Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book One
It’s the present day. Toby O’Dare—aka Lucky the Fox—is a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. He’s a soulless soul, a dead man walking. His nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions is disrupted when a mysterious stranger, a seraph, offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear. In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.
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“The story begins slow, creating a bit of a dilemma for the reader anticipating that immediate hook. There is a deliberate attempt to establish the main character, rather than drive the reader into the thrust of the story. When the Catholicism of that character is included, it can come across as preachy – to the reader who has not read Anne Rice’s prior book, her spiritual biography, where she explains the Catholicism she grew within.
This is not a tale to keep one up into the middle hours of the night turning page after page. Such, I did not see, as the goal. What the story offers instead is an intriguing study of 13th century English life, how the prejudices of those days (while seeming petty and absurd from a 21st century perspective) were serious matter with dangerous consequences, and how those same prejudices can surface in a 21st century form. Explicitly, this is never declared in the pages; but reading the theme, along with the plot, one can begin to see the realities of redemption at work.”
Only one qualm: too little of a great thing! If it had been longer or if I had others in a series to dive into without pause the end might not have left me wanting more.