Review: Kill All Angels

Posted: December 13, 2018 by in Books We Don't Like (2/5 single_star) Meta: Robert Brockway, Urban Fantasy

I think I can safely admit that I wasn’t even planning on reading this book when it first showed up in the mail. I hadn’t been particularly enamored with either the first or second books in the series, I had no idea where this third book might go that could possibly change that opinion, and the cover was so blaringly pink that the thing gave me a headache every time I looked at it. But it was a quick read (which I needed), and the cover was removable (thankfully), and… my experience with its pages was exactly what I expected it to be: a jumbled conglomeration of “What in the world did I just read?” Ever had one of those? For your sake, I hope not. Still, as the saying goes, “In for a penny, in for a pound,” and so I decided to finish this series off with one last monumental push.

KILL ALL ANGELS (Amazon) is the third, and thankfully, last book in the Vicious Circuit series. It’s a series that, as a whole, has had me continually wondering what the deuce had inspired such ramblings. The first two novels can be summarized fairly succinctly by the following:

A few low-lifes are made aware of extra-dimensional beings (“angels”) that are making human slaves (“empty ones”) and/or human corpses (along with some leftover “tar monsters”). No one else seems to notice this fact and the main characters have nothing better to do, so they risk life and limb — and frequently steady supplies of beer — to try and eradicate the universe of these beings. Because, why not?

Okay, so really all three of these books, and thus the series as a whole, can be described by that… mmm… description.

Wow. Look at me. Being all meta (XKCD) and stuff.

The story in this third book is again being told from the POVs of Carey, a mostly-drunk bum that tends to run away from angels, and Kaitlyn, a young woman that has apparently turned into something that can kill angels. Oh, and those angels and their associated minions and tar-monsters want to kill both of them. And anyone else they decide to off, for that matter. The introduction of these ideas in the first book was enough to carry me through it without too much of a negative impression overall. After three books of barn-burningly fast storylines though, I was pretty much done with it. Of course, the random vision that Kaitlyn has during the opening sequence of this book and the mind-numbingly pointless and trivial resolution to all of this mess didn’t tend to help that opinion either.

A fitting end to a series that we just didn't like, but consistent and sufficiently weird throughout, KILL ALL ANGELS is a book we're glad to see the end of

There was one saving grace of this book, and ultimately it was the single most important reason why the book didn’t end up with a hate rating: the writing. After having so recently finished The Consuming Fire (EBR Review), I found myself smack dab in the middle of a mindset that was ready for more quick-read material.

The further I got into this book, the more I realized that I’d very likely enjoy reading a different book written by this same author. As long as it made a lick of sense. And had some sort of decent amount of plot progression. And had an ending that wasn’t completely trivial or was actually cathartic to some extent. You know, like a story that we like around here. I think he could actually write one of those, and so I can’t throw too much hate in his general direction.

Other reviews of this book I’ve perused have all commented on liking the vulgarity, viciousness, and speed at which the story takes place. They go in for the humor, which I really didn’t, and thought the rollicking tale “fun”. Then again, a lot of them also mention “punk rock”, which this third book doesn’t even begin to touch with a ten-yard polearm, so I don’t know what to believe.

Will someone out there like this book? Absolutely. Okay. Well, maybe let’s downgrade that to “Probably”. Yeah, I feel better about that. Still, this isn’t a book that I liked, and that’s where it’s going to stay.

  • Recommended Age: 18+, content not as pervasive as in the first two, but still very much in your face
  • Language: Nothing new here. Essentially everyone has a potty mouth.
  • Violence: Over the top kind of bloody violence, but it's all handled really superficially
  • Sex: Frequent references to body parts, sex, and sexual acts

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