Title: Angel Undone
Author: Leta Blake
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages/Word Count: 90 pages
The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.
Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.
Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about his restrained depths, gentle smiles, and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.
Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.
This novella contains urban fantasy, wings, angels doing unangelic things, erotic content, and playful blasphemy.
This was a short read, but very sweet, and that sweetness is something I’m beginning to associate with all of Blake’s work. This technically was a love story, between an angel, Michael, and a human, Asher, but I actually found the relationship between Michael and his brother, Lucifer, to be the most compelling part of the story, which was unexpected and wonderful. I appreciated the religious themes–they weren’t too in-my-face or unbelievable.
Michael works for the family business, and Lucifer, emancipated from heaven, works in a surf shop in a bustling city. The two brothers couldn’t be more different, but they have an inexplicable bond. Michael is often seen as their father’s favorite, and Lucifer is often seen as his father’s least favorite–damned.
Keeping in mind this is fantasy, God has an interesting presence in the story. He’s told from a distance–probably best–but I still got a very strong feeling of love from him, even if it was at times very tough love, and at best he wasn’t very involved in his children’s lives. What struck me was that both of the brothers professed their father loved them best, but then they secretly feared they were an ultimate disappointment to him, when, it seemed based on God’s actions in the book, he loved them and wished for their freedom more than anything. This isn’t a theme you’ll necessarily see in the Bible, but I found it a really sweet addition to the story.
Michael, while maybe not completing understanding his father’s love, does understand that his freedom (even as an angel) is an important part of his father’s plan, and allows himself to fall in love with the human, Asher. However, there are consequences to his actions, and one of the lessons Michael has to learn is that freedom has a price. He chooses and he suffers for his choices, but they are his choices. It’s a tough lesson for an angel, one that any human can sympathize with.
Michael can never fully trust Lucifer, who can’t resist putting his own spin on everything, but their relationship grows stronger with Michael’s choices, even as those choices become more and more difficult, and in some cases lead to Michael’s despair. While it seemed at first as if Lucifer was goading Michael to be damned, I’m not certain if those were his intentions, and in the end–strangely–it seemed as if Lucifer and God were on the same page. Again, an unexpected theme, but most welcome.
A cute read. If you like M/M Romance with bits of fantasy and feel goods, I think you’ll enjoy this.
B. A. Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is http://www.babrockbooks.com. You can find him on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks.