Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (Remy Chandler, Book 1) by Thomas E. Sniegoski (3.5 stars)

I read a short story with Remy Chandler in it and was intrigued by the character. So, I decided to pick up the first book in this series. It was a good book with an interesting premise.

Remy used to be Remiel part of the Seraphim host. He decided to suppress his angelic nature and live with humans. Now his lives with his dog Marlowe, his wife (who is in a nursing home) and runs his own PI agency . On a investigation that should have been a straight case of infidelity things go awry when the man being investigated shoots himself in the head and dies, but then regains his pulse. Something weird is going on, people all over the world are getting fatal injuries but not dying. Remy finds out that the Angel of Death is missing. The Seraphim want Remy to investigate and try to find the Angel of Death. Time is definitely not on Remy's side because as hospitals fill with people who should be dead, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are getting restless. If Remy can't find the Angel of Death it could mean the end of the world.

Overall this was a good book. Remy is an interesting character. Sniegoski does a good job of dealing with angelic and demonic nature without getting too weird about all the religion behind it; which I really appreciated. There is a lot of action in this book and the plot moves along quickly. The world being on the edge of destruction really propels the book forward. There is some humor, but more heartbreak in this book than I was expecting. The side characters are well filled out and were interesting to read about. The writing is straight-forward, nothing exceptional but very easy to read and engaging. I also liked that Sniegoski dealt with how these disasters were affecting the whole world and not just Remy's little corner of it.

Despite the fact that this is technically a well-written novel I had a bit of trouble getting into the characters. The characters had depth, but they were a little fuzzy around the edges. The action scenes were well-written but didn't really grab me and make me feel like I was there. So, I guess, everything felt a little softer than it should have been and didn't have the hard definition that I expect from an investigative novel. I also expected more witty banter and humor than I got, really most of this novel deals with heartbreak. Remy is a character who deals with love in the toughest forms. The novel wasn't very uplifting (not that I expected it to be), I was almost in tears a number of times.

So, I guess this was a paranormal PI novel with heart. Unfortunately I wanted something with a bit more humor and well-defined action. For me this was one of those books that I kind of like, but was kind of disappointed in. I wasn't exactly sure what was missing but I have described it as well as I can above. I do think this could be an excellent series; this book may just be suffering from the first book syndrome a lot of paranormal books seem to suffer from. It was an easy read and engaging; so I will be picking up the next book to read and see how I like that one.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 1st in a Series Reading Challenge
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
A Kiss Before the Apocalypse: A Remy Chandler Novel

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