Keith Miller's The Sins of Angels was published by PS Publishing in July 2016.
Information about Keith Miller:
Keith Miller is an American citizen, but was born in Tanzania and has spent most of his life in East and North Africa. He is currently a U.S. resident.
He is the author of three novels, The Book of Flying (Riverhead Books, 2004), The Book on Fire (Immanion Press, 2010), and The Sins of Angels (PS Publishing, 2016), as well as a translation of Arthur Rimbaud’s The Illuminations. His fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in many venues, including Interfictions, Arabesques, Egypt Today, Rhubarb, Masque & Spectacle, and NPR. Visit his blog for more musings, art, and links.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Sins of Angels:
When literary and detective agent George Zacharias finds a fallen angel on a Cairo street, his first thought is profit. Zacharias and his sidekick, Tomo, hide the angel as they try to figure out who she is and where she came from. However, they soon find themselves pursued by sinister forces.
Terrified, the two hapless detectives flee with their catch, first to the city’s seedy underbelly, then into the desert, where they take refuge in a hidden monastery. There is no escape from their pursuer, however, for he is Lucien Yaldabaoth, the prince of darkness. As Zacharias slowly pieces together the angel’s story and uncovers Yaldabaoth’s nefarious purposes, he realizes there is more at stake than he had imagined.
A REVIEW OF KEITH MILLER'S THE SINS OF ANGELS
Keith Miller's The Sins of Angels is a fascinating reading experience for readers who love engaging storytelling, genre-bending fiction and well written prose, because it transports readers to exotic Egypt and takes them on an adventure to the distant reaches of the Western Desert. It's a subtly complex and layered account of mysterious events involving two men, a fallen angel and the prince of darkness.
The Sins of Angels can best be classified as an imaginative and creative combination of fantasy, magical realism, mythology and noir elements. It's something different, because the author evocatively blends various elements to create a mysterious story that, once started, is nearly impossible to stop reading. The story is so good that you'll find yourself almost skipping pages to find out what happens next.
I'm glad to say that The Sins of the Angels is one of the most compelling novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading, because it's a beautiful slice of literary speculative fiction with religious mythology and thought-provoking philosophical elements. It's great that Keith Miller has come up with a bit different kind of story and has paid attention to atmospheric storytelling and philosophical elements, because it makes this novel feel fresh.
Although this novel has nothing to do with weird fiction, it will greatly appeal to those who enjoy literary strange fiction and weird fiction. Its uniquely spellbinding approach to heaven, angels, darkness and power will be of interest to everyone who loves the weirder side of speculative fiction.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
George Zacharias finds a fallen angel on the street in Cairo. He and his sidekick, Tomo, hide the angel and take her to George's place. They ask Dr. Shahid to take a look at her, because she's injured and has a broken wing. When the angel regains her consciousness, she tells that her name is Sophia, but doesn't reveal much else about herself. Soon Zacharias and Tomo find out that they're being pursued by the evil Lucien Yaldabaoth who wants Sophia and is willing to do anything to get her. They flee from the city to the desert and seek refuge in a hidden monastery...
This is the beginning of a story that is in equal parts a mythological fantasy adventure, an escape story, a detective story and a philosophical story. It's one of the few stories in which fantastical and philosophical elements compliment each other.
The characterisation is vivid and interesting. The protagonist, George Zacharias, is a literary and detective agent (he's interested in books). Tomo is George's sidekick (he works for the police department in the day and does plumbing in the evening to support his mistress). Lucien Yaldabaoth is one of the best villains I've ever seen in speculative fiction novels, because he's a dangerous immortal being. He appears to others as a gentleman who loves luxury, but is powerfully demonic and has a lust for power.
Although the story may at first appear simple, it has layers of depth and there's an underlying feel of mystery to it that makes it a rich and rewarding reading experience. Various religious and mythological elements add plenty of substance to the story and make it thought-provoking. The mythological aspects of the story are handled exceptionally well, because the author writes about religious beliefs and myths in a thoughtful way.
This novel has a fascinating contrast between earthly pleasures and heavenly beauty. Those who live on Earth get to feel everything (love, pain, pleasure, desire etc), but angelic life is, however, totally different, because there's no pain, sorrow or death among the angels.
One of the best things about this novel is that the author doesn't reveal everything at once to his readers, but gradually sheds light on many things. For example, the connection between Yaldabaoth and Sophia will be revealed to readers during the story. I won't reveal what kind of a connection they have, but I can mention that it's far more complex a connection than one might think.
The conversations between Lucien Yaldabaoth and Zacharias are atmospheric and intriguing. These strangely intimate scenes exude quiet power and sinister menace. Along with the scenes taking place at the monastery, they're the most captivating scenes in this novel.
The setting is lush and rich, because the events take place in Egypt and at the hidden monastery in the Western Desert. It's great that the events take place in these exotic locales, because not many speculative fiction novels take place there. I found myself fascinated by how effortlessly the author brought Egypt and the desert alive with his evocative prose. I also enjoyed reading about Yaldabaoth's house, because it was truly a sight to behold with its many rooms, books and secrets.
The author has woven a fine thread of darkness into the story and steadily increases its amount as he leads his readers into the world of fallen angels and secret plans. Because I've always been drawn to dark stories and strange fiction, I enjoyed reading about what the author wrote about Lucien Yaldabaoth and how alluringly evil he was. He is unlike many other evil charaters, because his character has quite a lot of charisma and his plans for mankind are frighteningly macabre. If he succeeds in his plans, it will be the end of the world as we know it.
I like the author's writing style, because he writes good prose and his descriptions of various places evoke a sense of exoticness. He effortlessly maintains a mysterious atmosphere and keeps readers interested in the story by gradually revealing important details that deepen and enrich the reading experience. The mentions of ancient texts and hidden books enhance the overall atmosphere and keep readers spellbound.
I was impressed by this novel and found it utterly compelling. I can honestly say that it deserves the attention of readers who enjoy reading literary stories and well written speculative fiction, because it's not your average run-of-the-mill kind of speculative fiction, but something much more meaningful and rewarding. Whether you're a fan of literary fiction or speculative fiction, you'll find a lot to love in this novel, because it has a lot of subtext for thinking readers. It also has a satisfying amount of twists and turns that will keep readers intrigued.
Keith Miller's The Sins of Angels should not be missed by speculative fiction readers who want quality from their novels. If you enjoy literary fiction and genre-bending novels with a touch of mystery and noir, I can guarantee that you'll love this novel and its exoticness. Please, don't let this brilliant novel pass you by, because you'll be sorry to have missed it.