Book Review: Thomas E. Sniegoski’s A Kiss Before Apocalypse

Posted March 18, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Thomas E. Sniegoski’s A Kiss Before Apocalypse

A Kiss Before Apocalypse


Thomas E. Sniegoski

urban fantasy that was published by ROC Trade on May 6, 2008 and has 290 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mean Streets, Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Hundred Words for Hate, Dancing on the Head of a Pin, An Apple for the Creature, In the House of the Wicked, The Fallen, Leviathan, Aerie, Reckoning, Walking in the Midst of Fire, End of Days, A Deafening Silence in Heaven

First in the Remy Chandler paranormal series. I came across this series after reading his short story, Mean Streets: “Noah’s Orphans”, 1.5.

My Take

The scene in which the four Seraphim condescend to Remy is both annoying and interesting, and I love how Sniegowski portrays the Seraphims’ lack of knowledge of human behavior!

The way Sniegoski presents the various levels of angels is certainly different from what I learned in Sunday school. And I suspect it’s a more accurate portrayal, lol. Wait’ll you read what happened to the Grigori! And why! I gotta say, I don’t know how the Grigori expect God to forgive them when they indulge in all the vices of man…

The task set Remy by the Seraphim is a useful way for Sniegoski to introduce us to the “people” in Remy’s world, and the scenarios in which we meet them provide a lot of information about the various cultures involved. And, of course, Remy’s struggle to maintain his humanness and not rely upon his angelic abilities is intriguing.

It’s a fascinating story and I was never sure just what would happen next. If you enjoy reading about angels and demons, do start this series. It’s a good ‘un.

The Story

Madeline is in a nursing home trying to die of cancer. Trying and failing because the Archangel of Death has disappeared, slacking off on the job.

It’s happening all over Boston; no one can die, as evidenced by the cheating couple Remy bursts in on after hearing gunshots. No one, for the past week, has been able to die.

Already worried about the dreams the cheating man has told to Remy, especially combined with the inability of anyone to die, Remy gets confirmation of his fears when four of the Seraphim condescend to approach him. The five scrolls are also missing — and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are on the loose.

The Characters

Remiel is a former member of the Seraphim, the most on-high cadre of angels in God’s grace. When the battle between Lucifer Morningstar and God’s Heavenly Hosts was over, Remiel was fed up and decided to become a human, to learn more about them. Remy Chandler has been wandering Earth as a human, finally turning to detective work in the mid-20th century in Boston. Did I mention he can also understand the language of any living being on Earth? Makes for some interesting conversations. His wife, Madeline, and he have been married for 50 years. Marlowe is his and Madeline’s four-year-old Labrador retriever with an amazing grasp on life

Israfil is the Archangel of Death.

Detective Steve Mulvehill with the Boston PD’s Homicide Department is a friend and drinking buddy; Francis is a friend and Fallen Angel who is serving a penance on Earth catching bad little demons; Lazarus is a friend with an ear to the ground and a homeless dude who can’t die (yup, THAT Lazarus).

The Grigori are…
…a class of angels charged with safeguarding the development of the Almighty’s most beloved creations — humans. Unfortunately, the Grigori were too fascinated by just what God had put into humans that made Him love them so much and did not put into his angels.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are on the loose.

The Cover and Title

The cover is different. I do love that Sniegoski has put Marlowe on it, the sword obviously refers to the one which Remy uses in the battle, and I’m guessing that that’s God in the upper left corner “eating popcorn” as he watches to see what the Four Horsemen are up to. I assume that the building on the right is his Boston townhouse. At first I didn’t care for the looks of the Remy pictured on the cover…he’s so clean cut! But then I remembered, Remy is an angel…

The title is a bit obscure; I’m guessing that it refers to Remy’s farewell to his dying wife.