With angels all the latest rage, Shinn (The Shape-Changer's Wife, LJ 10/15/95) pens another fantasy tale in the Archangel world. After a night of revelry, the reigning archangel breaks her wing and is replaced by Alleluia, a nondescript scholar who must rely on the human Caleb, who believes only in science. Competently done but not exciting; recommended for fantasy collections.
Sequel to Shinn's Archangel (1996), set on colony planet Samariathe inhabitants of which are watched over by genetically engineered winged angels who intercede with Jovah (regarded as God by the colonists) to improve Samaria's miserable climate. Now, 150 years later, the crippled Archangel Delilah can no longer fly and sing for Jovah's help. Alleya, Delilah's replacement, faces mounting problems. Jovah no longer hears the prayers of the angels, Alleya excepted, so the worsening weather brings vociferous complaints from Samaria's wealthy farmers, landowners, and industrialists. Also, archangels must have mates; via the ancient telecommunications system, Jovah advises Alleya, mystifyingly, to seek "the son of Jeremiah." Meanwhile, she grows increasingly friendly with handsome Caleb, an engineer who might be able to fix the angels' broken-down teaching machines. But when Alleya steels herself to communicate with Jovah, he responds tersely: "Send help." No prizes for guessing what Jovah is, or who Caleb turns out to be.
Despite some fairly obvious plotting, Shinn's appealing scenario is carefully worked out and persuasively peopled; fans of Archangel will be gratified.