good one

    Olivia the fallen angel is depressed with how far she has sunken just because of wanting. She has become a vampire who will never know desire.

    Neuroscientist Dominic O'Shaugnessy has a history he wishes he could rewrite or at least bury. He is ashamed and prays he will one day atone though he remains haunted by visions he cannot rationalize.

    Olivia and Dominic meet at the L'Otel Matillide, the subterraneous Hotel of the Damned. She has lost all hope while he hopes to find some hope. However, with one another they may find something more than hope if they take a chance but both knows that the something more can be damnation of the dead.

    This is a complicated read as the atmosphere and brooding lead couple enhances a metaphysical story line that demands the audience to ponder what is life, death, and a sort of nothingness. The readers will empathize with each of the lead couple whose darkness makes neither likable, which in turn enhances the feeling of hopelessness as if they checked into the Hotel California for the damned. Although the relationship moves too quickly towards love for a despairing, distrusting duo like this pair, readers will consider the meaning of life and whether death is its antonym.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted March 17, 2010

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