When this deal breaks, Heaven will fall.
Heaven Corp, Book 1
Catching two demon burglars is routine for Gabriel 1089, who’s one cog in an army of cybernetically modified humans protecting the sky city of Heaven. Until two turns into a twenty-demon ambush. When he wakes up, he’s missing his network-enabled halo—and one of his metal wings.
The down-level junk dealer tending Gabe’s wounds has hands that spark nerve endings he never knew he possessed. But for an angel cut off from Heaven, an attic in Old Trent feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.
Demons on his doorstep are nothing new for Jeff Werth. Ever since they saved his daughter’s legs, they’ve been calling in their marker. In exchange for his services—nursing Gabe back to health so they can use him as a pawn in their war with Heaven—they’ll consider the debt paid in full. Except having a powerless angel at his mercy feeds a rising desire that has him rethinking the deal.
Then the de-haloed Gabe begins having dreams that become visions…then memories. Until he’s not sure whose side he’s on. Heaven, or the simple family man who healed his broken wings…and made his heart whole.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Angel 1089 is an interesting urban fantasy twist on the age old angels versus demons saga. Add in a high tech, post-apocalyptic world and this story is right up my alley. While I really enjoyed the world building and plot details, the romance falls short and the plot itself leaves something to be desired. This will appeal more to urban fantasy fans who can appreciate the intricate tech world but forgive the rather anemic romance.
The story follows Gabriel 1089, an angel that’s been kidnapped and injured by demons. Missing one wing Gabe is taken to Jeff – a human high tech gadget expert who owes the demons favors. Jeff is charged with keeping Gabe healthy and alive for whatever the demons may need in the future. Unfortunately Jeff can’t help falling in love with the injured angel. With both angels and demons wanting to use Gabe for their own advantage, Gabe, Jeff, Jeff’s daughter, and their friends are all caught in the crossfire.
Told in third person POV, the perspective moves between Jeff, Gabe, and a variety of secondary characters. The plot loosely revolves around the angels versus demons concept. I say loosely because the majority of the novel is spent on Jeff and Gabe discovering their feelings for each other. This happens alongside Gabe’s realization of his past and how he became an angel. The main tension is when/how Gabe will discover Jeff’s association with the demons and what it will mean for everyone. Although this is a predictable tension – of course Gabe will find out and likely feel betrayed/angry – the story keeps you interested in when this will happen and the tension is nicely portrayed.
Added to this is the intricate and very engaging world building. Urban fantasy fans (like myself) will likely really enjoy the high tech post-apocalyptic world depicted. The angels have risen to the highest levels and build cities in the skies while the demons rule the former earth and below. The various details and nuances are constantly used and references which is a nice touch. You never forget the setting and the urban fantasy world. This gives a much more complete and immersive feeling while reading. Actually the world building is by far the best part of the story and sets up a wealth of opportunity for future characters and stories within the same ‘verse.
If the world building and urban fantasy setting is the strength, the romance is the weakness. Both Jeff and Gabe are nicely developed and complex. Each has a tragic past making them sympathetic to each other’s pain. The opposing alliances-Jeff with the demons, Gabe with the angels–dissipates fairly easily, leaving the two neutral at best. The sex scenes are decent and there’s no particular reason these two shouldn’t be together. Unfortunately I never felt any great passion or emotion driving them together either. Even the big moment when Gabe discovers the truth about Jeff feels weak and easily resolved. Not that I wanted or needed some big angst-ridden scene but Jeff gives up incredibly fast while Gabe seems blasé. Thus I didn’t care much for the couple whereas Hank and Ian really captured my attention.
Overall this works mostly due to the urban fantasy setting which I quite liked. The romance is bland and mediocre unfortunately so some readers may not enjoy this as much if you’re not an UF fan.