A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
For a novel that's given the trappings of a fantasy detective mystery, the main character is strangely ineffectual and passive. The big clue that cracks the case just wanders into his living room. He receives it through no effort of his own.
The action starts when Remy Chandler is alerted that something strange is happening when two people who should be dead don't die. Given that he is a seraph (not a spoiler) one would think such an astonishing event should put him on full alert and fill him with motivation. It doesn't; he just keeps lumbering on with his life.
Then he is given a heavenly visitation and is told that the world is ending and it's up to him to stop it. Then he's is attacked, twice, by creatures who it latter turns out have no reason to attack him. This is one of several continuity errors.
Why would a wayward angel (the protagonist), the Angel of Death, several Grigori (the Watchers from the Bible), and Lazarus (the Lazarus) all be living in Boston at the same time when they have the whole world to choose from for homes? The author never explains.
Then there are the fight scenes where the characters speak whole sentences to each other in the same amount of time as a punch or a headbutt a la Marvel comics.
How about the time a character apparently has three hands? He is holding a sword, a dagger, and a revolver at the same time.
The author tries for a few emotionally wrenching scenes, but my suspension of disbelief was so shattered that they left me cold. I couldn't sustain the reader's trance for this novel, so I was mostly bored. In addition to his continuity ineptness, the author also insufficiently filed the serial numbers of of ideas taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark and, I suspect, The Prophecy. Furthermore, pretty much all of the characters are stock cutouts.
About the only redeeming quality this novel has is that the author has done some Jewish-Christian mythology homework.
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