Friday, 16 December 2016

Book Review: Dancing on the head of a pin by Thomas E Sniegoski (Remy Chandler #2)

Still mourning the loss of his wife, fallen angel Remy Chandler has immersed himself in investigating dangerous supernatural cases. His latest: the theft of a cache of ancient weaponry stolen from a collector who deals in antiquities of a dark and dubious nature. The weapons, Remy knows, were forged eons ago and imbued with unimaginable power. And if they fall into the wrong hands, they could be used to destroy not only Heaven but also Earth.

My Review: 
Remy is hired by a man who guarded dangerous angel weapons in return for a cure for the cancer about to kill him, weapons that if united are unbeatable. Now a rogue angel group and a local fallen angel mafia are both seeking these weapons and Remy does not trust either. He and Francis must find the weapons first before Hell comes to earth...

This book gets off to a very slow start and by p90, not much was actually happening. There was a lot of talk about an angel found with his eyes removed as penance for the sins he claims to have committed, and Remy meets with the nomad angel group that he belonged to. There is a lot about angel politics which was ok but I wanted something more to be happening. To be honest I found the whole start to the book pretty dull and it would have been improved by starting with the robbery. The interaction between Remy and his dog Marlowe, which I love, were all that kept me reading at this point. I know Remy is missing his wife but I don't want to read his misery on every page and have him obsessing over it. I just wanted the story to get started!

When the story does kick in, I found it pretty good. Remy tracks down the weapons thief, a fallen angel being rehabilitated by Francis at his apartment building, who now regrets getting involved and wants to help Remy and Francis put things right. I was intrigued to know if the theft would mean he goes back into Hell as he was released on parole to see if he was reformed. Discovering that the nomad angels want to use the missing weapons to break open Tartarus and free the prisoners, Francis is determined to do his job and stop them getting through his portal while Remy and Madach go to the robbed man for answers and another route into Hell.

There was some good action scenes in the second half of the plot, something that I feel the author does well. I think that is why I am frustrated not to see a bit more of it early in the book. Remy really has a tough time with monsters and psycho angels in the book and the temptation to let his angel side out to deal with it becomes harder to resist. He and Francis have good chemistry and work well and I very much enjoy all the scenes that they have together.

I do like Remy as a character. I like the way he is determined to keep his humanity in control, despite the pain of living as a human. He tries to control his angel personna which wants to be dominant and return to serve God in Heaven, but Remy is disillusioned with the angel wars and wants to live with his dog instead. It is a constant battle for him, and I find that interesting. I love Marlowe and want to cuddle him every time he woofs or demands food! It is fun to have them communicate with each other. I like Remy's cop friend who tries not to involve himself in the weird stuff to keep his sanity. But my favourite character is foul mouthed, fallen angel Francis, working hard to be forgiven for betraying God in the angel wars. I just want him to be forgiven!

Now I don't want to give out spoilers for the most part but I did get a bit annoyed by what the author did with the stories of Francis, Julia, and the dogs...I feel cheated! Cheated! There was just too much of that going on for my liking and I didn't feel it was necessary. But the author has to write the story that he wants to tell and it isn't his fault that it wasn't what I wanted to see happen.

Overall I had a mixed time with this book. When it gets into the story it is good but it takes so long to get started that my attention wanders, and I doubt if I'd go back and read it again because of that. I hope it doesn't become the pattern for the rest of the series.

Read October 2016. 
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. Please, please, please (keeping fingers crossed) let this story pick up in the rest of the books because I WILL read this series in 2017! You HAVE to read The Demonists soon.

    1. I can already answer that question for you! I have reviews ready to post on books three and four and that's when I quit the series. Watch out for book 2 spoilers in my book 4 review though! Not sure when I'll read The Demonists...if I can squeeze it in this year I will, if not it'll be February before I get back to paperbacks!