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The Seraphim Rising
Elisabeth DeVos
Penguin/Roc, 298 pages

Seraphim Rising
Elisabeth DeVos Related Links

Elisabeth DeVos' debut novel, The Seraphim Rising, was launched with a lot of fanfare and great reviews. Check out some of the supporting material on her web site.

The Elisabeth DeVos Home Page
A Sample Chapter
A Short Bio

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Wayne MacLaurin

What would you do if six angels descended to Earth and proclaimed Howard Stern to be God?

The results could be more than a little scary. That's sort of the idea behind Elisabeth DeVos' debut novel, The Seraphim Rising. It is the near future and six winged beings have arrived on Earth and proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. However, when He does arrive (on page 32) He takes the form of Harry Chen, a drugged-out virtual-reality cult hero who has gained fame by ridiculing the very messengers who've proclaimed him God.

This revelation is particularly distressful to Carson McCullough, a personal liaison to the Seraphim and an old friend of Harry's. It's this conflict that becomes the center of the novel as Elisabeth DeVos explores the conflicting ideologies that inevitably arise. Religious groups clash with eco-groups who want the funds being used to "prepare" Earth devoted to saving the environment. Governments rumble as countries try to resolve fundamental differences in ideologies and their impact on the acceptance or rejection of the Seraphim. And, of course, paranoid conspiracies are convinced that the Seraphim are the advance wave of an alien invasion.

But enough about the plot. The novel is pretty good too. DeVos does a great job of capturing the raw excitement of her idea on paper. The novel moves along briskly without glossing over anything, and, in just under three hundred pages, she manages to cram in heaps of action, tons of great dialogue, a lost feminist enclave, several trips through a (literary) virtual world, and still finds space to gradually fill in the background on the coming of the Seraphim. All in all a great book.

Copyright © 1997 by Wayne MacLaurin

Wayne MacLaurin is a regular SF Site reviewer. More of his opinions are available on our Book Reviews pages.

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