I'm busy with the deep edits of the sequel, which I thought I'd never write, but decided to after Kye's rather persistent insistence that I do.
Angel is FREE right now. It's not a long read, nor will the sequel be; but I think the stories are both engrossing and challenging, and I think the Ray Wilms' world is well illustrated and affecting.
Below are the reviews it has garnered since I released it in 2015. The long one is Kye's (of course), and is one of my very favorite reviews of hers regarding any of my published works.
(5 Stars): There's a quote in the Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, where a horse tells God, who takes the shape of a lion, "Please. You're so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I'd rather be eaten by you than fed by anyone else."
That quote pretty neatly sums up my personal feelings on divinity, and also nicely frames Angel. This is not a book which paints a cozy, soft, safe picture of faith. It's grounded firmly in the real world and all of its harsh injustice. The malevolence of humankind is not excused here or diluted in any way. Instead, we see a universe where God was faced with a terrible choice--a choice between a solipsistic, hellish existence or a world where human beings were granted the freedom to do terrible things--but where love, real love, could exist.
In such a world, hope, beauty, love and redemption are sometimes every bit as terrifying as the harsh cruelty of the world itself. Divinity itself must walk a harsh and uncompromising path, because that's what it takes to save a compromised soul in a compromised world. Human malevolence, after all, can be relentless, and it takes real resolve to stand against that. Divinity allows free choice, but it defends free will. And it does so with a relentless will of its own.
That kind of salvation, as imposing as it might be, has its own stark beauty, a matchless magnificence--the kind that Lewis was talking about. Montaigne's story is as disturbing as it is assuring, which is why it works. It doesn't contradict the horror of my daily experiences. It doesn't ever once say that the evil in the world is okay because it was part of some divine, unassailable plan. It never tells you what to believe in--just to believe in the highest in yourself and those you love.
And best of all, this tapestry of ideas is woven out of a very human story about an unlikely and tumultuous friendship between two men who couldn't seem less alike at the start of the story. By its end, they have discovered the highest in each other, and re-discovered it in themselves. I'll leave you to find out how.
(5 Stars): Is it really fiction?--The concept of the story line and character development was rich vivid and totally possible! I learned a great deal about myself and what I believe. This is a keeper for repeated journeys as my path changes and I move to the next level.
(5 Stars): Best book ever!!--The story was sensational ! Each chapter out performed the last. I stayed up all night to finish it ! Can't wait until the sequel comes out. I must say I'm a devoted fan and going to start Melody and the Pier to Forever next! Shawn Michel definitely captures your attention!
And here's the back-cover blurb:
The airplane Professor Ray Wilms was in just exploded. Somehow he survived the fireball and tons of burning metal as it blew away into the night air over San Diego, California. He has no idea how he's still conscious. He's strapped to his seat and hurtling straight for the Pacific Ocean thousands of feet below.
Astonishingly, he's not frightened. As the ocean rises to smash him dead, a vision of the angel who was sent to save him engulfs him. It's a vision of the past, of their meeting for the first time, but seen from over the angel's shoulder.
Dr. Wilms was once an unyielding skeptic and atheist. As the final seconds of his life tick away, he wonders: What am I now? As he gives over to the vision and follows the angel around, he must decide before the dark sea claims him.