I finally finished The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young. As you might recall, I didn’t finish reading it on time for a review last week. In fact, I’m a book behind on my Goodreads reading challenge. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch up. Blah blah. Back to the review. 🙂 Before we hit that, how about the blurb from Mr. Young’s website:
Doomed to serve as a destroying angel until the end of the world, the fallen angel Xandir sometimes wonders what is taking so long. In thousands of years, he has only cared about one person and he was forced to destroy her along with her entire city in the line of duty.
Then a secret brotherhood approaches him and claims that together they can end the world and reunite him with his lost love. To do so, he must enter an ancient sunken city and emerge with a seed from the noxious tree at its center. With the seed’s poison they could construct weapons to bring down the curtain on Earth’s final act. Xandir’s journey takes him around the world, both above and beneath, sending him rushing in where most angels fear to tread.
I started out very hopeful with this book. The prologue absolutely rocked, and the writing was sound. I have to say, I was quite impressed with the opening. 🙂 One thing for sure, Mr. Young totally knows how to reel in the reader. If could categorize this work, I’d call it an action fantasy adventure.
Xandir is the main character as every other chapter is in his viewpoint while throwing in various other characters in between. He’s a different kind of hero from my normal reads: quick to anger, self-centered, short-sighted, and at times quite reckless. Yet he still has a moral drive which compels him to save every day people. It’s quite an odd combination, but in a way, very realistic.
I mentioned other characters. The Last Archangel steps into the mind of quite a few of them: Judy, a college language professor; Jarom, a cherub and Xandir’s apprentice; and Eden, an abused spouse. When I first started getting into the different POVs, I expected each to be a catalyst in the story. What I found was, though they played a part in the grand tapestry, they truly were only single threads. The true story is Xandir and the way seemingly unrelated plot lines work their way back to his journey, and eventually his final outcome.
I think the idea of having mini-plots and weaving them together to create a grand finale is an awesome idea. I’ve seen some wicked movies use that technique. In The Last Archangel, I think it ended up being the weak point.
When I thought about why, I believe it’s because the characters didn’t have enough interactions to really make me care about their overall predicament, particularly Judy and Eden who seemed to disappear toward the end of the book before reappearing.
In my mind, The Last Archangel was two separate stories which briefly touched. There was Judy and Eden who had their fight–a strong enough plot to stand on its own, but the characters lacked the ability to do much about their situation. With virtually no involvement from Xandir, Judy and Eden’s story seemed to be nothing more than filler. Then we had Xandir and Jarom with an entirely different fight–also a strong plot. Really, I believe if the novel only included Xandir and his predicament (with Jarom as his side kick), the entire story would have been stronger.
So was it a bad story? Not at all. It was quite decent, I would say. In fact, if my reading list wasn’t a million and a half books long, I’d probably read The Last Archangel again just to achieve a better appreciate for the entire story line.
Overall, Mr. Young did an excellent job creating an alternative world loosely based on Christianity and angels. I wouldn’t call it a Christian read because the world he created deviated quite a bit in some areas from the bible and relied on worldly misconceptions. However, it was still quite an interesting interpretation.
The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young is Available at:
I received my copy from the NetGalley