"Archangel Protocol" by Lyda Morehouse impressed me because it was a combination of Syne Mitchells "Technogenesis" and Melissa Scotts book about the internal internet (I can't remember the title of the book, but it was written at least 10 years ago) with a bit of Vonnegut and Mary Doria Russell's "The Sparrow" thrown in for good measure. There was also a bit of "The Handmaids Tale" by Margaret Atwood in the milieu of the book. And though I'd read this kind of book before, I was amazed she was able to take those books and make a fairly decent, tasty leftover stew of them.
Diedre McMannus was an interesting character right from the start, as an excommunicated cop who is contacted by Michael (an archangel in disguise) to try and rout a plot by false internet 'angels' to take political power and kill the opposing candidate.
Supposedly known as a "jezebel" I didn't see any real evidence of McMannus as someone who sleeps around...She seemed almost too good in that respect. But I liked her courage and her determination to take responsibility for her actions and decisions, whether she actually made them or was just accused of them. She had guts, and style, and was very real.
I enjoyed the way that Morehouse took archangel mythology and turned it on its ear by having the archangels be a Mafioso, a shark, a transvestite and an African sage. My only problem with them was that they seemed to be rather vague on their theology, and unable to present a strong view of their faith, when I would think that archangels would have dogma woven into the substance of their being. They are close to God, therefore they should be of perfect faith, as they don't really have "free will" as humans do.
I also enjoyed the "Mouse" character and his "page" and the way the internet was presented in such a lively manner...You could tell the author had read William Gibsons famed book on the future of the internet.
Using first person to write a tale is always a crapshoot, in my opinion. If not done right, it can appear quite amateurish. Morehouse started out sounding like an amateur, but managed to use dialogue to good effect, and with strong characters, kept the whole thing afloat until the end.
The end was rather abrupt, in the sense that we don't know what happened with McMannus and her beloved and their baby, but it did tie up everything else rather nicely. The authors liberal/Unitarian stance is very evident throughout the book, so if you're an evangelical republican/conservative, this book is not for you.
If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I'd rate it at 7.5.
I will be looking for Morehouses next work, and hoping that she is able to create another good tale in the religious/political milieu of "Archangel Protocol."