R. A. McCandless’s badass demi-angel bears a grudge nearly two dozen centuries old. She makes effective use of her displaced aggression by dispatching rogue divinities, presumably making the world safer for the rest of us, albeit in ways we oblivious mortals will never fully comprehend or appreciate.
Omedelia-bar-Azazel, Del for short, is impressively sexy as a 21st-Century death dealer and as slave-wife to a swash-buckling, happy-go-lucky, Roman-era sea captain. Her roles confine her not at all, but her obligation to the Throne–a debt she has incurred through no fault of her own–renders her incapable of knowing freedom.
McCandless navigates an arcane range of settings, styles and sensibilities with convincing poise. If he skips over several centuries worth of rogue warfare, we understand that neither bloodlust nor addiction has ever done much to blunt the pain inflicted on Del’s soul when she once sought to deny what she is in an attempt to lead a marginally more normal existence. Her story pivots on that pain, her darkness balanced by the equanimity of her deadly protege and sidekick, Marrin.
Tears of Heaven delivers enough controlled firepower to leave your ears ringing long after you put down this angelpunk thriller.