jueves, 3 de enero de 2013

Archangel Protocol by Lyda Morehouse: Review and Giveaway

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)

Review Soundtrack: I suggest to read this review while listening to No Boundaries by Michael Angelo Batio (Youtube, Spotify).

It was love at first sight. The title, Archangel Protocol, was intriguing. The cover was beautiful. And the synopsis was amazing (an American presidential candidate that says he is the Second Coming of Jesus, digital angels and a cop that kills the Pope all in the same book). As soon as I learnt about this book I knew I had to read it. It seemed like a deal made in heaven, if you pardon the bad pun.

The stakes, thus, were high when I started reading the novel. I was expecting a lot. And I was not disappointed in the least. Archangel Protocol is a book that works extremely well, especially if you consider that it is made from two, a priori, immiscible elements (or so I thought): cyberpunk and urban fantasy (I'd even dare to say paranormal romance), with some theology thrown in for good measure.

That was a risky combination, if I know one. But Morehouse makes it work seamlessly. The pace is almost perfect, with some wonderful and unexpected twists. The main protagonist is likable and interesting and some of the secondary characters are memorable (especially the angels). And the worldbuilding is top-notch. Each chapter ends with a short piece (a letter, an extract from a newspaper, a transcription from online chat...) that makes the world depicted by the author alive and believable.

The prose is also excellent. The dialog is witty and funny, and reminded me of authors such as Tim Pratt. And the description of the city is vivid and evocative. Consider, for instance, the opening lines of the book:
My hairline itched where the dead receiver lay just under the skin. I reached up to caress the hard almond-shaped lump at my temple. Maybe if I squeezed just right, the implant would eke out some last drop of code, like a used tube of toothpaste.
Notice the clever use of the word 'dead' (Neuromancer, anyone?) but also the brilliant metaphor, the 'used tube of toothpaste', which is, as the reader will soon discover, a perfect description of the life of the protagonist of Archangel Protocol.

My only concern with the novel was that the ending seem a bit rushed to me. There are several open threads that I'd have liked to see come to a resolution in the book. But I suppose that Morehouse will visit them (or has visited them, since the books are already written) again in the sequels. I am really looking forward to finding out.
Note: Just yesterday, Paul Weimer reviewed Archangel Protocol at SF Signal. He is a much better reviewer than this humble blogger, and I'm happy to see that we agree on many points. 



I liked Archangel Protocol so much that I want five (yes, five) readers of Sense of Wonder to have the chance of reading and enjoying this wonderful novel. So, if you want to win a copy in electronic format of Archangel Protocol by Lyda Morehouse, just leave a comment on this post (or on its Spanish version) saying why you would like to read this book before January the 14th 2013, 23:59 GMT+2. Shortly after the giveaway is closed, I'll use random.org or a similar service to determine five winners. Do not forget to include some way for me to reach you (email address or Twitter handle, for instance) in case you win. Good luck everyone! 

And stay tuned: I have a very interesting interview with Lyda Morehouse coming soon!

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