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The Trial of Fallen Angels (edition 2012)

by James Kimmel Jr.

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8422143,474 (3.65)6
Member:abcarroll
Title:The Trial of Fallen Angels
Authors:James Kimmel Jr.
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2012), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2012, Advanced Reader Copy

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The Trial of Fallen Angels by James P. Kimmel Jr

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book. I like a book which surprises me with a good plot twist and this one certainly has that. Overall a good read. This is a book which leaves you with the age old question in your mind of "what if?". Does every event in our lives have an affect on what hapens in the after life? You may find some answers to that question here. This book is very well written and flows smoothly. I look forward to reading more from James P. Kimmel Jr. Well done!!!] ( )
  tinasnyderrn | Nov 29, 2013 |
Author: James Kimmel Jr.
Title: The Trial of Fallen Angels
Description: Lawyer Brek Cuttler arrives in the afterlife bloodied but unable to remember what happened or how she got there. While her great-grandmother acts as a guide to familiarize her with the ways of the dead, she is recruited to act as advocate for the souls coming to be judged. As she goes through training for this responsibility, she learns that patterns of connection between individuals run deep, and that everyone’s story has two sides.
Plot: The plot works on many levels. The way the afterlife works is really interesting just in itself; add to that the mystery of Brek’s death and the lives of the various souls that Brek encounters, and you’ve got a plot that weaves threads together in a way that keeps the reader surprised until the end.
Characters: Part of Kimmel’s purpose is to present characters that are more than one dimensional, and he does this very well, revealing small aspects of each character’s personality until we see that no one is all good or all bad.
Writing style: He just keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out where the story is going.
Audience: It’s literary fiction, but I gave it to Steve, who only reads science fiction and fantasy, and he is loving it.
Wrap-up: My first gem of this year. Loved, loved it. The last 20 pages are one of the best payoffs ever. 5/5* ( )
  gveach | Apr 16, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wasn't sure I'd like this book with the afterlife setting and surreal elements. But it ended up as a favorite. I enjoyed the historic facts and the way the characters lives intersected and/or were affected by the others. It really made me consider my beliefs on "justice" and "forgiveness" and how a person could be both "good" and "evil" and how one persons actions impact someone else's life/personality. Would recommend it to fans of "The Shack". ( )
1 vote kibosa | Feb 7, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I think what finally caused me to pick up Kimmel’s The Trial of Fallen Angels was my belief in the potential relevance of books that grab my attention by mystical means—the book that drops on my head in a book store or falls from a library shelf to land at my feet, or in this case, arrives as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book that I don’t remember requesting. I did not have great expectations for The Trial of Fallen Angels. The premise of souls arriving in heaven to face judgment—all the while looking as they did in life—is not unique and a topic that quickly exhausted my interest years ago. I was surprised, then, when the first thing I noticed was the author’s fine writing. Books of this genre so rarely display writing competence, my inner critic noted.

Kimmel's book is part science fiction, part speculative fiction, but mostly parable. The main character (and narrator), Brek Cuttler, is a young attorney who dies in an automobile accident and finds herself in a unique version of heaven, where she is assigned the role of defense attorney for souls scheduled for their Last Judgment. There is no Appeals Court, but many souls return to the Courtroom over and over, presumably until they get it right.

Brek is an idealist, a seeker after Justice with a capital J. Early in the narrative, she is advised, “There is only one question to be answered during the Final Judgment of every human soul, and it is the same question that concerned God before the Great Flood: what does justice demand?” This sets the scene for the primary moral of the story.

Kimmel makes fast and loose with Scripture, including an imaginative re-telling of the Old Testament creation story. But unlike some 1950s bibles, which substitute the editor’s personal beliefs for any legitimate translated version of the text, Kimmel seems to be saying, “Why not look at it this way?” The results are interesting and thought-provoking.

The Trial of Fallen Angels invites us to ruminate any number of weighty philosophical issues. For starters: “You cannot experience that which is Love until you first know that which is Not Love. Therefore must you separate yourself from Love and enter the realm of Fear and Evil.” There’s also the proposition that human beings are co-creators with God and that a violent act inspired by jealousy or fear is a search for justice. Kimmel explores, as well, the roles of justice and forgiveness in shaping our characters and our society, the burden of responsibility for one’s choices, and finally: Is justice just revenge in a nice dress?

For the most part, Kimmel gets it right—not too preachy, a fair amount of page-turning suspense, and an enormous bite of deep thought. The story did not immediately engage me; I was restless for the action to begin. For me, that occurred some 100 pages in, when Nero’s soul is presented to the Court. I was not prepared for such a complex philosophical challenge, and, until late in the book, I remained the victim of my first impression—that The Trial of Angels was a simplistic New-Age imagining of heaven with a transparent moral. The way it revisited my thoughts over the following weeks brought me to the realization that this is the sort of book that will survive many readings, with each reading revealing another layer of meaning. ( )
  bookcrazed | Jan 19, 2013 |
The Trial Of Fallen Angels
By
James Kimmel Jr.

My "in a nutshell" summary...

Justice in the afterlife...what do we really believe...miracles? an afterlife? heaven?

My thoughts after reading this book...

When I first started reading this book I thought of The Lovely Bones...just a little bit. And...after reading this book and thinking about it...i think that it is sort of a spiritual fantasy. My idea of this book is this...you know from the start that Brek is not alive any more...she was a lawyer, a mom, and a wife on her way home from work...we find her at Shemaya Station wondering about the odd spots on her favorite bargain suit. The book is a tale of discovery as Brek relives what happened to her and what she will be doing in her role as attorney for the souls who come to Shemaya Station. Brek first meets Luas...who seems to look like someone she knows...and then her great grandmother as her voyage there begins. Luas appears to be the head attorney and explainer to Brek without giving her too much information.

This is such a book of discovery that I really am not able to tell you much about what happened. I found this book to be sort of comforting. You die however you die and you immediately begin a new adventure...not a life but sort of little episodes of understanding that either open your heart or forever close it. The book was about forgiveness and when you read the author's story you will truly understand why. There is history in this book interwoven with stories and sadness and compassion and hatred and meandering back to forgiveness or something like a ...seeing the light kind of experience. At Shemaya Station you see souls and you see what you are ready to see. Brek was happy and sad and finally accepting of her destiny.

What I loved about this book...

The author weaves a stark yet beautiful story. I want to believe that there is a Shemaya Station where the baddest of the bad can find forgiveness. And yet this book was sad...everyone I met was dead...as happy as they can be...they were still no longer living.

What I did not love...

This will just be me...I know it was so much a part of the story but the sad horrific things people do...broke my heart. I had to think about this for a long time.

Final thoughts...

Do not think this is a Lovely Bones kind of story. It is so very different. If you are looking for an enlightening story with reality and hope and a bit of fantasy tossed in...you will find it in this book.

Sent from my iPad2 by Patty!!! ( )
1 vote PattyLouise | Jan 10, 2013 |
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Her happy life shattered when she finds herself covered in blood on a deserted train platform with no memory of what has happened, lawyer Brek Cuttler is informed that she has died and is invited to join an elite team of lawyers who prosecute and defend souls at the Final Judgment.… (more)

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