Pulling the Wings Off Angels

Tor.com. Nov. 2022. 144p. ISBN 9781250835765. pap. $16.99. FANTASY
Parker (A Practical Guide to Conquering the World) offers readers an interesting experiment wrapped in a fascinating study of the meanings of good and evil told as a compelling debate about the unfairness of life, mercy, and the strained goodwill of both gods and men. A man creates a thought-experiment about what will happen to his world if he can eliminate the influence of any almighty being. But the question that really gets answered is whether or not it is possible to cheat an honest man or an honest god in a world where life is unfair, justice is unforgiving, and mercy is only administered to the undeserving—and the cheaters. Characters include a conniving theological student caught between the machinations of an amoral genius and the bill collectors of an honest gangster. There is also an angel who has been exiled so long it has turned demonic and decides that since he’s already damned, he might as well earn it, with surprising results for all. It turns out that omnipotence is not all that it’s crack up to be.
VERDICT Readers with fond memories of C. S. Lewis’s classic The Screwtape Letters as well as fans of Parker’s “Prosper’s Demon” series will find much to consider.
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