13 December 2013

Indie Review: Angelguard by Ian Acheson

Speculative Thriller

Three bombs go off, in London, Los Angeles and Sydney. Thousands die, and no one claims responsibility. The forces of evil are working behinds the scenes, with a master plan to destroy the governments of the world and it’s up to the Angelguard to protect those who are vital to preventing the plan’s success.

Angelguard follows Jack Haines, an Australian who lost a wife and two children in the Sydney bomb, and Loren Summers, an executive who was caught in the LA bombing. They meet at INSEAD in France, where Jack is a guest lecturer and Loren is a participant on a two-week short course with her employer.

I found the first fifty pages hard reading, partly because of the subject nature (the bombings), but more because we were introduced to a large number of human and angelic characters—more than sixty—and it was hard to keep them all straight and know who was going to be important to the plot. There were also a lot of editing glitches, like rapid shifts in point of view, excess use of adverbs, inconsistent use of dashes and the incorrect capitalisation of INSEAD (it’s INSEAD, not Insead, at least according to their website). All this slowed down my reading and made it hard to engage with the story.

The novel improved dramatically after the first fifty pages, once the central plot started to emerge. It became a tightly-woven plot with lots of important characters and battles operating in the natural and the supernatural. The plot was good, the characters well-drawn and the Christian elements were clear and well-stated. The interplay between the angels and demons reminded me of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness (although I have to admit it must be close to twenty years since I read them), and the novel contains some important spiritual truths which the author manages to bring out without being preachy.

Recommended for fans of speculative Christian fiction.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Ian Acheson at his website.

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