Author: James Kimmel Jr.
Title: The Trial of Fallen Angels
Description: Lawyer Brek Cuttler arrives in the afterlife bloodied but unable to remember what happened or how she got there. While her great-grandmother acts as a guide to familiarize her with the ways of the dead, she is recruited to act as advocate for the souls coming to be judged. As she goes through training for this responsibility, she learns that patterns of connection between individuals run deep, and that everyone’s story has two sides.
Plot: The plot works on many levels. The way the afterlife works is really interesting just in itself; add to that the mystery of Brek’s death and the lives of the various souls that Brek encounters, and you’ve got a plot that weaves threads together in a way that keeps the reader surprised until the end.
Characters: Part of Kimmel’s purpose is to present characters that are more than one dimensional, and he does this very well, revealing small aspects of each character’s personality until we see that no one is all good or all bad.
Writing style: He just keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out where the story is going.
Audience: It’s literary fiction, but I gave it to Steve, who only reads science fiction and fantasy, and he is loving it.
Wrap-up: My first gem of this year. Loved, loved it. The last 20 pages are one of the best payoffs ever. 5/5*