A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (Remy Chandler #1) by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Generations ago, angel Remiel chose to renounce heaven and live on Earth. He found a place among ordinary humans by converting himself into Boston P.I. Remy Chandler, but he can never tell anyone who he was or that he still has angelic powers. Remy can will himself invisible, speak and understand any foreign language (including any animal language), and hear the thoughts of others. All these secret powers come in handy for a private investigator, especially when the Angel of Death goes missing and he’s assigned to find him. As he gets deeper into the investigation, he realizes this is not a missing persons case but a conspiracy to destroy the human race and only Remy has the powers to stop the forces of evil.
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I picked up A Kiss Before the Apocalypse a while ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf and I’ve felt very bad for it so I decided to give it a shot. I’ve never read anything by Thomas E. Sniegoski before and so I wasn’t sure quite what to expect but now I’m hooked, even though Remy looks an awful lot like James Van Der Beek circa Dawson’s Creek on the cover. (In case you’re wondering, I much prefer the 2010/2011 James Van Der Beek, who makes awesome videos for Funny Or Die.)
There was a lot about this book that I enjoyed. Remy’s a great protagonist and I love the idea of an angel who renounces heaven to live on Earth, falling in love with a human woman, having a super adorable dog named Marlowe, earning a living as a private investigator. Remy still has some of his angelic powers — he doesn’t age, for example, he can communicate with animals, and he’s got empathic qualities — but he keeps them in check whenever possible. It’s less possible when he’s recruited by his former colleagues to help find the Angel of Death, who’s gone missing, which has major ramifications: Not only is no one dying, but the Angel of Death holds the scrolls that keep the apocalypse from happening.
With such great plot, I had big expectations for the characters and they were all met. Remy, Marlowe, Madeline, the Grigori, Francis…there wasn’t a single character who didn’t feel real and whole. Everyone was unique and Marlowe made for some good comic relief, though I generally don’t enjoy it when animals talk in books in this fashion. Here, however, it worked for me.
I have the next book, Dancing on the Head of a Pin, sitting on my shelf and I’m pretty excited to get into it. Hopefully I’ll be sharing my thoughts about it with you soon.