Fourteen angels are cited in the Book of Revelation. The final angel brings forth the end of days, but only after humanity has gone through a series o...moreFourteen angels are cited in the Book of Revelation. The final angel brings forth the end of days, but only after humanity has gone through a series of trials to ready it for this event. However, what happens if the earlier omens that would trigger each of the angels are skipped, and the final angel is brought forth too soon, far before mankind is ready and ahead of God’s plan? A secret faction of the Catholic Church, the Hetairia Melchizedek, studies omens and signs, hoping to protect the world from this ever happening. When a prophetic dream and change in a statue of Remiel, the final angel, occur, the society, including young priest Chris Mognahan, seek to find the incarnation of the angel on earth so they may work with her to prevent the premature end, and protect her from the evil Other that seeks to destroy her.
The Sounding was a far more thoughtful and exciting novel than I had anticipated. Following several introductory pages of the Book of Revelation describing the angels and end of days, the opening of the novel hits with a bang–a supernatural murder on a college campus. Alerted by the strangeness of the killing, Father Mognahan alerts the Hetairia Melchizedek, and, together with a mute monk, searches the campus for Remiel. They find her in the form of Elise Moore, a beautiful young student who has lived a quiet life hiding her supernatural powers from those around her.
Although Elise was initially a hard character for me to come to like, over time her character is expanded to the point that you can’t help but root for her. Like Christ, she has a sacrifice to make to save the world, and as much as she’d like to give it up, she also knows that she plays a critical role in the survival of mankind. The other characters were well-rounded as well, and Father Chris is sure to be a favorite of many reading the book. It begins as largely his story, but transitions to focus on Elise and her struggles.
There is also plenty of danger and action in the novel. A being they refer to as the Other, the opposite of Remiel, seeks to destroy Elise. Somehow, it always knows where to find her, and it shows no mercy, tearing down whomever it needs to in order to get to her.
What I enjoyed most about this book is how entrenched it is in Catholicism and how much I learned about religion without it ever feeling preachy. As a non-Catholic, I love getting glimpses into the workings of the Church and its theology. We also get a great literary tour of the Vatican City, making me long to visit it in real life. Fans of books like The Da Vinci Code, and Angelology will most likely also enjoy the theology mixed with adventure and action at play here. And it’s written much better than The Da Vinci Code.
My only real issue with the book has nothing to do with the story, but more with the publisher. I reviewed a finished copy, and counted at least seven or eight grammatical errors and typos (periods missing from the ends of sentences, using “they” instead of “thy” in two separate instances). Granted, that’s not much considering the book is nearly 500 pages long, but it was enough that I noticed and wished that it would have been picked over more carefully by an editor.
I’m very happy that I was approached to review this title, because I probably would have never picked it up on my own. It’s the kind of book that will stay with me long after I finish it, and I even ended up having dreams based on the story and characters, it got under my skin so much. I’m excited to see what Carrie Salo creates in her future books.(less)
Noah's been raised in an Evangelical household. His father is the host of a popular conservative Christian radio show. However, Noah's rebellion again...moreNoah's been raised in an Evangelical household. His father is the host of a popular conservative Christian radio show. However, Noah's rebellion against his upbringing has resulted in being placed in a special school for troubled teens. Lately, teen homeless gay boys have been turning up murdered, and Noah suspects one of the callers to his father's radio show as being the murderer. Noah has also met a new friend, Will, who is a young gay teen living on the streets. After Will is murdered (you find this out in the first chapter, so it isn't a spoiler), Noah takes it upon himself to find the killer. However, he may be the next target.
I appreciated the message of The Less-Dead, even if it came across heavy-handedly at times. Lurie has written a sensitive novel that shows the hypocrisy of religious people who claim to love everybody, yet persecute gays. She even includes a rebuttal in the back of the book against many of the popular arguments people make as to why the Bible shows that homosexuality is a sin. I think what I liked best was the inner conflict Noah feels when Will shows that he has feelings for him. Noah's always considered himself to be open-minded, but reacts in such a way that he feel ashamed of himself. It seemed a very real, genuine scene. I hope reading this book helps some people overcome hate, and learn to respect others' differences.(less)