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Review of The Falling Away by T.L. Hines

Two out of Five Stars.

Demons, both literal and symbolic, is the best way to describe the latest offering by T.L. Hines. Though I consider this story to be along the lines of paranormal fiction, it depicts the struggles of Dylan Runs Ahead, a member of the Montana Crow tribe, as he is haunted by his past, including the disappearance of his younger sister years before, something for which he blamed himself. Add to that, the death of a good friend, the explosion in Iraq that completely mangled one of his legs, and Dylan finds himself trapped by a web of his own horrible choices, mixed with some assistance from the demons that continue to beg for more of him.

Without giving away the ending, I was thankful that it led to a place of understanding and a bit of triumph, considering the darkness that bogged down most of the story.

For me, personally, this story was difficult to follow. The most intriguing parts, presented as flashbacks throughout, entailed Dylan’s time in Iraq. The characters were real, likeable, and Hines perfectly depicted the isolated lives of the soldiers, never knowing who to trust as they dismantled explosives intended to kill them, at least several times a day. I would have preferred a complete novel on that story.

As it was, the story bounced around from present to past, from conversations with demons, some inside his head while others he spoke to face to face, and cult-like communities mixed up in international drug trafficking. A battle between the Chosen and the Falling Away, but I found most of the characters difficult to like, relate to,  or follow. Including the main character, Dylan, at times.

Some have described this story as breathtaking, a rush to the finish. If you are into supernatural or paranormal fiction, this book may be just the thing for you. I am not one of those people. I found it more of a chore, limping to the finish and still wondering what just happened.

This book was provided by Thomas Nelson, as part of their BookSneeze program.

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