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Sneed, "No Angel" (reviewed by Tristi Pinkston) Options · View
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2012 11:09:04 PM

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Title: No Angel
Author: Theresa Sneed
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Genre: Paranormal
Year Published: 2011
Number of Pages: 281
Binding: Paperback
ISBN10: n/a
ISBN13: 978-1935217-96-1

Reviewed by Tristi Pinkston for the Association of Mormon Letters

If you've seen the movies "Heaven Can Wait" or "Hello Again," the plot of "No Angel" will seem familiar - and yet, Sneed's approach is fresh and unique at the same time. Our main character is Jonathan Stewart, a man who didn't enjoy his earth life very much and is quite content now that he's dead, working at his post in heaven sending new souls down to earth and welcoming back those who have returned. He's been doing this for a number of years, and would just as soon do it for the rest of eternity. He's not interested in all the ooey-gooey sentimental stuff that goes along with leaving and coming back to heaven. He just does his job, pushes the right buttons, gets everyone where they need to be on time, and doesn't get emotional. About anything.

One day, though, he's called into HR - that's Heaven Resources - and told that he has been chosen to be a guardian angel. Faith, the young woman to whom he is assigned, has been watching him for some time and feels that he is perfect for her. Jonathan does not want to return to earth. He makes this clear in every way he can, but the laws of heaven insist that he must, and so he grudgingly agrees. Thankfully, his client is marked for an early death - he won't have to spend one more minute on earth than absolutely necessary.

There's a problem, though. Because she is marked for an early death, she is a target of the sheydim, angels from the other side. She has proven faithful in heaven, conquering every task given her, and she has special strength that can turn the tide in the battle between good and evil. The sheydim are sending in their most powerful persuaders to convince her that good is evil, evil is good, and to weaken her integrity.

As Jonathan protects Faith from the sheydim, he begins to realize the importance of what he's doing, and little by little, his barriers come down. He fights with everything he has to keep Faith safe from the evil forces that surround her, and comes to understand himself and what he's really made of in ways he never did during his own experience on earth.

At one point, Jonathan is separated from Faith and ends up in a no-man's land of sorts, where he must find the keys to returning to her side. I have to admit, this part of the story lost me. I was confused as to where we were and what we were doing - I thought this part of the book needed more clarification. Perhaps if the pace had been slowed down a bit and we were walked through it with more description, I wouldn't have felt so lost. However, that's really my only complaint in this largely positive review.

I enjoyed this read. I appreciated the explanation of how angels and demons have opposite goals for us - although couched in fiction, it helped me visualize the battle that really is taking place for our souls. I liked the touches of humor and the creativity that went into the creation of the story. It was a paranormal without being too dark. It talked about the premortal life in a way that's easily recognized by LDS readers, but written in such a way that readers of every Christian faith will appreciate. This is the first in a series, and I am definitely looking forward to the next installment.
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