Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review - The Seraph Contingency: Anael’s Tale


The Seraph Contingency: Anael’s Tale

By: Jennifer Fales
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4787-1699-0
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: April 12, 2013

There are a slew of novels out there that concentrate on the ‘halo’ factor. In fact, one can not go to a bookstore without seeing a pair of wings glaring back at them from the shelves. However, it is extremely difficult to find a tale that involves one of the Divine that is unusual, unique, intelligent - not to mention, hysterical. This novel solves that difficulty.

Apparently angels get bored. Listening to the constant choir in sync and having to always wear the requisite white and fit into a niche that involves nothing but smiles and pleasantries can become mundane - at least for one angel. Her name is Anael, and readers meet up with her at the very beginning of this tale as she escapes the ‘glowing’ world in order to get a glimpse at what non-angels do.

She ends up in a bar in Purgatory listening to seedy rock and roll and drinking a Shirley Temple while she watches the bottom rung of society at play. Anael, a complete innocent, finds all of this magical; however, when she disappears from the bar, the owner, Pete, becomes scared for her and calls up Hell to ask for a favor from the demon who is respected by one and all. His name is Gaap and he’s part of the Transporter Guild.

Gaap does his job well. A transporter is called upon to move people or artifacts around when needed, transporting them from one world to the next at a very high price. Asked to help the angel and take her to some kind of safe house so she will not be harmed is what Gaap is asked. Of course, Pete is not the only one who asks this of him.

The Duchess is one girl who is definitely working to make her destiny come true. She wants more than anything to be noticed by the ‘top’ hot guy - Lucifer - at Satan’s ball which is coming up. There, she will walk in clothed in a dress that will make him ask for her hand (and all other parts of her). She will then become the second biggest power in Hell and live happily ever after maiming people at will. This masterpiece dress will be made from an angel’s wings, and when Gaap finds Anael he sees that the angel has already been parted from her wings. The Duchess has what she wants and Anael has become the ‘angel-that-was’.

With the help of Gaap’s serpent friends who really take a shine to the ex-angel, Anael regains her happiness and is transported by Gaap away from the Duchess and her master plan. When arriving in California (the writer’s choice for Purgatory), Gaap enlists the help of Jezebel (completely seductive but her heart is in the right place), and a five-year-old boy with a demon trapped inside him.
This becomes a battle of wits; from a Heavenly secret to a Hellish plan the reader gets a taste of pure adventure. Add in some odd artifacts and a ferryman who everyone has heard about before but will now see in a different light, and this ironic tale goes from interesting to an extremely excellent read that will have people wondering when they will be able to ‘party’ with these characters again. This reviewer hopes that will be very soon.

Quill says: The writing is charming, hysterical, and refreshingly new. What more could you want?