The Heavenly Rocker

The Angel’s Little Sister Plays Merry Heaven and Hell

Fiction - Inspirational
74 Pages
Reviewed on 10/27/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite

The Heavenly Rocker: The Angel’s Little Sister Plays Merry Heaven and Hell by Ruth Finnegan is a delightful short story that reads more like a poem or, better yet, a Shakespearean sonnet. As Ms. Finnegan describes, the story of the Angel’s little sister descending to Hell came to her in her dreams, and her transposition to the page of those images more than retains that free-flowing ethereal quality.

Told through equal parts teenage angst, Irish folklore and a dash of Greek mythicism, we find that the Angel's younger sister – Ms. Finnegan’s protagonist from an ongoing series of books - has become bored with being a bit-player in boring old Heaven and ventures to Hell to “liven things up a bit.” Enter a curmudgeonly Satan who won’t abide all the fun and frivolity stirred up by her, so banishes her back to Heaven. Unfortunately, Border Control intervenes, and the "little sister" is trapped on a dry and desolate Earth now devoid of music. Enter the Angel who’ll attempt to save his sister from barren Earth and a few other “obstacles” placed before her along the way.

Ms. Finnegan’s short story is a fascinating read that plays fast and loose with both grammar and the English language in general, and may at times have the reader scratching their head in wonderment, but the destination is worth the journey. You will marvel at the illusionary setting of scenes Ms. Finnegan’s imagination concocts, and if actually transcribed from her dreams, will have you pondering what she ate for dinner - or drank. And hoping she’ll share.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

It's hard to imagine that Heaven could be boring, but that's exactly what happens to God's chief harpist. Not content with her lot in existence, she chooses to escape Heaven to take her rock band to Hell, where she does the unimaginable: brings joy to those who are supposed to be enduring eternal torment. Furious, the devil sets out to put a stop to this heavenly presence in his dominion, and the angel is double crossed by a snake. In response, the little angel seeks to destroy creation, not understanding how good and evil can intertwine into a bigger picture. The angel's brother tries to make her understand with examples from Earth, which she bypassed in her descent. The Heavenly Rocker: The Angel’s Little Sister Plays Merry Heaven and Hell by Ruth Finnegan tells an extraordinary tale of Heaven, Hell, and how the mixture of both create a unique picture of life here on Earth.

I did enjoy this tale, although the style of writing took a bit of getting used to. It's a bit more artistic than most of us are used to, but it doesn't take long to see the story unfolding and recognize the poetic styles that we learned in school. I also liked the themes of redemption and hope throughout the story. I can see how this would be a compelling book series for people who like a more literary style of writing. Ruth Finnegan does a great job of bringing everything together in an interesting tale that shows how good and evil work in this world. The Heavenly Rocker: The Angel's Little Sister Plays Merry Heaven and Hell is a wonderful, short read that will delight and inspire you to see the joy and blessings around you, right here in everyday life.

Kayti Nika Raet

The Heavenly Rocker, a book of inspirational long form poetry by Ruth Finnegan, invites the reader on a journey of music, hope, and wacky hi-jinks of the celestial sort. It is a collection of work that defies all genre conventions as the younger sister of God's best harpist takes a trip way down to hell and starts a rock band. The Heavenly Rocker reads like a piece of long form poetry; think Dante's Inferno or any of the works of the Romantic era. What makes it stand out, though, is that the form changes as the book progresses along with our main character's decent, going from a Romantic era syntax as it slides into the syncopated rhythms of jazz.

The Heavenly Rocker is part of the Little Angel book series and, as I was diving into the world created by Ruth Finnegan, I found myself wondering who the target audience was and which particular age group it was supposed to attract as the premise sounded like something I would find and enjoy in a dreamlike middle grade book, but the style and language felt like something for older readers. I felt that it was an unusual place to straddle, but I did find myself enjoying both components on their own. I feel that fans of the previous Little Angel books by Ruth Finnegan are sure to enjoy The Heavenly Rocker, as well as readers looking to dive into something a bit more unique than the average angel story.