Review: Alleluia Files, by Sharon Shinn

I recently read this one in paperback, and it was a delight. It is book three of what I think is now a five-book series, but I don’t know if it’s complete at five or heading towards six or more.

This series is an odd mix of SF and Fantasy. The land of Samaria is ruled by mortal angels, who invoke the power of the god Jovah through song. But lest you think he’s just a figment of the collective imagination, Jovah regularly demonstrates his power through the weather, grain and medicine falling from the sky, and even the occasional wrathful thunderbolt to strike down the wicked. He’s as real as the angels that fly from their mountain-top holds.

But is He really quite what He seems?

That’s the mystery that’s been slowly unraveling over the first three books of the series, but it’s not just philosophers sitting down over coffee to debate the nature of God. There’s action, intrigue, conspiracy, and romance. Actually, quite a bit of romance.

Mind you, I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a Harlequin, but I’ve been known to get a little squishy in the realm of the romantic, and these romances are pretty good. However, I will say that one of them here tripped over one of my cliché alarms, but it didn’t hit it hard. I’d say which cliché, but that would be a spoiler.

All in all, I enjoyed it, but I confess I did not like it as much as the first two. It wasn’t as gripping as I found the first two, and frankly the stakes didn’t seem as high. Also, there was something of a big reveal late in the book that seemed pretty obvious to me from the get-go, so I spent a certain amount of the book waiting with decreasing patience for the characters to put it together.

So, I’d definitely recommend the series, but I’m hoping the next two pick it up a bit.