In a novel where the plot involves an assassin and an Angel you might think you ran across a typical Dan Brown style plot. A lesser novelist might make hash of such a plot, but this is not that case with Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim the new novel by Anne Rice.
Since her return to the Catholic faith she has written two life of Jesus novels and her spiritual biography and her new novel also addresses living a life of faith. This time we have a hired assassin good at his work that comes to an event that totally changes his path. An odd conversion story of sorts that reminded me of some of the elements of Anne Rice’s own spiritual biography. As a novel I found this book quite fascinating with an in-depth look at the life of the main character and the various turns it took. Anne Rice creates memorable characters and this time around it is a character you grow to really like as he goes through the point of conversion.
As with everything she has written since her conversion I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, though as with her life of Jesus books I had a few quibbles. Though mostly her theology is quite sound and she relied on Peter Kreeft’s book on Angels along with another reliable source. So again despite reservation in one area I can highly recommend this book as an enjoyable novel with a solid theological dimension. The book also seem to be a beginning of a new series, at least I hope so.
Not quite a spoiler alert, but close. One aspect of the plot involved deception with lying and swearing of oaths in order to save a whole group of people. This part of the plot was in some ways similar to the type of deceptions used to protect the Jews during the Nazi regime. While the magisterium has not fully weighed in on things such as having a mental reservation, the latest edition of the Catechism shows the movement to be towards all lying being sinful. I just wish the plot was resolved in another fashion that did not make doing something sinful for good cause so important. As the Catechism states “Lying is the most direct offense against the truth.” Add this to a plot where the main character is being directed by an Angel it becomes even more problematic.