First thing I did was steal a body...

A.M. Jenkins218 pages; published 2007
I don't like the term "demon". It carries quite a bit of negativity with it. It implies a pointy tail and cloven hooves. I prefer the term "fallen angel". That is, indeed, what we are. The difference between us and the angels who didn't fall from grace is that the Unfallen were, are, and always will be faithful, stalwart, and obedient. That is their nature, just as it is their nature to rejoice in worship and contemplation of the vastness of the Creator's perfection. We, the Fallen, wondered, questioned, confronted, eventually demanded, and in general, pushed the edges of the envelope until the envelope burst.

[...] the Unfallen don't hang out with us peons much anymore.

I've never really liked those guys. (p 9/10)

Kiriel is one of the Fallen, one of the angels who supported Satan in his uprising. But after spending millenia in the bowels of Hell, reflecting the sorrows of the sinners under his jurisdiction while living out his own eternal punishment, things have become a little stale and he decides to take a little vacation.

In order to take this vacation, Kiriel hijacks the body of the unassuming Shaun seconds before he dies - Kiriel thinks this perfectly acceptable, after all, he was going to die anyway, and his possession merely eliminated much of the pain the boy would have felt anyway. Taking over his body, however, also means taking over his life and Kiriel finds himself immersed in the sensations and emotions of human life - and more specifically, the world of a seventeen year old.

Kiriel knows that his 'vacation' won't go unnoticed forever though - it is, after all, completely against the rules - but he intends to enjoy it for as long as 'humanly' possible.
angeloftheLord: Kiriel, you are trespassing in direct contravention of the Creator's wishes. This is a warning: Return to your duties or you will be punished.

All the warmth had left my fingertips.
trojanxxl: who is this?

angeloftheLord: You must return to your duties immediately.
An eternity of wishing to speak directly to my Creator, I thought in despair - and this is how He finally contacts me? Through AOL Instant Messenger? (p 97/8)

While I loved the premise of the novel, and found it cute funny in places, I did have my issues with it. For instance, it took less than twenty pages for Kiriel to turn to his first major exploration of humanity: masturbation. This leads into his central (not only, but major) quest for the novel: sex. He sets his sights on one girl and pursues her for the entirely with little (some but not much) regard for the reality of the situation or the fact that this is a real person he's trying to catch here. Perhaps this would appeal more to a male, seventeen-year-old audience, but, for me, it had quite a large negative impact on what should have been a good book.

That said, however, it did have it's redeeming qualities. The presentation of Kiriel as a fallen angel (as opposed to a 'demon') who, despite his backing of Satan ("The Boss"), sincerly and desperately wishes to retain the communication with, and love of, God ("The Creator") was both fascinating and moving. Similarly, the unrecognised acts of redemption Kiriel undertakes during his illicit 'vacation' are quite touching.

It was an okay book - shifting to quite good in places - but overall I feel that the story had the potential to be much better than it was. 2.5/5

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