Monday, December 30, 2013

The Third Heaven by Donovan M. Neal

I received an electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
First Impression: I wanted to read this based of the Prologue sneak peek. It’s not too often someone writes a fictional account of the war between God and Lucifer.
Characters: Man is not the main focus of this story, but rather angels and the battle against their creator. Heaven ends up divided into those with El (God) or with Lucifer (Satan). All Biblical angels are part of “The Third Heaven”, and many that are not necessarily Biblical. I found the personalities tangible yet superhuman, which is appropriate as far as our knowledge of Elohim (angels) goes. Michael and Gabriel have starring roles for El’s cause.
Lucifer is a subject most Christians don’t want to talk about. I am of the mindset that we can’t really know how one can go so wrong without understanding what happened with the ultimate betrayer. Once God’s right-hand Prince of Angels, Lucifer’s story unwinds in these pages to the familiar persona of today. Again, author Donovan M. Neal portrays this as a work of fiction based on true events. I admittedly felt sympathy initially for the fallen angels, but the author does a brilliant job of explaining the ends to which they would dare defy their maker.
World Building: Heaven is tangible in Neal’s descriptions. The beauty of the universe and all the realms unfolds in King James’ style prose. I greatly appreciated the role of angels in creation and maintenance of El’s creations, as well as the tie-ins to actual historical events.
Writing Style: Written in the language of King James, Neal uses powerful descriptive symbolism, metaphor, and other creative devices to create a sense of awe. The downside was an overuse of commas and other missing punctuation – or improper use of words here and there.
What I Liked: After reading this fictional account, I feel more at peace with the old ‘whatever happened to Lucifer?’ question. I believe the author was given divine inspiration to share an account both interesting to read and grounded in truth. Although admittedly NOT factual, this story IS plausible.
Deal Benders: I don’t appreciate overuse of punctuation – especially commas. When inserted, in the middle, of random sentences, they make, the story, a bit choppy. Not a direct quote, but you get the picture. I think this could have used more editing, or maybe a second pair of eyes to find grammar and spelling mistakes.
Overall Rating: I give this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed the story despite the editing issues.

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