Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review & Giveaway: THE MESSENGER by TM Smith (The Archangel Trilogy #1)

The Messenger
Series: The Archangel Trilogy #1
Author: TM Smith
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2018

For centuries Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer have worked together, coexisting in the same universe. Gabriel chooses to remain silent and secluded, preferring the garden in the Hall of Souls. He dances beneath the Tree of Life, barefoot and with reckless abandon…until the day he looks into the eyes of another angel and sees the dreams he’s kept silent mirrored there. 

Eons have passed since the moment Michael came to be the general of the All Father’s army in heaven, the protector of mankind. Michael has been in love with Lucifer for as long as he can remember, their relationship second only to his bond with the All Father. But lately, Michael has begun to notice cracks in the surface of their love, sensing that his lover is not as angelic as he seems. 

Lucifer was the All Father’s first creation, the bringer of light, his Morning Star. He has sat to the right of the throne every day since the dawn of time. Two things were tasked to the Archangels from the start: put no other before the All Father, and protect the humans he cherishes. Lucifer challenges both sacred rules. He puts his love for Michael before his love for his creator, and he questions his creator’s wisdom when it comes to the atrocities he has seen committed by mankind. 

One will fall while two remain and grow stronger. A battle of wills is on the horizon, and not only mankind, but the fate of all beings will hang in the balance.

"Interesting gay romance take on God and His angels" ~ Amazon Review
"Author TM Smith rewrites Christian theology with a vivid imagination and true, all-encompassing-love God, introducing us to her new world of Angels and Demons!" ~ Amazon Review

I’m am absolutely not a religious person, never read the Bible, and what I know of Christianity is from friends, required literature in school, and television.  So, as you might expect I had no real preconceived ideas of any religious framework before starting to read this story.  I personally think that was a good thing, since I was able to see the author’s vision for the story and not overlay it on any existing religious beliefs—this is fiction after all, and our world should have very little bearing on the story the author is trying to tell.  What I found was a thought-provoking book that played with my emotions (I mean, who’d have thought you could sympathize with Satan?), and some powerful scenes that were stunning in their imagery and intensity.

Though this is meant to be Gabriel’s story, in order to tell it we need to learn about Michael and Lucifer’s relationship—one that is cracking under the strain of Lucifer’s continued questioning of the All Father and his loss of faith in humanity.  While I mentioned having sympathy for Satan, given what was expected of Lucifer (what is expected of all archangels-protecting mankind and putting no other before the All Father), and his insistence on not just pushing but smashing those boundaries, there was only ever one outcome that could come to be.  

Gabriel is the essence of innocence, but can protect and fight when needed just as fiercely as his counterparts.  His penchant for communing with the souls at the Tree of Life embodies hope and joy, something he willingly shares with anyone who needs it to refresh their own souls.  Michael, as the general of the All Father’s army in heaven, is a relentless protector, strong and true, but still hurts from the splintering of his relationship with Lucifer.  Gabriel and Michael fit easily together, with Gabriel helping Michael to heal.

Yes, this is a romance—one that rewrites what you may see as religious canon—but don’t let your own religious beliefs color your opinion of this story.  This is about love, pure and simple, regardless of the players.  Part of telling the story includes some scenes of obvious religious nature, some of which I personally could have done without (but this is a strongly personal viewpoint due to my own beliefs…or rather non-belief), but without which Lucifer’s true nature of what he becomes cannot be fully realized.  There are also times when the characters become quite introspective, and I found that this lead to a greater depth in the overall story.

The Messenger was a 4.5-star read for me, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series—especially given the epilogue and its tease with Raphael’s character.  I think readers’ reactions will probably differ quite a bit depending on their own religious backgrounds, but regardless you’re still going to find a strong, solid, and provocative story that will have your attention from cover to cover.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for sexual content.

A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel.

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!


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