Reviewed by Tucker Lieberman
Preserving natural and immense demons fighting with power and wit for the fate of innocent humans
atonement, The first book in JL Rothstein’s Heaven Send series, focuses on nine supernatural brothers fighting wayward demons. The Omara couple have been doing this for a long time. Two hundred years ago, their appearance was frozen at about thirty years of age. Like the demons who oppose the earth, the umara are actually immortal and extremely difficult to kill.
One of the brothers – Genevieve, or “Jen” – is particularly focused on defeating a demon named Schlosser. She also hopes to find and reunite with her husband who has been missing for forty years.
Schlosser is a wandering demon that targets humans, enticing them to commit suicide. As guards, the Umara want to protect these humans, and they will fight the demons directly as Loser when needed. Under the terms of the agreement between heaven and hell, the guards may interfere with the spell cast by a demon on a person, but they may strike the demon fatally only out of self-defense. Heaven obeys this principle of reducing violence, while hell ignores the agreement.
Neither side in this cosmic battle is fully aware of their greater purpose. Wanderer-like wandering demons, made of “worn and reshaped flesh,” physically disintegrate at their base and are purposelessly destructive; Guardians feel drawn to protecting certain human beings without understanding why; The people at the center of the conflict are unaware of the drama.
atonement There are excellent sensory details. Readers can imagine themselves with their feet firmly planted in this haunting world. When one of the Umara sisters encounters a dust-colored breast that is “Eight feet tall, thin, with long braided hair dangling from her back” And in his eyes there is a “A glowing green glow … like a flashlight in a storm,” She fights it with what may be the best weapon possible: a trident. Their superpowers need to meet the task, so there is mind reading, time stopping and teleportation. one sister, “Still wearing a bathrobe and huge pink slippers,” Teleport stealing a book from the Vatican Library! This world is also rich in atmosphere, with the echoes of “Water gently overlaps in the ornate birdbath” And comfort of creatures like apple cinnamon muffins and fashionable shoes when the umara does not actively eliminate fragrant demons.
All supernatural beings have physical realities. The guards eat pizza, and they fight demons with knives and fire. It is implied that ordinary people can see them, because to explain their presence in Boston, they pretend to serve the Catholic Church as scholars of par-normal occurrences. However, when they protect someone from a true demonic attack, the person may not be able to directly watch either the guard or the demon of the attacker, who appear to that person only as impulses or thoughts.
One challenge for the reader is the identification and discernment of all the characters. From the beginning, we know there are nine Umara brothers, but never get to know them systematically. According to the elimination process, they are not Harry (he is an angel who supports the family), Jared (romantically related to Kelly), Dmitry (Dov’s object of love), nor Gabriel (General’s husband). When all of Omara’s brothers gather for breakfast with bacon, the reader finally has a chance to keep track of who’s in the kitchen: sisters Jenner, Kelly and Dov, and brothers Dan, Tom, Michael, Javier, Frankie and Greg. This breakfast occurs only a third of the way from the book, and by this point we have already met all of these characters without having any solid hints about men being brothers. The reader must also distinguish between all these supernatural beings (despite their common and misleading names) and their various human beings.
Charges. The brothers, at least, may not be that important, since the series intends to focus on the three sisters anyway.
Heaven Send promises to be an action-packed series. For those who love a real battle between good and evil with occasional tension and flux, atonement It’s a fantasy you should go straight into.
genre: Fantasy / suspense
Print length: 391 pages
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