Sunday, May 31, 2009

Angel of Wrath 1: Intro and good points

This will be an odd review: I haven't finished Bill Myers' Angel of Wrath, and I don't intend to. Yes, the review's going to be rather negative. But I'll start with an overview and some strong points.

Overview: Someone has decided to remove erring members of Calvary Cathedral from the church forcibly and permanently. Calvary Cathedral is a stereotypical megachurch that has lost its way and soul during its quest for ever more members, so it's not hard to find sinners in its midst.

The senior pastor happens to have a sister with an FBI background, and she has a quasi-boyfriend with a Special Forces background, who in turn has a niece with a deaf background. (A deaf foreground, too. But I forgot to mention her uncanny sensitivity to spiritual things, a sensitivity owed apparently not to God but to Man: human technology, that is.)

Meanwhilst, a would-be coven is sacrificing cats and good taste in an attempt to conjure up Something. Little do they know. Oh, sorry, that should have been, "Little do they know that their group is secretly led by the guy committing all the church-related murders." (They still don't know much...) This leader is ex-Special Forces himself, so soon he and the pastor's sister's squeeze-only-not are comparing personal badness. Come on, guys, just see who'll eat the nastiest bug or something!

Anyway... The Bad ex-Special Forces guy believes that Jesus and Satan have decided to bury their personal hatchet, but they still want to purge sinners from whatever megachurch is handy. It's a logic hole you could drive a spirit apparition through, and that's handy as well. Yes, it's the pop-culture creature from Hell, and it's running amok. This is good, because otherwise amok would drift about aimlessly, which can be messy.

However, Calvary Cathedral has a secret weapon in the form of...well, I guess I could call her a praise and worship geek. Tune in again tomorrow for why that's disturbing.

Good points. Basically, the pacing and action are good. Also the bad guy's fate is reasonable.

[Addendum: It's been pointed out that the resolution of the relationship between the ex-FBI sister and her dad is well handled. That is true; it's one of the redeeming features of the story, and I should've mentioned it. The resolution of the breach between pastor and son works less well, however, being based on modern, extra-biblical ideas, so they somewhat cancel each other out.]

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