“A Kiss Before the Apocalypse” by Thomas E. Sniegoski is the inaugural Remy Chandler novel. Remy Chandler, aka Remiel, an angel who chose to leave Heaven, is the hero of Sniegoski’s angelic detective series. The story is a decent introduction into Sniegoski’s celestial world, however, taking on The Apocalypse itself is an epic feat for the first book in a series. Remy Chandler interacts with angels from the ones closest to God to the ambitious and evil fallen companions of Lucifer.
Sniegoski gives his hero a human form that often agonizes over his decision to quit Heaven and his duties with the angelic hosts. This humanity is underscored by showing the reader Remy’s immortality and tenderness as he visits an aging wife in a nursing home. Even though Remy tries his best to keep his human form, time and again it is shown that he is still an angel at his core. Although, Sniegoski does not explain how Remy retains his full angelic nature despite choosing to leave Heaven and God Himself behind. Mostly this angelic nature is shown when Remy is physically beyond his humanity’s ability to survive or when he comes into contact with fallen angels.
At times throughout the story, the angel seems quite omnipotent and left this reader wondering why Remy Chandler continues to play the human charade beyond his love for his dying wife. But, this does not make the story unenjoyable. In fact, if one suspends this thought as well as most religious knowledge, Sniegoski’s story is quite entertaining.
A bit of research into the various religions’ view of angels, their hierarchy, and the names of angels will intrigue the reader after reading Remy Chandler’s adventures. The religious knowledge that will have to be suspended is knowing that Sniegoski chose to stray from the understood angelic myths of the various world’s religions. For instance, Remy encounters a group of angels called the Grigori, but some religious mythology says the angel Remiel was one of the Grigori. It may enhance the overall reading experience of “A Kiss Before the Apocalypse” and prepare the reader for the next book in the Remy Chandler novels.
In all, this title is a daring, but successful foray into the world and conflict of angels and demons and other supernatural forces for Sniegoski. I give it three flags.