So after checking out the Unseen trilogy by Ms. Erickson, I was eager to see what the rest of her writing looked like. I’ve purchased at least one other book of hers, but haven’t started reading it yet. (Like about three-quarters of the books I own.) I was planning on reading it next…at least, until I started getting emails about a new book of hers coming out.
A book three.
That was it. I was getting ahead of the game on this one, for once in my life.
It didn’t take much convincing to sell me on the topic, regardless of the author. I’ve been fascinated with angels, mythology, and the like for as long as I can remember. (I didn’t pick Orion as my name just for funsies.) I have an entire trilogy of works in process based on humans and angels interacting in different ways. So telling me that this is a book about one of the three Fates who finds himself inextricably fascinated with a human he has created…I was instantly on board. Particularly since the blurb gives the immediate indication that it’s all going down in a handbasket. I love stuff like that.
Penn is a Spinner, the Fate that creates all human life. The Fates, like most heavenly immortals, are not to have any direct interaction or opinions on the humans they create and work with. But when Penn creates the life which would become Kismet…everything changes. His mind is consumed with her, and when it drives him to make a traumatic mistake in his spinning, he is banished from the heavens and sent to Earth to live out the rest of time. So now where does he stand, and how will he affect his creations around him? What, in fact, is the fate of a Fate?
I love Penn. He is a brilliantly constructed character: full of flaws, but always well-meaning. He doesn’t always do the right thing, but he always tries to follow his heart. Once on Earth, his interactions with Kismet and the other humans he comes across are brilliant. He’s just the right balance between “oh God I don’t know how to interact with humans I’m a Fate what do” and “Ah yes, these people I have spun, I know you well.” It’s important to have that balance, especially since while he’s never interacted with these people, he does know them that well. It’s difficult, and Erickson does it well.
His supporting cast is well rounded as well, and while it was obvious that Kismet would play a large part in his plot, she was never quite 100% predictable—and I appreciated that. Andrew was a more sympathetic character than he could have been, and no one ever felt like they’d just been stuck in for the sake of needing a character. Not just on Earth; all the Fates, the Weaver (I hate you, I hate you so much Webber), the Reapers, even the mentions of God Himself.
That’s another point: this manages to walk the line of being a very Christian-based story, without ever being overwhelming in its religious overtones. God is there, and He’s exactly what one might expect, but he’s (I imagine very intentionally) presented as a guy who looks like every other guy in the world. The heavenly cast clearly take their jobs seriously, and understand the God-based implications of what they do, but it never overpowers the core of the plot. Even from someone who has spent most of their life in churches and around church people, I appreciate the light hand combined with the profound emotions that the author evokes.
Then there was the ending. While the ending of DOROTHY MUST DIE made me go “…wait, what? No, don’t end there!” the ending of THE FATE made my eyes pop open and say “NO NO WAIT NO DON’T END THERE WHAT.” And that’s not easy to do to me anymore. Let’s just say I was very pleased that I’d bought THE REAPER at the same time as THE FATE. And if I haven’t finished that one by the time this blog goes up, something’s wrong with me. I can’t wait until the 29th when THE HUMAN comes out. I can’t wait.
Rating: ***** – Highest Recommendation