Liam Jackson,
(St. Martin's Press, 2006)

First, let's list the parties involved:

God and his angels, in Heaven and on Earth
An archangel, who is challenging God for the Throne of Heaven
Lucifer, an archangel who once challenged God and was cast out of Heaven
Lucifer's cohort of failed usurpers, who were also cast out
The demons of another plane of existence
The Offspring, descendants of angel-human relationships

While God and his faithful angels struggle with a would-be usurper and the usurper's followers, Lucifer sees an opportunity to get revenge against God for casting him out of Heaven. How? Lucifer has made a deal with the rulers of the realm of demons and, by corrupting the Eye of God (a portal between different planes of existence) the lesser demons are invading Earth and exacting cruel punishment and suffering upon God's most cherished creation, mankind. But does Lucifer have a hidden agenda? The demons are aided by the other fallen angels, who call themselves The Brethren, but one of them, Axthiel, might not be the team player Lucifer thinks him to be.

Meanwhile, people across the world -- who know nothing about the battle in Heaven, Lucifer's plot or the existence of demons among them -- are trying to figure out why crime has skyrocketed, with many children being kidnapped and murdered. Who can stop the carnage and foil Lucifer's opportunistic plan? The Offspring, because they carry the heritage of both Divinity (angels) and Divine Creation (humanity) and are uniquely qualified to mend the veil over the Eye of God, thereby preventing demons from continuing to cross over into our plane of existence. The race is on, with a group of Offspring, led by a young man named Sam, converging on the Eye of God in a small town in Tennessee, while the demons and fallen angels wreak havoc and do what they can to stop Sam and his companions.

Liam Jackson writes well, and this story is action-packed and flows rapidly. The nature of the characters emerges realistically, and the characters are three-dimensional. The story is complex, with many factions involved and hidden agendas. I was surprised, though, that Sam, who is supposed to be of partial angelic ancestry, is not entirely likeable. At 18, he swears, smokes cigarettes and lies on several occasions. These are not huge flaws, but they are more than I expected from a protagonist who inspires adults to follow him, and who is seen by the other characters as unquestionably likeable. There is also a lot of carnage, described in a fair amount of detail, in the book, and it is not for the squeamish.

This is a fast-paced thriller about characters who are very interesting, if not always likeable, centered around the Christian view of the nature of reality.

by Chris McCallister
7 April 2007

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