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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Angel 1089 by C.C. Bridges

Angel 1089 by C.C. Bridges
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Catching two demon burglars is routine for Gabriel 1089, who’s one cog in an army of cybernetically modified humans protecting the sky city of Heaven. Until two turns into a twenty-demon ambush. When he wakes up, he’s missing his network-enabled halo—and one of his metal wings.

The down-level junk dealer tending Gabe’s wounds has hands that spark nerve endings he never knew he possessed. But for an angel cut off from Heaven, an attic in Old Trent feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.

Demons on his doorstep are nothing new for Jeff Werth. Ever since they saved his daughter’s legs, they’ve been calling in their marker. In exchange for his services—nursing Gabe back to health so they can use him as a pawn in their war with Heaven—they’ll consider the debt paid in full. Except having a powerless angel at his mercy feeds a rising desire that has him rethinking the deal.

Then the de-haloed Gabe begins having dreams that become visions…then memories. Until he’s not sure whose side he’s on. Heaven, or the simple family man who healed his broken wings…and made his heart whole.

In a war between Heaven and Hell, everyone’s at risk. Gabriel 1089 is one of many angels protecting midlevel from demons. When he’s attacked and ripped from the safety network of angels, Heaven Corp assumes he’s dead. Yet Gabe wakes up in a new, unfamiliar place filled with outdated technology and strange people bargaining with demons. Downside is not what Gabe expected and his attraction to the man that saved his life just may be his downfall. Jeff has a secret that threatens not only his relationship with Gabe but the life of Jeff’s daughter. As Gabe’s memory returns, he faces an uncertain future as a pawn in either the angels or the demons battle.

Angel 1089 is a thrilling urban fantasy, science fiction story. The angels vs demons battle is a familiar one but the story remains fresh and interesting. There are enough unique elements that nothing feels clichéd or tired. The plot sometimes takes some leaps in thought and plays loose with some plot details – many questions remain at the end and not all the threads are wrapped up. Yet this is offset by the complex and thorough world building. The setting is so immense and interesting that you’re dropped into it immediately and happily stay there for the entire story.

The author’s voice and writing keep you engaged from beginning to end as the even pace and good mix of action, sex, and character development carry the story. The characters are all interesting on their own, each with back stories and subtle nuances. Jeff and Gabe connect early on but slowly build their relationship. This lets the tension build since there is a question of what will happen when true allegiances are revealed. At the same time their relationship feels almost too easy and while they’re a likable enough couple, I never felt any deep passion. Instead, the host of supporting characters held my attention.

Angel 1089 is the first in what promises to be a very fascinating new series. The science fiction story offers a complicated and engaging new world filled with innovation and familiar elements. The angels vs. demons mythology is well handled and should appeal to fans of that theme while bringing in urban fantasy readers. The romance is not the best part since Gabe and Jeff never quite have the same drama as the dangerous, high tech world surrounding them but I’m curious to see where the series goes from here.

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