Review: Prayer for the Blood Angel

Cor, is November nearly done already? Indeed it seems so, what with darkened Fridays and the tentative appearances of holiday decorations… I hadn’t planned it but turns out today’s post is a book review. See, when I’d finished splashing the book-related text on the screen I realised I had enough wordy bits there to make a whole post with so I figured I’d go with it. So, without further ado…

That'd be my desk in the background, yes.

Don’t you just love that glare?

Did I say book? I said book. The book is a novel, called Prayer for the Blood Angel and I picked it up at rAge last month. It’s the creation of a local author by the name of Chantelle Roberts, who described it as a kinda “high fantasy” science fiction, which sounded altogether too compelling to pass up. I even got to speak to Chantelle and get my copy signed and everything, which is a rather nice perk of buying stuff at local events’ artist’s alleys.

Anyway, buying experience aside, I quite enjoyed Prayer for the Blood Angel. It’s a galaxy-spanning epic about a war against an ancient race of corrupting and world-consuming creatures. These creatures are brought to power by fanatics of a crazed religion as a means to cleanse the unclean (read: different) from the universe. Survival of all those who live in the universe is at stake, of course, and the tale is one of betrayal, secrets, and intrigue as a galaxy of diverse races would be brought together to face this great threat to all the Worlds.

There were bookmarks for sale, too, but I figured out what they were too late to buy any...

There were bookmarks for sale, too, but I figured out what they were too late to buy any…

The narrative mostly follows Arial, a young queen upon whose shoulders lies the “future of freethinkers everywhere” (to quote the blurb on the back), but often switches between a variety of characters on both sides of the conflict and often in vastly different locations on distant planets. So PftBA (does that work? Can I do that? Oh well…) tells a story of grand scale and brings together many actors as events unfold. It could have been very scattered, but the writing is superb, being evocative and gripping without losing composition, and for the most part I was able to keep all the threads together. That said, it could have benefited from more thorough editing and proof-reading, suffering the odd confusingly-constructed sentence in places and the occasional grammatical or spelling failure, but these are few and far between enough to be overlooked.

Ultimately, I enjoyed many a sleep-deprived night as I happily chased the “one more page” bug and I thoroughly recommend any fantasy and science fiction fan give Prayer for the Blood Angel a look. I look forward to Chantelle’s next works, particularly whatever follows this tale (she did tell me she’s working on another novel as another stand-alone tale within the same universe).

Also, y’know, check out the Facebook page for Prayer for the Blood Angel. Maybe. If you feel like it. ‘Cause it’s, like, a fledgling local production and all that.