Monday, February 23, 2009

Review: A Kiss Before the Apocalypse

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse

Paperback, 292 pages
Publisher: Roc Fantasy
Cover Design: Alissa Amell
Release Date: May 6, 2008
ISBN-10: 0-451462053
ISBN-13: 978-0451462053

Remy Chandler is a Boston private eye on a standard assignment, investigating a man suspected of cheating on his wife. The target confirms Remy’s suspicions when he meets with his lover, but then things go horribly wrong when he shoots her and then himself. Even worse however, is that neither one dies from the fatal wounds. It is soon revealed that for the last week, no one in the city has died, whether from violence, disease, or natural causes. They cannot die because no one is collecting their souls and that is because the one being that should be doing it, the Angel of Death, has gone missing.

You might think such a case is beyond the ken of a simple private detective except that Remy is himself an angel. Thousands of years ago, after the Great War caused by Lucifer Morningstar, Remy left heaven and repressed his angelic nature to live among mortal beings. He soon discovers that things are even worse when a group of heavenly angels show up in his office with a case from the boss upstairs. Not only is the Angel of Death missing, so are the scrolls that when opened in his presence will unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Remy Chandler must now get drawn back into a world he hoped to leave forever in order to save the world.

I was first exposed to Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler in the short story “Noah’s Orphan’s” published in the paranormal crime anthology Mean Streets (review), which incidentally is set after the events in this novel. I was intrigued by a story about an angel turned private detective who consciously chose to live among humans. For the most part, he is essentially human, at least in appearance. He has superior senses, he can will himself invisible, and he can speak and understand any language. The language bit is one of my favorites because Remy can also talk to animals and does so constantly with his Labrador retriever, Marlowe. Marlowe sometimes acts a little more intelligent then he should, but Sniegoski makes the interaction between him and Remy humorous and endearing.

Perhaps the most important thing about Remy in this book is that he is immortal. His wife of over five decades is dying of cancer. Or she would be if the Angel of Death was not missing. For her sake and for the sake of the world he must stop the Apocalypse and restore the natural balance to the world. Even after thousands of years of living among humans, Remy still doesn’t completely understand them yet he’s still willing to fight for them. But in order to do that he has to call upon his angelic nature and that is what he is afraid of. Angels don’t have souls so they have to learn to be human the hard way. Remy stands to lose everything he has gained, but what choice does he have with mankind’s existence hanging in the balance?

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse is the first book in an intriguing new urban fantasy series. I was raised Luthern so I don’t know that much about Catholic theology but I think this could an interesting series. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Rating: 7.5/10.


Becky said...

Sounds interesting! I just finished reading a book about the apocalypse titled, "Resonance" by A. J. Scudiere. This book would make a fantastic movie. The action never lets up, and the end is unexpected and very satisfying. I have added "A Kiss Before the Apocalypse" to my must read list.

Benjamin said...

Hi Becky! I hope you enjoy the book. I'll be sure to check out "Resonance". :-)