Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Hundred Words For Hate - Thomas E. Sniegoski


A Hundred Words For Hate
A Remy Chandler Novel
Thomas E. Sniegoski
Roc
 
Urban Fantasy
 
Remy Chandler is a PI working in Boston.  Long ago, he was the angel Remiel, a Seraphim, one of God’s warriors.  Remy fought bravely and well during the War In Heaven, but decided the cost was too high. He decided to ‘put away’ his Seraphim nature and spend some time living on the Earth as a regular human.  The traces of his divine powers that remain open to him in human form help him out sometimes with his investigations.  He’s not the only divine or partly-divine individual hanging around the planet.  Most have their own agendas; some work for specific bosses.  It’s pretty easy to spot each other if you need to do so.
 
On a very cold, early morning, a small group of men meet Remy while he’s out walking his dog, Marlowe.  These men are a group called the Sons Of Adam.  It seems that, over the millennia, this group of men has been tasked with keeping the physical remains of the original Adam (the one from the Garden) alive and protected.  Generations work tirelessly at this, until, one day, an angel arrives with the news that Adam – who never moves or speaks and in fact resembles a small mummy – is coming to the end of his very long life.  Adam’s wish, the wish that has sustained him for untold centuries, is that his body be buried in the Garden.  There are a couple of snags in this plan.  First, no one knows where the Garden is because God, in His wisdom, separated it from the rest of reality so that Lucifer and his crew couldn’t use it as a beachhead to Heaven.  The other problem is that the doors to Eden are barred to man.  To get in, one must have the key.  And no one really knows just where that key might be.
 
Remy realizes that this is one of those cases that might blow up into something, if not world-destroying, then at the very least world-threatening.  He begins to reconnect with some people (or beings) that might be of some help.  While he’s doing this, the reader gets treated to a real surprise.  A character assumed to be dead at the end of the last novel has managed, somehow, to hang on to life.  This begins a completely unexpected arc for this character that shows us more than I think we’ve ever know about him.  The narrative necessarily moves from earth to Hell for some scenes, then from time period to time period on earth. 

This is one of those novels you’d like to inhale in one sitting, then turn back to the first page and do it again.  I feel that way about the whole series, really. The books (A KISS BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE, DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN, WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD) are obviously based on Christian or Judeo-Christian background.  If you don’t share those faiths, it’s fine.  There’s nothing preachy here; just a bunch of, for want of a better word, people, doing the best they can to make up for what they did before and continue on from there, sometimes helping each other, sometimes doing all they can to hinder the other person.  Any reader who enjoys urban fantasy, or paranormal tales with a harder edge, should really take a good look at these.
 
Rating: 9
March 2011
ISBN#978-0-451-46377-7 (trade paperback)

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