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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I found this book via twitter. I have a goal of reading 43 random books mentioned online and I'm interested in animal stories, so I picked it up. I am usually much more harsh on animal and sci fi books than other books because my expectations are higher. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

Disclosure: The author's spokesdog and my cat follow each other on Twitter, but we had not spoken that I know of before I told her I was writing a review, and in fact I only decided to write one because I thought the book was good enough to warrant my time. If it had been mediocre or terrible, or if having "Angel" in the title meant it turned out to be some kind of badly conventional after-Sunday-School special starring dogs, I wouldn't have bothered. (I probably wouldn't even have told her I bought it!) On to the review:

In "Angel in Fur Coat", Sparky is unable to concentrate on her tasks as a guardian angel and decides to attend dog classes instead. Her best friend, Bernie, is already in dog school and although Sparky is somewhat of a misfit, she seems ideally suited to her new studies.

In simplest terms, the book follows Sparky's transformation from angel to dog. Dogs are sent to earth to perform certain tasks. Nitwit, for instance, excels at police work in the competency tests and is assigned to become a police dog. Sparky's sense of humor and enthusiasm get her assigned to a family who has lost another beloved dog.

This could easily have turned into some kind of Pollyanna story, but it doesn't. The angels tease each other, there's a little bit of propaganda and bureaucracy in the school work and final assignments, and Sparky's fluency in bird, cat and dolphin seems to get her in more trouble, not less.

Sparky's schooling and the technology involved are imaginative and the characters are well-defined without resorting to stereotyping. The dialogue rings true and there are clever uses of illustrations and typefaces that lend a touch of graphic novel to the layout. Ways historical dogs interacted with humans and the personal stories of dogs who have returned to heaven are woven naturally into the school lessons and dialogue.

Likes: Sparky/Xia has a touch of sarcasm about her that made her inner monologues a delight to read. The depictions of the fallen angels exhibit a lighthearted mischief more than ultimate evil.

Dislikes: When I was about 80% through the book, I realized there weren't enough pages left to find out what the prophecy was all about. Gah! It's sort of like when you're watching a TV show and realize it's going to be a "To Be Continued". It does, however, end with Sparky arriving on Earth as the puppy Xia at last. The series is 4 books long and this is only book one.

I found it to be a captivating and consistently funny story appropriate for children, but with subtleties that will appeal to adults who love animals.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2013
This book was TOO cute and I'm sorry I don't mean that in a positive way. Ever eaten a birthday cake and all you could taste was sweet, syrupy sugar with no other flavor? Too sweet for me but I know there are lots of people who enjoy this kind of reading, best wishes to them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
It Is a very interesting read I have reviewed books but nothing so entrancing. It is beautifully put even a child can read it like I did because I am 10 years old
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2013
What a wonderful book about how angels come back as dogs with various duties to perform. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all my friends. Gives you a lot to think about too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
This was an adorable book with an amazing message. I really enjoyed reading it. Xia was an inspiration to read about. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2013
I loved this book. If you are a dog lover you will thoroughly enjoy reading it. The only drawback is that there is a sequel to it that I cannot wait to download.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2013
This is a sweet fairy tale story about dogs being angels in disguise. It is a family friendly story to be enjoyed by all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
I thought it was a really awesome book !

If I judged I give five stars.

It was a great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2013
I loved it was so good I need the next book so very soon and I mean soon ! !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2013
This book is not a literary masterpiece. But it is sweet in its own way. And what makes it particularly good is that the author really knows dogs! The doggie angels in this volume were really dogs, behaving as dogs and (probably) thinking like dogs. And that's what made it a worthwhile read as far as I'm concerned!
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