There are many sub genres when it comes to writing fiction for contemporary women, and this book falls under Teen Fantasy. Although I, too, write for women (which I find extremely stimulating and interesting because, in general, women have much better imaginations and are far more articulate), teen fantasy is not really “my thing”. Despite this, I regularly explore such sub genres in the belief that their unfamiliar style and content will open up corners of my mind which would otherwise have remained dormant. This is why I turned to this remarkable book by Patricia Puddle, the cover of which depicts an eye-catching, almost impossibly-muscled male angel.
There are many writers who are into love affairs involving angels and human beings and the problem that mutual desire can create in such circumstances, but Patricia Puddle’s efforts have impressed me mainly because, with very little effort, she conjures up interesting questions about morality, what is right and what is wrong. Good and bad. Permissible. Allowable in certain situations. Arguments to justify a chosen course of action….and, of course the consequences (dire punishment, usually) that can follow. Of course, it is all highly tongue-in-cheek. Of course, it is highly fantastical. And therefore of course, it is all immense fun.
For here we have angels being placed into therapy because they are lusting after human women. We have angels whose wings are burned off as divine punishment from a guy called “God”, which promptly renders them back into ordinary human beings. We have archangels riding on horseback through blue skies with sword drawn, ready to come down heavily on those angels who are being too human through wanting to “have it all”---to hold onto the powers they possess as angels while partaking of the physical delights available only to human beings. And, heavens above (no pun intended), aren’t they just so argumentative when pleading their cases with the archangel Michael, if Nathaniel is anything to go by! And as if Nathaniel is not bad enough to want more than he should be content with, we have Lucifer threatening to enter the fray to egg him on, not to mention the ever-menacing presence of Nathaniel’s love-rival, the dastardly Devlin.
Life after death as an angel just seems even more complicated, but maybe the added complication is worth it for the sake of the tender ministrations of the desirable Eloise, amazingly knowledgeable and forward though she appears to be for a girl of her age. Two aspects dealt with in this engrossing book intrigued me as a writer who likes to explore tantalizing ideas. The first was the fact that without a flesh and blood body so much is lost; do read his book and see how much ecstasy Nathaniel finds with Eloise when he is temporarily relegated to human form, but carefully note an almost equal ecstasy that he derives from the simple physical pleasure of tasting a burger, a coke, a milkshake, chewing gum! This brings home so succinctly how much is lost when one dies, whatever else the kind of life that the hereafter might hold out to us! The other idea was the selective deletion of memory. I have no doubt that within the next 50 years or sooner medical science will be able to accomplish this, and so bring relief to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers and those who are too grief-stricken or otherwise mentally traumatised to survive. Having found this books multi-dimensional in its provision of enjoyment, I have no hesitation in recommending it to everyone who is young at heart. What a terrific imagination this writer has!
(reviewed the day of purchase)