Title: The Trial of Fallen Angels
Author: James Kimmel, Jr.
Release Date: November 8, 2012
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Brek Cuttler loves her life, so she’s shocked when she wakes up on a train platform, covered in blood, and is informed that she’s dead. Brek has no idea how she died, nor what happened to her young daughter, so she’s frantic to return to the world of the living. But as she comes to terms with her death and the afterlife, Brek must also look back through her own life and discover what happened to her and why.
I’m normally wary of any book that deals with spiritual and religious issues, simply because many of them seem to be written with an agenda. They tend to be preachy, and while I understand why they appeal to so many, they aren’t usually for me. I hesitated before picking up The Trial of Fallen Angels, but at the end of the day, I knew it was from an editor that I trusted, so I decided to give it a chance. And I’m glad I did.
The Trial of Fallen Angels doesn’t have an agenda or religious direction; in fact, it’s quite vague when it comes to specific religion. There are references, yes, and overall it has a Christian feeling, but there’s absolutely no preachiness here. This is by no means Christian fiction, as I’d feared. However, it does have a powerful message about the value of both love and forgiveness, as well as the place of justice in the world. If you like your reads to have some meaning, this is a great one to pick up.
Kimmel does a great job balancing the different flashbacks and stories within The Trial of Fallen Angels with Brek’s story. While not clear at the beginning, every story in the book is connected, and it’s up to Brek to figure out how. This creates a great mystery and sense of urgency to the novel. How did Brek die? Why does the afterlife function the way it does? It’s great to be along for the ride for this novel, even when the revelations are difficult and heartbreaking.
In the end, The Trial of Fallen Angels is a sad book, but one that’s worth reading. You know it can’t end completely happily; Brek is dead, and nothing will reunite her with her husband or daughter. But if you’re prepared for this going in, you’ll find that Kimmel has crafted a thriller-esque novel with both depth and emotion.