Pasquale's Angel
by Paul J. McAuley
Review by Matthew Urick

This is an alternate history novel set in the Renaisance where Leonardo DaVinci's engineering was put into practice instead of confined to his notebooks. The divergence point with our history is never stated, and I don't know enough about this period to catch any clues the author might have given. He seems to have done a credible job in realizing the setting.

The story follows Pasquale, an apprentice artist who is ready skillwise to do his masterpiece, but is not able to conceive how to portray the face of the angel who escoted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. He is nearby the scene where and assistant of Raphael is murdered. This and his artistic skill enables him to aid Nicolo Machiavegli, an investigative reporter adept at solving mysteries like this.

The mystery only lasts long enough for Machiavegli to explain to Pasquale and to the reader the complex political background that is the motivation for most characters. Pasquale is then given custodianship of a little artifact that is the "Maltese Falcon" everyone wants to obtain. He natually lands in the hands of each and every faction and is instrumental to the resolution of the conflict.

Although well structured and competently written, Angel lacks that strong central reason for me to reccommend it.

Return to Review Indexes by author or reviewer.

Click here to return to the SIGMA mainpage.

This page maintained by Greg Armstrong