Plague of Angels by John Patrick Kennedy

There are many adjectives I could use to describe this book.

Visceral. Inventive. Bold. Graphic. Bloodthirsty. Erotic. Offensive. Depraved. Soul-wrenching.

Most people might use the word “epic” as a buzzword, without a true understanding of what that really means. In this case, it applies.

I don’t think any of the other descriptions even begin to hit the mark, to be quite honest, but without a doubt it’s controversial and even hopeful in places you wouldn’t expect, as twisted as that sounds. The one thing it’s not? Poetic. This one goes right for the throat. The further it went along, the less I knew where it was going, and the more I wanted it to take me there despite the fact that I needed a few showers along the way. It was, at times, like staring at something so mangled as to be barely recognizable and not being able to turn away.

The book’s shortcomings are its own strengths, and vice versa. By its very nature, much of the story has to be told in fast forward, hitting the highlights of a thousand years, and I think that’s the only shortcoming I could really see improving upon here, hence 4 stars instead of 5. But would it be somehow boring to fill in more gaps? More of the same? I have no answers for that. All I know is what’s here is enough to bring me back for book two when it’s finally released. I was going to give it a solid three stars for the first 80% of the book, until Tribunal’s last two directives were issued to Nyx. That took everything to a new level and laid the groundwork for whatever’s coming next. Depending on how the entire arc plays out, I may have to change my rating in either direction based on the new perception I’ll be given, but for now I can honestly say I was entertained, horrified, and given new questions about how this story even came to be told. It’s fascinating to consider the possibilities of where this came from and what lies ahead.

This much I can promise, though… the author is absolutely fearless to tell a story like this. On the surface of it, I’m sure he’s managed to piss off a lot of people as only a subject matter like this can. For those who can see the deeper layers (or want to), there’s a lot more to this that only a highly personal interpretation can answer for now, until the rest of the story is filled in. It’s a big promise for an author to put forth something like this. I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

Eat your heart out, Dante.

4 stars

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