Have you ever wondered what it is like to be an angel? Aaron Quincy’s novel, The Book of 1 Ariel introduces heaven’s newest angel. When Ariel arrives in heaven she learns that she is to train to become an angel. Her first few days in heaven and on the job are difficult. Ariel, who wants to be the best angel ever, can’t remember her life on earth. Her own past, or lack of remembering her past, haunts her. When she is assigned to watch over Natalie, an eight-year-old, her human memories slowly come back to her. Is the timing wrong?
Ariel is not the only angel in training. Michael has his own charge, Patrick. Both Ariel and Michael have five days with their charges and there is a competition between the angels. The problem is that neither angel actually knows the parameters of the challenge. The five day deadline implies that something will happen, but what and why? To make matters worse, each course of action that Ariel takes to guard Natalie will have consequences for the child.
As Ariel learns when to step in to protect Natalie she is also remembering her own past. Michael is more than a fellow trainee. Did they know each other on earth? If they did, why are the two training to be angels at the same time and why is there a competition between them? When Michael keeps visiting Ariel she is confused. She wants to focus all of her energy to protect Natalie. However, her memories and feelings for Michael are pulling her away from Natalie. Ariel struggles with the notion that angels are supposed to be perfect and yet, she doesn’t know what she’s doing. What happens if she fails? Failure could have dire consequences for all involved.
The Book of 1 Ariel is an intriguing novel that delves deeper into what life is like in the afterlife. Many of us may take for granted that angels are perfect beings who automatically know what it’s like to be an angel. Quincy’s novel challenges this notion. Ariel is filled with doubt and fears that she will be a flop as an angel. If angels are supposed to be perfect, why is she filled with uncertainty? Does that mean she isn’t the perfect angel?
As each day in the five day challenge ticks by the anticipation builds. Ariel’s fears will resonate with most readers. She is a likeable character and it is easy to get caught up in her story. I cheered for her to succeed and I felt for her when she struggled. At times I wished Quincy supplied more details, especially towards the end. Without spoiling the ending, I felt that some of the final moments needed more clarification. However, given that this is the first book and the ending sets up for the next installment, maybe I just need to be patient to find out my answers. As the head angel kept telling Ariel during her trials and tribulations, everything will become clear “in due time.” I give Aaron Quincy’s novel, The Book of 1 Ariel four out of five stars.
Aaron Quincy resides in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis. The Book of 1 Ariel is his second novel. His first novel, When Heaven Came Between Us, will be re-released soon.