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The new book from Robina Williams, Angelos, will keep you reading beyond your bedtime! I was unable to put it down. The author has an entertaining way of embracing complex topics such as time-traveling, life after death, Greek mythology, legends, and Catholic theology braided with philosophy and mysticism. She also uses two famous paintings to bring the book to its climax!
The book begins with the sudden departure of Father Fidelis and his close encounter with a ginger cat named Leo. However, the sudden departure of Father Fidelis came as a surprise to all the friars and it started a chain of speculations and some admiration among them. Some of them admired his sense of obedience while others wondered, why?
But the knowledge of their newly assigned guardian, Father Aidan, brought joy to the friars. They all knew him. He has been their guardian before. He was flexible and understanding. Upon his arrival, however, Father Aidan's behavior appears somehow changed towards the other friars. Now they are not so sure if it was indeed a good trade. Perhaps Father Aidan is just tired from his long journey, or is he? The day is still too young.time will tell!
Leo is not an ordinary cat. He is able to travel from "this time" to the afterlife easily. He also has a pair of "mystical eyes" that inspire awe and fear in those who see them. Leo's real name is Quantum, but he is known in the afterlife as Quant.
The deceased Father Jerome, however, is fond of Leo. After all, Leo was his pet when he was alive! He, however, has not yet accepted his deceased state and the world of the dead. So he wanders often around the orchard at the friary. Some of the friars were not pleased with his presence there since it challenges their beliefs about death and life after death!
During one of Father Jerome's visits to the friary, he is violently catapulted from a hut near the orchard to another place, which appears to be a cellar or a Dungeon. He is confused and perplexed! Where is he? He looks around and explores the place. He finds some human bones and becomes frightened. There is something-or someone-living in this place that eats humans! He cries out for Quant's help, who doesn't immediately arrive, and grows tired. He takes a nap while waiting for Quant.
Quant finally appears, of course, to sort everything out and show Father Jerome around in this new world, known to the good priest as the world of Greek Mythology. They visit some of Quant's old friends, including the Deiphobe, the Sibyl of Cumae, St. Jerome and his lion, St. Anthony of Egypt, and St. Paul the Hermit, among others. Father Jerome is fascinated and intrigued and asks tons of questions to Quant. During their traveling in this world, the reader will be exposed to a combination of philosophy, mythology and mysticism from Quant's point of view. The combination of these topics is essential to the understanding of God's Creation beyond human comprehension.
The end of the book will leave the reader saying, WOW! It echoes Jesus' parable of the "Good Servant" and St. Paul's words of encouragement about finishing the race and fighting the good fight.
Reviewed by the author of The Window To My Soul; My Walk With Jesus
Posted July 14, 2006
While everyone expects a friary that runs a parish church to be busy, there is more going on in this friary than meets the eye. From mundane problems like personality conflicts and small fibs, to more supernatural happenings like wandering ghosts, a minotaur, and magical cats, this little friary has much to deal with. Leo, or Quantum (Quant for short) is just the cat to help set things straight. In Angelos by Robina Williams, a young adult fantasy, Williams uses a variety of background material from philosophy, mythology, Church History, and contemporary life to build her world and tell her story. As I read this book I kept thinking of several other authors who have written stories along this same vein, such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Dante. I¿ve reviewed other stories that had discussions of philosophy and religion, but they seemed heavy-handed and the discussions seemed out of place or inappropriate. Because of the setting (a friary) and the people involved (brothers, priests, and the friary cat), however, these discussions are appropriate and rarely approach heavy-handed. It is also obvious that Williams has not only done her homework in regards to the details of the setting and material, but she has also pieced together a well-told tale. The author seems to understand that there are people who have not been exposed to this background. She provides a glossary at the end of the book of Church History and mythological terms and characters to aid anyone who would like more information. While I think appreciation of the book is deeper if the reader has a solid humanities education or background, I also believe this is a book (and Quant is an excellent guide) that can open up that world for further exploration to someone who has not been exposed to it before. Williams wrote a book before this one based in this same reality that I¿m thinking I might try to find (Jerome and the Seraph). She¿s working on a third that continues the adventures of the friars and their friary ginger tom, which I¿m looking forward to reading as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 10, 2006
Robina Williams has penned a brilliant sequel to ¿Jerome and the Seraph¿ with her latest offering in the form of ¿Angelos¿. It is another look at life in the afterworld through the innocent eyes of Brother Jerome. When a Minotaur and Jerome are flung each from their own world, to that of the other, the reader is treated to a thought provoking and entertaining look at the metaphysical side of life. Ontology it can be said is the study of the conceptions of reality. Quant the friary cat, tries in his unique way, to educate the rather non-perceptive Jerome in the intricacies of the interaction between the past and present, the known and unknown. It takes little effort on his part to transgress his body from one place and one world to the next. This is a process that Jerome handles with great difficulty and often finds himself in trouble because of it. Jerome is a reluctant student of Quant, who at times thinks he has the solution to the cat¿s concept of time and space mapped out in his head. Then quite suddenly he realizes that he is further away from understanding what is happening than he was before. This both amuses and frustrates Quant as he takes Jerome on a tour of Knossos and other mythological places from the past. Throughout the book the reader is given glimpses of the inner turmoil going on in the friary now that the Fidelis¿ replacement has arrived. The new guardian, Aidan, is a person traveling on a personal journey of discovery in the wilderness of his soul. How he attempts to resolve his inner torments and doubts casts the equilibrium of the friary into a spin. The possible final resolution of this quandary keeps the level of suspense within the friary at a high pitch. The author¿s lucid imagery through her choice of language gives the story its solidarity. Intertwined within the fabric of the plot are passages of prose that challenge the concept of religion in relation to a culture¿s understanding of itself, and where it fits into the cosmos. Quant provides an excellent platform to carry through ideas dealing with where a modern society sees itself and where it has come from. This is a thought-provoking book that I found delightful to read. It is as every bit as good as its predecessor ¿Jerome and the Seraph¿. Readers of that book will welcome ¿Angelos¿ into their library with enthusiasm, as will those readers new to this wonderful author¿s craft.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.