Whether it be in the eternal fires of hell or in the eternal joys of Heaven, Thomas Fool, Information Man, conducts his investigation and nothing, be it angel or demon better get in his way.
I loved the creativity of this book! Building upon the hell he established so well in The Devil's Detective, (click to see my review), this time Simon Kurt Unsworth turns his imagination to building a heaven. Turns out, his heaven is just as warped as his hell; maybe even more so. There are angels, the Malakim, (the messengers of heaven) and the Estedea, ("Pray their sadness never reaches you.") Lastly, there's Mayall, (not of the Bluesbreakers variety), heaven's own version of a clown. Or is he more than that?
While conducting his investigation of several mysterious fires in hell, (I know, mysterious fires in hell? It sounds crazy, but I'm telling you, it works), Thomas is called for and sent to heaven to investigate....something. The angels don't want him there, the demons and the Evidence back in hell don't want him there, but someone does. Why? You'll have to read this to find out.
I believe that it would be difficult to pick up this book and understand everything that's going on without having read The Devil's Detective first. There are terms and people, (the Man of Plants and Flowers, for instance), that are introduced in the first book and without any knowledge of them, I think much of the impact of this story would be diluted.
I enjoy the way Unsworth writes. For instance, as Thomas leaves Heaven to return to hell:
"His last view of Heaven was of a motionless rank of beautiful, somber angels surrounded by falling snow and, behind them, the chapel of all faiths standing alone and mute in the storm light."
I love that quote because I can picture it perfectly in my mind.
I did have an issue with the self-deprecating Thomas Fool beating up on himself every 5 minutes. (Stupid little Fool! Know nothing Fool!) It became irritating but after about halfway, it occurred less often.
With fascinating world building, highly imaginative and creative ideas, it's difficult for me to find any other faults with this book. I've never read anything like these Fool books before and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will meet Thomas Fool once again.
If you liked the first book I HIGHLY recommend you pick up The Devil's Evidence!
*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*
20 Books of Summer: Book 11