Monday, August 09, 2010

Review: Ashes To Angels by Natalie McCollum

When is the last time you got in on the ground floor of something really special and amazing? That’s just the way I felt when reading a new book entitled ASHES TO ANGELS these past few days.

This just published book, the first for author Natalie McCollum, is derivative but purposefully so. Its characters think in song lyrics and poems and quotes and pop references as we wind our way through the tale of an angel who cuts off her wings and falls for a self-destructive poet. Well, that’s it on the surface anyway. Even that is an interesting story but there are so many levels to it!

With its almost stream of consciousness narrative and heavily footnoted pages, the book brings to mind works as disparate as Joyce’s FINNEGAN’SWAKE or Mark Danielewski’s HOUSE OF LEAVES. More than anything else, though, ASHES TO ANGELS reminds me of the slightly disturbing yet welcoming vibe one gets from Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. And I dearly love Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN.

Ms. McCollum's writing style has a poetry over and above the generous amount of actual poetry in the story itself as part of the plot. The subjects veer into deep dark corners and complicated philosophies, much of which are dealt with in the characters’ heads rather than in dialogue. By the middle of the book you find yourself asking if anything is what it seems…not just in the book but in real life!

Aptly described by its publisher, Punkin House Press, as “a love story told as a horror story and a horror story told as a love story,” ASHES TO ANGELS is the type of book you go into expecting a throwaway horror story and come out of with so much more.

Get in on the ground floor with Natalie McCollum. I have a feeling we’re all going to be hearing a LOT from her! You can order an Ebook at the link below or you can link from there to a hard copy order page.

If you order it, let me know what you think in the comments after you've read it!

(By way of disclosure, I should point out that I heard about this book because I'm going to be doing some work with the publisher but I did NOT have anything to do with the writing of ASHES TO ANGELS.)

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