Thursday, April 8, 2010


"Shooting Angels" by Nicolas Sansone

A NASA Space Shuttle plummets to Earth. A team of eight rescue workers plunges into a treacherous Texan wilderness to recover the wreckage, and become entwined in a cosmic conspiracy. An uncouth disembodied head enslaves an elderly rancher and uses his cellar as the war room of its campaign against God, a noir-style slickster with a buxom blonde wife and a taste for margaritas, who rockets down from the suburbs of Heaven on a comet to do battle with metaphysical evils. "Shooting Angels" races from the jungles of Texas, to the dark corners of undiscovered space, to the innermost reaches of the human mind, to the smoggy streets of Central Heaven, where people are free to give in to their most detestable urges. The novel asks its characters to confront their ordering theories of the universe, and raises questions of how we are to envision divinity in a technological age.

Review from amazon user S. Lemme: "Shooting Angels" is an immensely creative and eminently page-turning first novel from Nicolas Sansone. Sansone's imagination delivers a world in which the outrageous is entirely believable, the everyday and mundane are eerily unnerving, and God (as well as Mrs. God) is a truly relatable being. This fast-paced and quick read allows readers to readily consider the "big" questions of faith and reality with good measures of humor, compassion and irreverence. Sansone's tight depiction of his large cast of characters, who range from the ordinary to the downright bizarre, contributes to his characters' accessibility and believability (in the face of the extraordinary). After this read, I can only look forward to what will come next from Sansone's rich imagination. Though his characters and their predicaments may be out-of-this-world, to quote the novel, "They are born of the imagination, but so is everything real".

Kevin Miller-Shooting Angels is both haunting and hilarious. It is a page-turner, which at times created so much apprehension in me as I read on my commute that I would jump when the subway door opened. Nicolas Sansone manages to bring worlds and situations which often sound absurd to life, so that you find yourself believing God really could enjoy living in the suburbs and smoking with his wife, or that NASA could have a grand plan for the universe in which we are all cogs. My favorite character was Mrs. God, who is every bit as powerful as God, and always speaks as though from an old version of the bible: "Telleth Me. I command Thee." His other characters who are working to clear the debris from a NASA Space Shuttle crash are made even more believable with the knowledge that the author actually worked as a rescue worker after the crash of Space Shuttle Columbia, though as the story progresses it becomes clear he must not have experienced all that these characters do. If you're looking for a gripping read from a creative new author, this is the book for you.

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