I haven’t read fiction for many years, until now. I just couldn’t. My justification went like this – most of the time it was better than anything I could write, which just depressed me, or it was worse, which made me shout at it a lot, or the worst of the three, it was inspirational and sent me off on a tangent from my own style and into theirs, which is never good. I have at least three books written by a very good friend that I really should have read by now, but I haven’t. I will now my dear, I promise.
So what got me back into reading fiction? Well, duty, really, at first. Another writer in my new publisher’s stable, and I felt I ought at least to give his novel a try, not the least because he gave my own book such a great review on Amazon. The premise was at least interesting – a four year old girl is the result of a liaison between her mother and a fallen angel, and becomes the target of other fallen angels, who try to use her to get back into Heaven. But it was the word ‘Nephilim’ that hooked me. The Nephilim always fascinated me, supposedly all angel/human hybrids back in the pre-Flood days, according to Genesis, and of course the legendary, and infamous ‘Book of Enoch’. They were supposedly the reason God brought the Flood upon the world, to wipe them out, and start again. But this book was instantly so much more than that – from word one, this had me gripped, in an ignoring family so I could read it kind of way.
So, the book’s called ‘Heaven’s Forgotten’, by Branden Johnson. It can, and must, be bought here, but if you think this is a religious book, think again. It is certainly a book steeped in a lot of obviously well-researched biblical legend, but that’s where any religious theme ends. This is a thriller from the first page, jumping from one character’s timeline to another’s just as you thought you were getting the answers – and you don’t, not until the very end. You think you feel for one of them, and then they rip your heart out – and then they put the pieces back together again. You scream at them – why the f**k did you do that?! And then you realise why the next time you meet them.
This is a very, very clever novel indeed, but its true genius, for me, is that it made me suspend disbelief, made me forget I was a writer, made me want to get to the end, made me love and hate the characters, and most of all, it made me a reader again.
Thank you Branden – been a long time.