19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book
Ms. Kiernan's prose has grown more beautiful with every novel, and Murder of Angels surpasses even the stunningly high standard she set with Low Red Moon. While Murder can be read alone, I recommend reading its predeccessor Silk for added depth of characterization and back-story. For readers already familiar with Daria, Niki, and Spyder, (and others) Murder finds them...
Published on September 8, 2004 by Amanda Oestman
3.0 out of 5 stars Not 100% necessary, but I recommend reading Silk before Murder of Angels.
I enjoyed this book and very much liked the story. Unfortunately, I read it before reading Silk. I was able to follow the story and appreciate the characters (speaking of - that is one of the main reasons why Kiernan is one of my favorite authors - she expertly draws flawed characters and compels your empathy for them, even if you don't *like* them) and their roles in it,...
Published 6 months ago by Amy Jesionowski
Most Helpful First | Newest First
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book,
Ms. Kiernan's prose has grown more beautiful with every novel, and Murder of Angels surpasses even the stunningly high standard she set with Low Red Moon. While Murder can be read alone, I recommend reading its predeccessor Silk for added depth of characterization and back-story. For readers already familiar with Daria, Niki, and Spyder, (and others) Murder finds them older, more broken, and more beautiful than where we left off with Silk.
The characters and settings in Murder are breath-takingly, heart-breakingly drawn, both universes vivid and touchable. The story is deft and intricate, and ends with a punch in the gut (if you'll forgive such an unoriginal simile).
And for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Ms. Kiernan's work continues to be far and away the best modern interpretation of his ideas, capturing all the horror, madness, and beauty without falling back on a pastiche of gibbering tentacles.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine And Imaginative Effort,
I learned of Caitlin R. Kiernan by reading Poppy Z. Brite, though I do not agree with some critics about the similarity of their work. I didn't realize that "Murder of Angels" was a sequel to another Kiernan book ("Silk") until I was halfway through it. Since I have not yet read "Silk," I can unequivocally say that "MOA" stands on its own. The writing is moody and atmospheric without being at all overblown. The story drew me right in, and I cared for the characters. I'll be picking up more Kiernan books soon!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Able to capture desperate human emotion in beautiful prose,
Caitlin R. Kiernan is an author whose voice rings like the crisp tolling of a bell in an otherwise muddled and bland wasteland of predictable and soulless stories. Murder of Angels is her fifth novel. In it Kiernan takes us on the incredible journey of characters first introduced in her novel Silk, some ten years after that first story's ending.
The beautiful and quick prose of this dark tale reminds me of both Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker, and the artistic layout of text in some sections evokes shades of Mark Z. Danielewski's masterpiece House of Leaves.
Fans of dark fantasy and lucid dream worlds take heed; Caitlin R. Kiernan is a shining beacon of hope in the literary world, a writer who communicates raw passion and desperate emotion with exquisite accuracy.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully horrific, lyrical writing,
"Murder of Angels" is an amazing follow-up to the events in "Silk." Exquistiely dark imagery (Caitlin's power to create other planes of existence never ceases to amaze me), and the excellent, lyrical descriptions make it impossible to put this book down. Those with a soft spot for Niki Ky and Daria Parker will be pleased (and saddened--no spoilers) to see them again; while those unfamiliar with the characters should be dying to learn more about them by the end. If that's the case with you, purchase "Silk" immediately.
The appearance of Scarborough Pentecost (from "Low Red Moon") is a whimsical touch that I thoroughly loved; and I can only hope that Marvin makes appearances in later work as well.
One more time: Well done, Caitlin! "Murder of Angels" is superb.
(um, ahem... in essence, NOTHING is original. Surely anyone can name a thousand books, movies, short stories, television shows, etc. that feature leaps from bridges, alternate realities, and portals to other realms. These things happen [wink, wink]. There are such things as themes and archetypes in literature; and only so many creative ways in which characters can die. Sorry).
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Concatenation of Myth and Human Drama,
Caitlin R. Kiernan's writing continues to get better with every novel she has published. She combines lyrical yet sharp stylistics with a unique narrative pacing to create novels that read as fast as short stories, dense meditations on loss and mythology that sink into the brain and remain there as easily as one ingests a much simpler work. Her writing challenges but does not overburden a reader, and her ability to craft stark but beautiful characterization--and dialogue--can lure in everyone interested in witnessing the reactions of *real people* suddenly caught up in realities far different than those they are used to....
In Murder of Angels, Kiernan follows up her "first" novel Silk, bringing back many of the characters that populated Silk to finish, as it might be, what they started in the earlier novel. Murder of Angels is more than just a sequel, however: though it *does* take up Niki Ky, Daria Parker, Spyder Baxter, and others roughly ten years after Silk closed, and ties up many of the spidery threads left hanging at the end of Silk, Murder of Angels is a novel built out of manifestly different cloth.
Whereas Silk focused more on the daily grind of the characters themselves, using Spyder Baxter's inspired syncretic mythology of angelic wars, arachnid psychopomps, and transformation as a backdrop to the story's very real human tragedy, Murder of Angels puts that mythology first and mangles reality as the mythworld begins to crash into our own, shards and threads stabbing through the veneer of the everyday and opening wounds large enough for entire universes to tumble through. Kiernan utilizes many elements familiar to readers of fantasy and mythology--most notably, the person spirited away to a parallel world in which they are a hero (or, in this case, a Hierophant) destined to fight the Jungian Shadow for the integrity of the world--but mixes up the standard tropes and concepts of heroic fantasy and mythology into something far darker, far stranger, and far more applicable to the grimy worlds around the dark streetcorners that few people want to investigate.
In effect, Murder of Angels presents a rich, traditional-fantasy epic worldbuilding experience wrapped inside an urban-fantasy veneer that shows how even a morbidly troubled girl can take the weight of worlds upon her shoulders. The prose is lush as velvet but still can cut like a strip of razorwire when the moment demands it. This is not merely a horror novel, nor a heroic fantasy, nor a hallucinatory bad trip through the arid lands of the soul, but a powerful synthesis of all that I, for one, will probably be using as a glowing example of many authorial skills and stylistic tricks in fiction classes from here on out.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be realistic...,
Before you take FruitLoop's commentary above to heart, take a look at the book. Murder of Angels is bit dark, true, but that should be obvious, if not from the title alone, let alone Kiernan's publishing history. The idea that this is a rip-off is ludicrous - the story is original, the characters engaging and NOT cookie-cutters, despite what FruitLoop says (good name for that reviewer - look at their other reviews). The very idea of comparing Murder of Angels to Kate and Leopold is just wrong - starting with the fact that the movie wasn't good. The idea of a review is not to trash things, but to talk about the book - this isn't for everyone, but it's a very good read. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Poppy Z. Brite will enjoy it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words don't get better than this!,
I read around fifty novels a year. Murder of Angels is one of the most significant and breathtaking books I've ever been able to find.
The characters, concepts and bitter truths are magical to me. Now I understand why we sacrifice things for the people we love. Everything was beyond vivid - like how, when the characters light cigarettes or the house goes up, I can smell the smoke.
With Murder of Angels, Caitlin R. Kiernan has done brilliant and textured work beyond compare. Her books stand-alone yet have a unique and meticulously sculpted Mythos burbling underneath. Too many writers cobble together a transparent template and write the same book over and over. Kiernan wouldn't even consider such artifice. Because of her relentless commitment to truth, now is the perfect time for her to break out and spray blood all over the formulaic pretenders.
Personally, I feel that Murder of Angels belongs up there with Pale Fire, House of Leaves, and Gravity's Rainbow in terms of its ability to show its story without falling back on cliches or easy answers...
Fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip K. Dick -- maybe even the darker and Victorian elements of Susanna Clarke -- already know Kiernan's work.
Everyone else has been missing out.
Caitlin R. Kiernan is one of the best writers alive and she keeps getting better.
Buy it for everyone you know, especially for Hallowe'en. We live in a world that needs to value Caitlin R. Keirnan more.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeds epectations again,
There are a few things one learns reading the stories of Caitlin R. Kiernan. She enthralls with every outing. She tirelessly works to improve upon what has gone before. She is a writer of amazing talent, the kind of writer who doesn't search for words to evoke images, but has tapped into the power of words that immerse the reader into the whirlpool of the story.
SILK won major awards. MURDER OF ANGELS is a continuation of a few of the major characters in that storyline. It is ten years later, and the knife is sharper.
I can not achieve the eloquence of Mr. Pegritz's review and I defer to his greater skills but from this it is easy to see why so many admired and respected authors (Mr. Gaiman, Mr. Straub, Ms Brite, Mr. de Lint, Mr. Barker, etc.) name Ms. Kiernan as a definitive voice and vision.
MURDER OF ANGELS is her best yet, though she is one of the few "can't miss" authors on the planet. The poetics are uniquely unsettling, the story is tightly wound, and the writing is disturbing to an even greater level of depth. It is the kind of book any buyer hopes for - the kind where it is worth more than the money paid for it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Aliens, No Whining,
I never wear black (it makes me look "washed out"), have a strong dislike of aliens, and don't even know what "drad" means, but I thoroughly enjoyed Murder of Angels. Like anyone working unconventionally in a conventional form (in this case, dark fantasy fiction), Ms. Kiernan is bound to perturb and even anger some people. Let them whinge, I say. This is a lovely novel that held me absorbed from start to finish. The literary techniques she employs certainly have classical precedents. Even if they didn't, where would be the problem? Isn't this sort of fiction about stretching or breaking boundaries - not seeing how closely you can stick to them?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookfriend(Erik from the Netherlands),
Happily, I agree with most of the reviewers about this novel. I wanted to like MOA and I did. The characters are three dimensional, and the dialogue, well.. just beautiful.
Caitlin is indeed an author of dreamlike,poetic evocations of shadowy horror.
Caitlin has painted the characters in so much realistic and multi-dimensional shades that it gave the novel much dramatic tension and urgency.
The dialoguu was great.
Caitlin borrows lines from bands such as the Cure and The Sisters of Mercy, but only the first few sentences(and that's allowed)
In all, MOA is beautiful.Caitlin's experimental rule-breaking approach to writing is great. Great story telling, great plot and character development and above all; GREAT WRITING SKILL!
Maybe, this review looks too much as the review of Bookfiend(so I hope this review is not considered as plagiarism), but opposite to negative.
I read a lot of novels and once in a while I come across an author with amazing talents. Caitlin R Kiernan is such an author.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Murder of Angels by Caitlin R. Kiernan