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Nancy A. Collins
book cover

1998, September, White Wolf, trade paperback

Who recommends: Julie, Laurie, Catie, Shelly, Preeti, JW, Linda
Who discommends: Shelly

This is what I would call an urban fantasy (it's described as a dark romantic fantasy on the blurbs I've seen) with a romance in it. And I wouldn't really call it that dark. <g>

Lucy Bender is an artist in New York; has a jerk for a boyfriend whose just dumped her so she heads to the roof of her apartment to contemplate jumping off. And what does she stumble across--literally a "fallen" angel. So now what does she do with "it?" Her first reaction is to profit from it by going to the media; she soon realizes there are other people involved--retrievers from above, a former fallen-angel comes to aid it & a demon is also after it.

It was an interesting story with a fairly predictable ending. Lucy irritated me a little bit; did a few dumb things and was a little wishy-washy. But ...

I liked the book; I will recommend it. The $12 is alot to pay for it tho; it's not a very long book. -- Julie

I'd like to add my name to the recommendations, although I do have a couple of reservations.

- Not so sure about a muse intent on fostering art and the appreciation of art who has squirrelled away what sounds like a huge swathe of our heritage in vaults where only he can see it.

- I'm not totally convinced by the relationship between Lucy and Joth. Although it is clear that Lucy has seen the angel as male and sexually attractive from the start, she is trying to build a relationship with what to all intents and purposes is a child. We see them hurring off to bed together but Collins is wise to halt at this point because any actual sexual contact would seem like incest or abuse.

However the story is beautifully written and I agree with all the praise Laurie and Julie have heaped upon it.--Catie

I just finished Angels on Fire by Nancy Collins. I'm split on this one.

I really liked her language; there were some descriptions that were just perfect (the faith of her fathers smelled of dust and tasted of warm grape juice),(the early-morning talk-show hostess, her hair sculpted into something between a helmet and an ornate sea-shell). Her descriptions/explanations of Heaven and Hell were unique and interesting.

But her characters drove me crazy. They would have been fine in an allegory because they were flat representations of things. The angel that was newly fallen, Joth, was fine being described that way in the beginning. It felt like he had popped out of Flatland into 3D Earth; however, as the time came closer for him to make a decision about whether or not to stay, I expected him to grow in some way, become more 3D so we'd know why he decided what he did. But you don't really see any change in him, except that he doesn't like seeing Lucy cry. That's it. I would have thought that she could have done a little more with his character.

The woman who finds him, Lucy, is much the same way. We're told that she has come to care for Joth, but I have no idea why. It makes no sense. Joth's an empty cup, a non-personality. How can you fall for that? She feels pity for those who are hurt. Is that all the relationship is? I didn't buy it.

Settings, philosophy, descriptions: great. Characters: terrible.

Oh, the artwork was really nice too.--Shelly (04 Dec 99)

This is a book which I think only came out in trade paperback. Julie had recommended it here.

I really liked the story. Like is such a generic word. I was fascinated by this story about the divinity of the creative process, especially art. This book wasn't religious at all, although it was chock-full of angels and daemons of all ilks and calibers. Good versus evil was played out in Collins' world as creation versus destruction.

The protagonist is a struggling New York artist who becomes a reluctant caretaker of a fallen angel when she trips over him. Joth is an innocent who lives only in the present but is rapidly approaching the time of choosing, where he either goes back to the host or decides to stay in the world and thus becomes either a muse (good) or a daemon (bad). Lucy is the person who'll probably make the difference, but she has many problems of her own without having to deal with elohim, seraphim, muses, wizards, imps and all variety of daemons as they fight over Joth. Lucy is hardly a saint, which provides a lot of tension in the story.

I found this story totally gripping more for the world and its characters and its message than for its romance. I really liked the story.--Preeti (28 Apr 01)

I recommend this also as an intriguing read but not as a romance. Found the angels and plot very interesting and I enjoyed the book a lot but there is very little romance and when there is finally its a bit unbelievable to me because the angel is too much like a child to even think of it and I would think it would be a longer period before he would ever seem more mature emotionally.--Linda (19 Jun 01)

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