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Saturday, March 31, 2012

No Angel Odd, Clumsy Read

(Image from Deseret Book)

Heaven, as it turns out, isn't all harps and clouds.  Still, Jonathan Stewart much prefers it to that cess pool known as Earth.  He did his time as a mortal; he's not about to go back.  He's made it abundantly clear to the yahoos at HR that he has no interest, whatsoever, in becoming a guardian angel.  Jonathan's stunned, then, when he's assigned to watch over Celeste Knight, who's about to embark on her own Earth journey.  All post-mortal spirits are required to do one guardianship, so Jonathan has little choice in the matter.  At least he was wise enough to request a spirit who's marked for an early death—while Jonathan's return to Earth will be torture in the extreme, at least it will be short.

What Jonathan doesn't realize is that spirits like Celeste can choose when to die.  And Celeste isn't about to give up too early.  Frustrated by her stubbornness, Jonathan nonetheless decides to do his job as he does everything else—perfectly.  It's not easy, though, to keep a young Celeste away from all the dangers Earth life has to offer.  Not only does he have to steer her away from erratic drivers, rogue lightning bolts, rusty swingsets  and the like, but he also has to battle the Sheydim (Satan's angels) who want to enslave Celeste (and every other mortal) to their master.  It's no picnic, but, along the way, Jonathan discovers (to his utter surprise) that he cares for his kind-hearted charge, feels responsible for her eternal salvation.  In fact, he realizes that he'll do anything, move Heaven and Earth if he has to (and he does), to make sure she returns to her Maker unscathed.

It's difficult to describe the plot of No Angel, Theresa Sneed's first published novel, because the fact is, it's confusing.  Not to mention just ... odd.  Plus, the story's got some serious plot holes, very clumsy editing and one supremely unlikable main character, all of which made the book difficult for me to read.  I know it's supposed to be an uplifting, inspiring read and I guess it is, or would be, if the writing were better.  As is, the whole presentation just drove me crazy.  The horrible truth:  I raced through No Angel because I couldn't wait to toss it aside and move on to something else. 

(Readalikes:  Reminded me a little of Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert and a tiny bit of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis)   

Grade:  D

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for some mature subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought No Angel at Deseret Book with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.


  1. Hmm, the premise to this does sound interesting. Such a shame that it doesn't live up to its potential! =/


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