The Trial of Fallen Angels is James Kimmel Jr.'s first fiction book.
Brek Cuttler awakes in a train station. She's sitting on a bench in her favourite 'power lawyer' suit. The station is deserted. Her suit is covered in blood. She is sure she is dreaming when a man comes along and welcomes her to Shemaya. She struggles to remember who she is and what she was doing before she arrived at this station. Inevitability, she discover that the man Luas is right - she is dead. And she has a job to do in Shemaya....
"You don't think God would allow souls to face the Final Judgment alone, do you? Even murderers on earth have a lawyer to represent them, and the outcomes of those trials are only temporary. The stakes are higher here, dear. All of eternity."
As Brek begins presenting the memories of the dead, she begins to realize that the acts and events of each person have also played a part in her own life and are part of her own final choice and presentation.
Kimmel explores the themes of justice and forgiveness in The Trial of Fallen Angels with a keen eye and much thought. Kimmel has presented his philosophical viewpoints cloaked in a mystery. When this book was pitched to me for review, I wasn't fully aware of how much emphasis was placed on spirituality. I felt that the characters were used only a vehicle to carry the message, so I never really bought into Brek. As God is the Judge, this is somewhat limiting for believers of other faiths or non believers, although I do think Kimmel's views are extremely intriguing and applicable to anyone.
So while it was an interesting read, I did find it slow in parts and ended up skimming by the end to get to the conclusion.
Kimmell "is a lawyer and advocate who focuses on the intersections of law and spirituality and law and psychology."
The Trial of Fallen Angels would be an excellent selection for a book club, sure to engender lots of discussion. Read an excerpt of The Trial of Fallen Angels.