Pulling the Wings Off Angels – KJ Parker

“‘First,’ said Florio the gangster, ‘I’m going to cut off your nose and make you eat it.’

Upon racking up quite the impressive gambling debt, our protagonist – a clerical student who doesn’t believe in God – is offered a deal: the debt will be wiped, but in return he’s to hand over the angel his grandfather allegedly kidnapped and has kept imprisoned ever since. It’s all nonsense, of course. Urm, of course o.O

After a bit of a madcap jaunt to get there, Florio gets to unleash his plan to use the trapped angel to blackmail God. After all, everything will be fine if you confess in the end, right? Meanwhile our narrator is faced with paying for his grandfather’s sins. Who knew such things were inheritable?

In the short novella, we get a lot of anti-religious thought puzzles – an exploration of a ‘theological paradox’, as the blurb says. “The sins of the father”, etc, etc, is taken quite literally, while God is neither merciful nor fair (or is that just?) all with a massive dollop of Parker’s trademark dark, dry, humour.

It’s an enjoyable romp, but the set up feels more evenly paced than the second half, and the ending felt a little underexplored. Still worth the read, and amazing that such a possibly serious topic can be dealt with so succinctly and so wryly.

Pulling the Wings off Angels book coverNetGalley eARC: 144 pages
First published: 2022
Series: none 
Read from 9th-11th September 2022

My rating: 7/10

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