Published: 22 August 2017
Publisher: Independently published
Iofiel is an ideal candidate to become a guardian angel, and help steer humans away from sin: she’s helpful, cheery, and utterly loyal. And, as the ‘angel of beauty’, it’s not like she has anything better to do.
Heaven and Hell long ago ran out of space: there’s too many humans these days, so both have come to a shaky truce – one school sheltered in the forests of Canada, hidden from humanity, where their young can study.
All seems well for Iofiel’s first days at university – her Archangel roommate is a bit uptight, and dealing with demons feels weird– but when a picked on demon confesses he’s too nervous to pursue his true passion of soul stealing… Iofiel promises she’ll major in it with him!
So much for being a proper angel. Her helpful impulse has repercussions that shake the school, and may just change the world forever. Or just end it.
Because that’s a possibility too.
Rating: 3 Stars
The premise for this book is what convinced me to accept the author’s request to review it. Heaven and Hell making a truce, angels and demons forced together in a University setting, and then that one pair that throws a wrench in everything.
Iofiel, the angel that is one of the main characters, seemed like she’d be a really good MC for an anime. I could easily picture her as the cheerful sort transferring to a new school, dealing with an uptight roommate, and making the “wrong” friend. It was interesting to watch her get used to her corporeal form, including feelings like hunger. Someone get this angel a plate of chili cheese fries!
Iofiel’s roommate, Maalik, was a bit of a pain. As described in the synopsis, he’s uptight and I get that, considering all of the rules that angels have and are expected to live up to. It just wore on me after a bit, all of his strictness. Iofiel’s new friend, Archie the Imp, was one of my favorite characters. He was born/made an Imp, a sort of demon but not really in most eyes, but he’s doing his best: studying soul stealing, practicing magic, all the things that would make him a good demon. Despite all the problems he runs into, including non-stop bullying from his fellow students, he persists. I admired that in him.
Good Angel delves deeper into the creation and categorization of angels and demons than most other books I’ve seen. This book mentioned the classifications, what they looked like (multiple arms, animal heads, etc.) rather than going with the popular film interpretation of model looking human with a pair of giant wings.
This being a very diverse, LGBT+ inclusive book, I thought a particular scene between Iofiel and some of the other angels was interesting. When they were discussing sexuality, both in humans and angels, there was mention that angels had a “heavenly standard”: angels are supposed to be triple A angels: asexual, aromantic, agender. It was interesting to see this “default” being discussed, much as a lot of people in the human world assume heteronormative relationships are the default. The angels discussed how a lot of them didn’t follow this standard, experimented to discover who they are, and how little sins were not that bad in the grand scheme of things. There are angels questioning their gender, their sexuality, and coming to terms with that. It opens Iofiel’s mind to the possibility of life outside of the cookie cutter standard that she was born with, that beings take many forms, including their outlook on sexuality, romantic spectrum, and gender.
There were some inconsistencies that didn’t affect the overall story, I thought, but took me out of the reading experience for a minute while I puzzled over it, such as when Iofiel doesn’t know the name of the room she’s in for a meal and then a moment later uses the correct word (cafeteria). The pacing was decent enough in the getting from Iofiel’s first day at the University to the coming of the End Times, though there were times when I felt it slowed down and made things drag.
An independently published novel about angels, demons, and their various roles in the course of their own lives and humanity, A.M. Baushild has crafted an interesting story that questions a lot, shows possibility, and delivers a good tale about a cast of characters that ran the gamut of alignment from, as far as I could tell, lawful good to chaotic evil.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.