Book Review: Thomas E. Sniegoski’s Dancing on the Head of a Pin

Posted March 14, 2012 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 Dancing on the Head of a Pin

Dancing on the Head of a Pin


Thomas E. Sniegoski

urban fantasy that was published by ROC on April 7, 2009 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Mean Streets, A Kiss Before Apocalypse, Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Hundred Words for Hate, 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

Second (publication-wise) in the Remy Chandler paranormal series about angels and free will based in Boston; third in the chronological sense.

My Take

I do enjoy the storyline, but the writing is so uneven. At first Sniegoski is writing the story well, and then it’s like he slips on the path down to a more juvenile level.

There’s an underlying mystery running throughout the three books, of God not caring any longer and having disappeared from Heaven, leaving it in the hands of “corporate stooges”. At least that’s how the upper echelon reads to me. I’m curious as to where God is, and why he seems to have given up.

As for Remy, I get that he is terrified of his angelic alter ego getting free and never letting his human side out again, but does Remy really need to be that stupid when he enters Hell? Throughout the story, even though he knows it is the only way he will survive, he is constantly putting off the change until after he’s badly injured…what a way to demonstrate “turn the other cheek”! Which is truly weird as his angelic self is panting for blood and violence.

Sniegoski writes that Lucifer became envious of the gift of creation, which God gave to man. The only creation of his to whom he gave this gift.

The Story

Still depressed over his wife’s death, Remy is very, very slowly beginning to pick up the threads of his life and his private detection business when he gets a request for help. Mr. Karnighan needs someone to find a cache of antique weapons that have been stolen from him. Weapons that have been forged with great power and minds of their own!

And so it begins with the trail leading to the second greatest disaster to threaten mankind and Heaven.

The Characters

Remiel is a disenchanted Seraphim of the Heavenly Host. The things that the angels have been doing in the name of God don’t sit right with him, and after the war between Lucifer Morningstar and God, Remy chose to descend to Earth and live among men as a man. After thousands of years, he met Madeline, fell in love, and married until she died of cancer (see A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, 1).

Marlowe is their four-year-old Labrador with whom Remy can converse (as he can with any of the sentient species on Earth).

I’m a little confused about the Nomads. Is this a new sub group of angels? Or is this just a new name for the Grigori from A Kiss Before the Apocalypse and Mean Streets: “Noah’s Orphans”, 1.5? In this story, the Nomads took no sides during the great battle between Lucifer and God as they were waiting to determine which was the “correct” side. Now, they have chosen…and it ain’t God!

Francis is one of the fallen angels who repented quickly and was given the task of guarding one of the gates from Hell as his penance. Not too sure how successful he is as he makes his living as an assassin…

Steven Mulvehill is a homicide detective with the Boston PD. As he lay dying, Remy came across him and, with the intention of easing his passing, Remy revealed his angelic reality to him.

The Cover and Title

It’s a very busy cover what with Remy facing an oncoming horde of hooded figures and their slavering dogs. My only objection is that the dogs sounded lots bigger in the story.