Eternity: Wing And Pray by Leon M.A. Edwards (book review).

September 25, 2019 | By | Reply More

‘Eternity: Wing And Pray’ by Leon M.A. Edwards arrived in my inbox with very little fanfare which is probably just as well. In the acknowledgement at the front of the book the author thanks God for giving him the confidence to start writing and the ability to write a story so we can probably surmise that he’s religious. So, writing a story about an angel who was sent to Earth probably seemed like a good idea.

The book starts with a 24 page section titled ‘Story So Far’ which gives us a concise version of how God created the world 4.54 billion years ago and instructed his son and angel Gavreel to travel to Earth and make it a utopia. Things didn’t go to plan, which resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs. Gavreel became a human who lives for 35 years, dies and gets recreated without memories of his previous existence.

The disruption to God’s plan does not go unnoticed and he sends another angel, Manakel, to find Gavreel and bring him before God so he can be turned back into an angel before his death at 35. While this is going on, God decided to create humans. Initially, there was a single man and woman (Adam & Eve?) who then had a child. Merkel managed to meet them, but they could not help him in his quest to find the only other human on the planet.

The rest of the ‘Story So Far’ section brings us up to the present time stopping off to explain the various religions and wars. In 1962, Merkel was instructed to set up a super-secret organisation called the ‘International Money Laundering Federation’ (yes, you read that right) or IMLF or simply The Firm. Finally, we arrive very close to modern times where a deal between powerful drug barons and illegal arms merchants is about to be disrupted by an elite special force’s unit.

Chapter 1 arrives on page 26 and we learn about Gabriel Stone. He’s a black man who happens to be an accountant living in a little Australian town called Broken Hill. It’s pretty obvious from the first page that he is actually Gavreel with no memories of who he really is so I don’t consider this a spoiler.

Where things get interesting is that Gabriel, although everyone calls him Gabe, has been asked by his lawyer friend to do a bit of forensic accountancy to help him put a case together to get his client acquitted of murder. It’s something which Gabe is actually quite good at and pieces together the evidence of what happened on the night in question.

After this section things get a bit confusing. Agents working for IMLF discover Gavreel’s current identity and bring him to the IMLF’s mansion in the USA. Here he is tasked with applying his skills to help bring down the most powerful drug barons on the planet. After his first operation is a success, he is given his own team to complete the task.

As Manakel has now completed his task of finding Gavreel, he heads home to God to ‘live out the rest of his eternal life’ (the author’s words, not mine) leaving Gavreel to get on with the job. Being eternal is just one of the problems of being an angel on Earth. They are super-strong, impervious to mortal weapons, can read human minds and break necks with the click of a finger. They can also travel faster than thought and appear to be human.

There are a whole host of issues with this book. Firstly, the style of writing uses very clipped sentences which just presents lists of facts. Here’s a typical example: ‘It is February 2015, somewhere in the remote wilderness of Honduras, in Yoro. The terrain is a flat plain with tall, light-brown grass like wheat. There are various patches of marsh within the grass. The area is barren and you will not see anyone for miles.

At times, the author goes into a level of detail on items that is not really required and doesn’t add to the story. For example, the production of cocaine is described in detail which takes over a page. We lean an awful lot about drug production and distribution in a story about an angel sent to Earth to establish a utopia.

There is also the problem of the plot. Is it a story of finding Gabreel so he can continue his work of establishing a utopia or is it about the IMLF fighting crime and corruption human governments can’t tackle? I couldn’t decide and I don’t think the author could neither.

Everyone knows money laundering is what criminals do and it’s a punishable crime. It’s not the only inconsistency neither. While I could cite lots of examples the one that got my attention was where the same character is described as sticking out like a sore thumb twice on the same page.

While I could wax lyrical about all the inconsistencies that occur when you have a super-powerful and super-intelligent being like God with his powerful and intelligent children or angels trying to create a utopia for us mere mortals. Instead, I’m just going to say ultimately, ‘Eternity: Wing And Prayer’ was a disappointing read with a rather poor ending.

Andy Whitaker

September 2019

(pub: independent. 517 page paperback. ISBN: 978-1-07213-657-6)

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Category: Books

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About AndyWhitaker

I live in deepest darkest Essex where I enjoy photography, real ales, walking my dog, cooking and a really good book. I own an e-book reader which goes with me everywhere but still enjoy the traditional paper based varieties.

My oriental studies have earned me a black belt in Suduko and I'm considered a master in deadly Bonsai (there are very few survivors).

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