Book Review: Angel Town by Lilith Saintcrow

Orbit
325 pp.

After the end of Heaven’s Spite I had no intention of reading Angel Town, the last book in the Jill Kismet series. Yet somehow, I ended up doing it anyway, though it was a long, hard slog through dark urban fantasy nihilism. (I am not very fond of the “The Good Guys never break the rules, while The Bad Guys break them with impunity,” paradigm, which appears to be a theme of this book. That and, Jill Kismet has Issues, Most of them Centered on Her Epic Internalized Misogyny.)

In Angel Town, Our Heroine is mysteriously brought back from the dead in an extremely grotesque fashion. When she comes back to town, she discovers that Perry’s hellbreed minions are at war with the werepeople community, which is hiding her boyfriend. There are also mysterious people letting her know that she has a mission to take out Perry. This is of course something she is more than willing to do, while she rushes from scene to scene trying to figure out what Perry is up to. (It’s the same thing he does every night Pinky, Try to Take Over the World.) All of the rushing around leads up to Jill pretending to go over to Perry’s side in such a way that all suspension of disbelief collapses (Saintcrow attempts to make it look like a Xanatos Gambit but fails) followed by a climactic battle and a more or less happy ending.

The Jill Kismet series world building relied heavily on the theme of the powers of hell being present, and the forces of heaven being absent except for hunters like Jill, who are eternally in danger of damnation. In this book, the cavalry eventually arrives, but their presence doesn’t seem to really have any impact. (When the supernatural back up arrives, Saintcrow does a thing where she spends a lot of time talking about wings, but it’s hard to tell who are what they’re attached to, or what they were actually doing. I don’t remember the details of the battle, just the people with vulture wings showing up.)

Overall, I think the Jill Kismet series is a lot weaker than her Dante Valentine books (though that series also had some massive problems). I think I probably would have liked this series a lot more if I’d been able to ignore the really annoying stereotypes, rampant misogyny and overused urban fantasy tropes.


Angel Town (Jill Kismet) on Amazon

Angel Town (Jill Kismet) on Powell’s Books

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Filed under fantasy, Lilith Saintcrow, Review: Book, urban

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