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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
The Angel Theory by John Morelli is about Bill Arena, a man disgusted with and depressed by the law. Now aged 55, he is in the middle of a crisis in his career, marriage, and supporting his children. An old friend from his high school, now a genius physicist, asks Bill for help. Peter Swanteck has made time travel possible, but using it might have unwanted consequences for the world. Peter convinces Bill to help him, and eventually, the control of the project is passed to Bill. With the time machine under his command, he opens Pandora’s box of chaos that slowly destroys his life and everyone around him. Bill Arena has to make a hard choice - destroy the machine before it can be used as a weapon or allow himself to be consumed by self-interest.
John Morelli’s The Angel Theory is an interesting, exciting, and well-written novel that hooks you from the start. While the narrative is partly science fiction with the element of time travel, Morelli grounds his narrative through its main protagonist - Bill Arena. Morelli zooms in on the vividly detailed world of Bill as he goes through various twists and turns that challenge his morals. His focus on characters rather than the quirks of time travel allows Morelli’s novel to expand organically. Through Bill, we realize that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and probably more complex than we think. This allowed me to engage in a what-if conversation with myself, giving me a better understanding of Morelli’s writing style. This is a cleverly written work that is a must-read for fans of science fiction and thriller narratives.