A war involving angels, vampires, werewolves, and more is unleashed on the supernatural world in this urban fantasy debut.
To his fellow vampires, 900-year-old Marcel Dekrey might seem to be relatively normal. In actuality, however, Marcel is an undercover angel, working as a spy for God. He lives under the guise of a vampire in order to report back to God and the other angels the happenings in the supernatural realm that exists under the noses of most people and involves beings such as vampires, wizards, werewolves, lycans (werewolves who gain their powers by choice and are able to change back and forth at will), zombies, wraiths, and more. Meanwhile, an evil, powerful vampire called Stefano the Gouge plans on taking over the world with his lycan army (“Stefano always had an affinity for the ferals—especially the lycans. They were strong and loyal, traits he admired greatly. They seemed to share his appreciation for boldness and ferocity”). He knows the key to victory is to repossess the Necronomicron, the ancient Book of the Dead, which includes a spell to defeat angels. The U.S. government, which seized the book from the Nazis during World War II, conceals the treasure at Area 51, where Gen. Richard Massey investigates rumblings regarding a supernatural plot to steal it. The novel brims with a number of imaginative ideas and creatively fleshed-out historical back stories for the assorted immortal characters. There’s something admirably audacious about the number of seemingly disparate elements woven together here, from religious mythology to horror to even astrophysics. But the book also falls into the same trap as many other current urban fantasy series, namely trying to accomplish too much. It spends vast amounts of exposition explaining the difference between these and other authors’ iterations of various fantasy creatures, and not enough time on character or plot development. An undercover vampire angel is a convoluted enough concept without also factoring in an X-Files-lite government subplot and a heavenly war. The tale also alternates between first-person and third-person narrative, depending on the chapter, which creates a discordant, messy feel, structurally speaking.
A dense novel filled with excellent elements that falls victim to its own ambitions, ultimately leading to more exhaustion than exhilaration for the reader.