A Hundred Words for Hate: A Remy Chandler Novel
by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Review by Drew Bittner
Roc Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451463777
Date: 01 March 2011 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Remy Chandler, Boston's only angel-turned-private eye, is back. Something is roiling the invisible world--and all signs point to the return of the Garden of Eden. But this bit of Paradise has a cargo of serpents...and the world may be finished if Eden's gates are opened once again.
In A Hundred Words for Hate, private eye (and former Seraphim) Remy Chandler is picking up the pieces of his life and career. He's got a date with a young woman and a job helping an old lady try to find something she's missing.
But when the Sons of Adam come to ask for his help, everything is upended and the war between Heaven and Hell finds a new battleground: the mythic Garden of Eden itself.
It seems the Garden is returning, and the impossibly ancient and near-mummified Adam--the original man, created by God--is holding on to life, just so he can be buried where he was first born. The Sons aim to make that happen, with help from Remy and Malachi, one of God's first creations. Malachi helps the Sons to make a breakthrough, using a bit of Eden he's kept safe for millennia, but events take a terrible spin when it seems a rogue Cherubim, tasked with protecting the Tree of Knowledge, has gone mad.
As this is happening, Remy's friend and ally Francis struggles to survive in Hell, where a strange encounter leads him to recall much of his fateful past. It seems his role in these events has been decades in the making, and his part is not yet finished.
Remy must help one of the Sons track down the Daughters of Eve (with whom they have fought bitterly for four centuries) in order to unlock the gates of Eden. But even if they can do that, dreams and portents suggest that nothing is right in the Garden--and that Remy must once again call upon his angelic side if the world is to be saved.
Thomas Sniegoski delivers perhaps his best outing yet in the Remy Chandler series. Remy continues to deal with the ramifications of his wife Madeline's passing, even as he calls upon friends like Steven Mulvehill (the only Boston cop aware of his dual nature) for help--a call that brings disaster more than once. The book is full of unintended consequences and facing up to the burden and responsibility of those choices; Remy himself must come to an understanding with his other half, one that forces him to be honest about who he is and who he has been. (This is a terrific segment of the book, by the way, and some of Sniegoski's best writing.)
The bad guy(s) may not be much of a surprise to astute readers, but Sniegoski isn't really building a mystery here. The story is more about the culmination of events across millennia and how mortals and celestials alike answer that moment. It's also about bad decisions and how today is the child of every moment leading up to it.
With his depiction of an angel seeking to remain human, and embracing what humanity has to offer, Sniegoski delivers a solid, enjoyable and emotionally engaging tale of reunions, reconciliations, and an unusual meaning of "family"--not to mention probably the best series with an angel protagonist.