Review: Angel Undone by Leta Blake

The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there's little personal joy in it.

Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.

Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about his restrained depths, gentle smiles, and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.

Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.

Warnings: this novella contains urban fantasy, wings, angels doing unangelic things, erotic content, and playful blasphemy

Blasphemy that would leave my grandma open-mouthed and open-eyed in horror and my other grandma saying “Eh?”.

Well, it’s not that extreme, but if you are a little sensitive, this book is not for you.

I have read nothing of Neil Gaiman, so I have no way to compare.

This is the first book I’ve read by Leta Blake. I think her style is solid and the acid sense of humor kept me going until the very end.

But, honestly, there is little to be happy about.

The love story is off-off-off. And I’d like to say the fantasy/angelic theme was something innovative and great, but it wasn’t.

See, Michael, the Archangel, is given missions to save people on Earth. His task now is to save 40-year-old Jewish Asher, who has lived all his existence in the closet and is close to making a big mistake that would only push him deeper into his misery. Michael has to make him see light, and well, Asher does see light, in more than one sense.

I’ve heard this blurb before. It’s a well-worn topic.

I don’t know exactly where and when I heard or read it, but Lucifer being a surf boy didn’t sound like something new to my ears. I expected the badass angel to be something of the sort. Not surprised.

God being an asshole who gets amused mandhandling humans at his will was very typical, too.

The Christian part was broadly made fun of, but the Jewish part was a little wasted, in my opinion. Islam is only mentioned with their prophet Muhammad. I don’t expect Family Guy or South Park here, but I think those little jokes could have gone further. Maybe the author has more respect toward these religions, maybe she decided the Christian religion was enough, or maybe she just didn’t dare with the other two big monotheisms. Whatever the reason, I was a little let down.

Michael has spent thousands of years in utter submission and obedience towards his Father. But this time, he’s compelled to initiate a rebellion, as his brother Lucifer did a long time ago. The reason is this human with his Father’s imprint on him that calls him like a siren that he simply cannot resist.

I saw no other reason for Michael’s desire to be with Asher. Yes, they have very hot sex scenes together, but their interactions are of the physical sphere rather than really falling in love, and their dialogues were so vague and cryptic I was growing a little frustrated myself, because they are obviously not enough to form a real bond. Insta-love? Probably. Insta-lust? Clearly so.

I couldn’t believe the love story. And much less, I couldn’t believe why Michael decides to give up the divine favor just because of him. I can understand he was tired of serving, or not fulfilling his own needs, of not having his own life. But I can’t understand Asher being the cause and end of all of that.

All in all, I’m really disappointed in this novella. I expected much more, more originality, a more daring scheme of things, and of course, a love story that would make me lose my breath. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met.

A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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