Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Tad bounces around in time and watches mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people—he’s an Angel of Death.
Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.
When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?
I readily admit I struggled with this review for T.A.D.: The Angel of Death by M.D. Neu. It is at times incredibly moving and at others very narratively dry and drawn out. It can swing from the haunting and angst to the huh and almost boring. It can be lyrical and yes, downright mundane. So how to meld the two?
It’s hard because I hold this writer in high esteem. His other works, like The Calling or The Reunion are amazing examples of writing and high flights of literacy. I see moments of those here, especially in that Prologue.
For those of you out there for whom 9/11, even the words, is still that enormous traumatic tragedy that wounds you still, leaves you in tears. Well, that Prologue will be hard to read. It was for me. That is the sort of writing I expect from this author.
But it’s not sustained as the point of view switches from the Angel of Death (one of many) to Doug, a hairdresser and Drag Queen. For some reason, Doug is the character that removes the life from the story rather than sparks it. It really should be the other way around. Doug should have the pizazz, the zing, and heft as it were to carry this story. And in my opinion, Doug just doesn’t. At least not until the end. At the end? Everything suddenly came together with a twist and I was bawling my eyes out.
But for about one third or more of the story something was missing. The very life that TAD found so special, so precious, so worth sacrificing for. And I couldn’t help by feel that the author did;t telegraph that in his characters or storyline. He came close in certain scenes. But never enough of them strung together. The novel felt “talked to”, or drawn out when it should have felt lively.
There is no romance between the main characters here. It’s not that sort of story. Doug does find love, a romantic love. And love does abide. It’s just of another kind.
And that ending? Well, yes, as I said, many, many tissues and a twist I didn’t see coming. So well worth it. If only I hadn’t had to “walk : a long, sometimes long trail to get there.
I love drag queens, I love terrific endings, and the writing of this author. But all together in this story. I’m still puzzling that one out. I;ll leave it up to you.
Cover art: Natasha Snow. What a great cover. Full of elements pertaining to the storyline and visually captivating.
Expected publication: September 23rd 2019 by NineStar Press