The Seraph Contingency

Anael's Tale

Fiction - Adventure
268 Pages
Reviewed on 12/08/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

The award winning author Jennifer Fales was born in Jacksonville, FL in 1970. She lived in central Florida during her high school and college years and moved to Southern California in 2004. She has worn many professional hats over the decades - in the clothing and automotive industry as well as financials. Her first book,

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Ironic, hilarious and informative are three words that immediately came to my mind when I started reading this book. Seraph Contingency is proof of the rich and edgy imagination of its author Jennifer Fales. Truly, who can write a novel with characters like the seraph, the wicked duchess, the violet haired vixen, a witch, an amazing little boy, and many others? The names of these very colorful characters are Anael, Gaap, Deumos, Thomas, Dabber, Anael, Jezebel and Teivel. There's also Ereshkigal, one of the former rulers of hell and Pete, a backsliding saint who now runs a hip bar in purgatory. The story starts when a bored angel escaped from heaven and ended up in, of all places, a dive bar in Purgatory. Meanwhile, a duchess with a not so beautiful past staged an abduction because she wants to have a more interesting wardrobe. A transporter demon then has to be called in and we get to meet a colorful cast of characters whose personalities defy imagination. In short, reading this book is really just like going on a roller coaster ride on an imagination that has seemingly gone completely wild.

The novel may seem like a product of a wild imagination but there is a lot of humor, science, and magic in it too. It climaxed in what is claimed to be the wildest party ever staged in Hell. There is an allusion to the Greek and Sumerian underworld mythology. There is also a healthy dose of jokes on scientific and mathematical principles that will probably give Jennifer Fales the reputation of being the wackiest novelist in town. Behind this story, however, is a social commentary on what is going on in our world today. And the author tells it by using irony, which certainly proved to be a very effective tool. She surprised me with all the humorous coincidences of contradictions in her story. I also have the feeling that many of the words she used in telling her story are meant to give the opposite of their meanings. And there is also a lot of contradictions between what the characters in the novel knows, and what I think as a reader. Lastly, there is irony in that the ending is completely different as to what I was expecting. Ms. Fales tied her story together with irony, and this kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I read the Seraph Contingency.

Eduardo Aduna

Jennifer Fales’ Seraph Contingency is a psychedelic amalgam of mythology, biblical lore and pop culture. The story follows the quirky and eventually loony angel Anael as she embarks on a wild adventure. Her meanderings take her to various exotic locales and allow her to meet different characters, from numbskulls to nefarious demons. With a lovestruck demon guide, a pair of cute snake guardians and a slew of interesting characters, Anael finds herself inadvertently pitted against the big bad Lucifer himself.

What a ride! Jennifer Fales crafts a witty, pun-tastic tale that ensures a laugh or two per page. The characters are as odd as they come, playing both on stereotypes and contradictions. And it works! Almost every character in the novel has a distinct appearance, personality and voice; a hard feat to accomplish in any fictional piece. An even more admirable achievement was that she was able to craft a solid back-story for almost all major and supporting character s, all without impeding the flow of the story. The author puts these characters into weird settings and just let’s them loose, creating unpredictable events and funny situations. She draws from various characters in ancient and modern culture and just makes them their own. I loved the humor in this novel, the tongue-in-cheek play on conventions mixed with hilarious dialogue and some outlandish acts. You could almost see the author winking and grinning at you as you read some of the scenes in this book. This novel was a magnificent example of how imagination, however outlandish and wild; coupled with great writing and humor can meld into a great read. Quirky, loony and funny, Jennifer Fales’ Seraph Contingency is right up there with the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.

Anne Boling

Our story centers on Anael, an Angel that is bored; she was drawn to the music coming from Re-Pete’s, a bar and the last place you would expect to find an angel. Anael had snuck through the gates to visit Purgatory. She found Purgatory fascinating because they still practiced free will; while "heaven had outlawed choices and contrarian ideas." While enjoying the atmosphere, bartender Pete called hell for a favor from a demon by the name of Gaap. Anael was kidnapped and awoke in hell where she was tortured and imprisoned. Her wings were cut off to make a dress for Deumos to wear to Lucifer’s next ball. Pete had asked Gaap to take Anael to a safe place but he didn't arrive early enough to prevent the kidnapping. Now the "honorable" demon must find a way to protect the beautiful, naive angel.

"The Seraph Contingency" by author Jennifer Fales has a unique plot. She combines danger, excitement, romance, mythology and humor to create a unique one of a kind story. Jennifer Fales is an extremely talented author who has created an imaginative plot and thought-provoking characters. Her use of humor, pace and timing are right on the mark. As a religious person I am a little uncomfortable with the subject, but I give this book a five star rating for creativity, originality and for being infused with quirky humor.

Alice DiNizo

Anael is an angel, but she is bored and sneaks out of Heaven as she is looking for some adventure. She enters the one bar in Purgatory, Re-Pete's, after finding a stained coat in a garbage can and using the coat to cover her wings and her heavenly robe. Then Anael meets Gaap, a demon, and follows him to Hell where two minions saw off her wings for Deumos the Duchess who wants the wings for her dress as she plans to impress Satan, Lucifer, at his upcoming gala. Pete, the bartender/owner at Re-Pete's contacts Gaap and tells him to find Anael and get her to a safe house. Gaap does just that but lands them in a half-abandoned Marine base near the train tracks in Irvine, California. Here, Gaap and Anael, the angel-that-was, meet lavender-haired Jezebel and Tomas, a five year old demon, his mother and his Aunt Rosa, Kyung Sam who ends up as a Siberian tiger, and huge pet snakes that adore Anael and pose as Doberman Pinschers. But can a demon and an angel-that-was overcome fate and find love in each other's arms?

Author Jennifer Fales has written a delightful story that will certainly amuse readers. Anael, demon Gaap and their contingency deal with Lucifer, Hell, and figures such as Styx, Persephone (Aargh) and Hades from mythology will all attract fans of fantasy fiction. The characters are believable and the plot is always good for a smile as when Kysung Sam is told by Lucifer that he can either be a Siberian tiger or face a fate of spending eternity with a K-Pop band! The author creates scenes that will have the reader laughing out loud as when Lucifer informs nasty but dead businessman Elliot Sternheim that their golf game is a "skins game", meaning that if Sternheim loses, his skin will be the next golf bag cover! "Anael's Tale" is fun, interesting and unique and should be on reading lists everywhere.

Dr. Oliva Dsouza

"The Seraph Contingency - Anael’s Tale" by Jennifer Fales is the story of Anael the angel and her adventures. She escapes from heaven to explore new things and gets into purgatory where she is kidnapped, made wingless and rescued by different inhabitants of a place that an angel should not be in. Gaap, the demon transporter rescues her on the insistence of the fallen saint Peter and promptly falls in love with her. The rest of the story deals with the conspiracy to bring down the king of lies – Lucifer. The Duchess Deumos, Teivel,Brunhilda, Sammy, Jezebel, Pete, Charon and Styx all get together to make sure the contract terms set by Hades before handing over power to Lucifer are fulfilled so that his reign in hell will end. Can Anael do what is required of her? Will an angel with the brains of a scientist and the social skills of a wombat succeed at being what she is not?

Jennifer Fales has managed to spin a yarn that takes you to heaven, topside, purgatory and hell with breathtaking ease. The plot captures your attention from the word go! A surprisingly well written story that leaves one wanting to know what happens to the characters next. The well thought out, amazing characters with equally amazing names endear themselves to you even though they are from a place where moral turpitude rules. The various characters really grow on you and some lines by the smart ones are really clever and hilarious. The description of Jezebel’s work room is superbly beautiful and the author’s creativity shines through. Witches, demons, angels, ravens, magic, and children merge to make this read a one hell of a ride to hell.