Fallen Angel: To Serve in Heaven

FallenAngelFallen Angel: To Serve in Heaven
by Peter David (author) and J. K. Woodward (illustrator)
2006

This graphic novel was beautifully drawn and had a quite interesting philosophical take on God and the meaning of life, etc. I like religious themed stories, especially ones that deal with the motivations and choices of god-like beings, so this was right up my alley. On the other hand, it was a bit too noir-ish for my particular taste.

The premise is that there’s a city, Bete Noire, that’s sort of the center of reality and fully of dark grittiness and only certain special people are able to access that city. It’s a pretty common trope (Simon Green’s Nightside springs to mind, but also Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Melissa Marr’s Carnival of Souls, etc.) Our main character is a fallen angel and the plot circles around some machinations by the city’s Magistrate and conspiracy, but mostly serves as an exploration of Liandra’s backstory and introducing the other main players in the city, introducing the series as a whole.

So it was beautiful, it introduced at least one really interesting idea, and there was at least one really funny scene (the Magistrate is furiously trying to interrogate Liandra about her past, but she’s spent the last several hours trying to drown her sorrows about an entirely different part of her past, and it was pretty hilarious failure to communicate). However, that failure to communicate isn’t uncommon as these characters mostly alternate between being threatening and being cryptic. It makes the characters come across as both unpleasant and more than a bit dumb.

It wasn’t great but was still worth reading.

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