In the afterlife world of Elysium, war rages between the forces of good and evil, the Fallen and the Faithful, Lucifer and Archangel Gabriel.
In The Last Archangel – Faithful Amidst The Fallen, author Elliott Cross writes in the first person through the book’s main character Azdiel who is a liar, a traitor and a killer. He is also an angel who inadvertently becomes the guardian of Aurelia, a mortal vestal virgin from ancient Rome who has been brought to the afterlife world by Archangel Gabriel in an attempt to stop the war.
Aurelia bears on her arm the marks of the Archangels. She is the key to what the two warring parties seek – access to and control of the Powers of Creation. Together Azdiel and Aurelia must escape war-torn Elysium and journey deep into the dark heart of Hades.
“People want heros with super human qualities and strengths” says Cross, who adds that “the younger generation follows its heros in their search for meaning.”
Cross says that while the book has certain religious overtones it is more of an historically-based action fantasy that deals with the darker side of human nature.
“The action and characters in the book are important in that they move the story along, but the real theme of the book is the story of one person’s search to find truth in meaning” says Cross. “Azdiel is as complex as he is vulnerable. While the book takes place in the fictional after-world, his personal struggles, represent the struggles and the realities of today’s world. Right and wrong, fear, greed, ego, faith and redemption are all elements of the characters in The Last Archangel.
The book borrows from both the imagination of the author and from Roman mythology. Cross says that he was also inspired in many ways to write the book by reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.
“I have tried to create and exciting, fast paced, action fantasy on one hand, and make a serious statement about human nature and the social and political times that we currently live in,” says Cross, who adds that while he does not expect readers to necessarily identify with any of the characters in the book, he hopes they will at least recognize their character traits and the struggles of their realities.
The Last Archangel is an interesting, intelligent fantasy that delves into darker side of human nature while showing that there is also hope and possible redemption for the human (and, in the case of the characters in the book, non-human) spirit. It is well worth reading.
Author Elliott Cross will be at Bookingham Palace Bookstore on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to sign copies of his book and give readings.