Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Review: The Trial of Fallen Angels

Coming to shelves near you is the brilliant book by James Kimmel, Jr., titled The Trial of Fallen Angels. This book tackles the afterlife, justice and forgiveness. Brek Cuttler, a lawyer, wife and mother, has a good life but she suddenly finds herself in an abandoned station (train or subway, I don't remember). She is bleeding and confused. A man, Luas, comes to tell her that she will be presenting cases of those who have died and who are awaiting final judgment. She, then, realizes she is in heaven when she runs into her grandmother and the house where she grew up. It's quite a shock to her, obviously. Later, she begins her work in the afterlife. While researching these cases, she finds out that these clients have had an impact on her life without ever having known them and that's where the story gets good!

This book is thought-provoking, frightening, illuminating, disturbing, strange and highly poignant. It does not delve into any particular religion but encompasses them all. Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc... It is not like The Shack except for the main subject of the afterlife. 

Kimmel does such an excellent job of creating the main character's memories and then using those memories to build the characters she meets in the afterlife. He also, brilliantly, has Brek actually live her clients' lives - their memories are hers too, including sights, scents, feelings, prayers and their lives as a whole.

I found this book hard to come back to. If I could have had a few days to just read, this wouldn't have been a problem but there is so much going on that if you have to leave the book for a day or two, you are lost when you come back to it. I had to re-read a chapter or two to catch up. It does go back and forth between Brek's living days, clients' previous lives, Brek's afterlife, etc. and can be a little confusing, however...

...I do think this book is great for group discussions...I plan to recommend it to my church. In conclusion, I am in awe of Mr. Kimmel's first novel. Well done!


Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

It does sound interesting! And I agree, some books are best read straight through without distractions!

Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

This books sounds ok, but it's not my typical read. But I agree with you and Kate, sometimes books must be read all in one sitting!