Mixing together an Englishman, a demonic familiar, angels, a vampire, and other imaginative ingredients would make a lousy cup of tea. But put that on paper and one has an engaging and humorous Ungodly Child by Rachel Green.
This urban fantasy tells the tale of a rather unlikely hero, a perfectly respectable Englishman by the name of Harold Waterman. After being infected with an incurable disease by the Angel of Pestilence, Harold turns to help from below. All Jasfoup wants in return is the usual payment expected for such services, the head of a saint. Adding to the story are the angels of destruction who want to prove Harold’s the antichrist, family secrets, and unexpected love.
Among Ungodly Child‘s pages are themes of self-awareness, family, friendship, faith, and acceptance. With heavenly and demonic beings as characters, good and evil may come to mind instantly. Those ideas are present, but as more of a backdrop and things aren’t always as they seem. Rachel provides some keen insights into the psyche, heart, and social structures. This amusing novel is chock-full of Biblical allusions, witticisms, and puns galore. With its comedy, horrors, clichés, wordplay, and repetitious tea drinking, theatre of the absurd comes to mind, though this didn’t leave a headache in its wake. The characters and author are English so the tea’s understandable, it’s their answer for everything.
I thoroughly enjoyed chuckling through Ungodly Child and probably would have finished it sooner if I wasn’t constantly “rewinding” to laugh again. This was a visit with friends I’ve gotten to know over the past couple years so it was a pleasure to hear about the start of it all, finally. I was looking forward to Ungodly Child before it was born and the same can be said about future conceptions. For other tales and antics of Harold and Jasfoup there’s Jasfoup’s Dribbles, another witty and comical read. Rachel’s books of drabbles and poetry, which I’ve previously mentioned, are available for purchase, download, and preview through her website. Recommended.