Jean-Paul’s Rating: 4/5 stars
Imagine if Heaven were managed, not by God, but by a bureaucratic quagmire of Angels and committees only slightly more effective than the U.S. Senate. It certainly would explain a lot. Welcome to “Mercury Falls”.
The Apocalypse is nigh. Again. Poor Christine. She is assigned to cover cult after cult that thinks they have identified the End of Days and the disillusionment that follows on End of Days + 1. This time, though, it’s actually happening and Christine is an unwitting major player in the unfolding Apocalyptic events. Through her travails, she runs into Mercury, a disillusioned angel who is not terribly keen on his assignment in the Angelic bureaucracy. He tries to fight this by very actively doing nothing. But no matter how hard he tries to do nothing, something keeps getting done. Oh well, might as well team up with Christine and save the world and the dickweed Antichrist from destruction.
I had never heard of “Mercury Falls” or it author, Robert Kroese, before my (favorite) aunt mentioned it to me. She said that reading it made her think of me and that I would enjoy the humor and irony in the book. It’s hard to pass up a glowing recommendation like that. I am happy say that she was quite right.
This book was incredibly charming. Good humorous fiction is hard to come by and “Mercury Falls” is certainly up near the top. Robert Kroese has an acerbic1 wit and a talent for ironic writing. Kroese’s humor is such that a comparison to Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is almost obligatory. I was unsurprised to learn that Douglas Adams was one Kroese’s inspirations for writing. Kroese has a knack for capturing wryness as well as Adams did. The context of the story also reminded me slightly of “Good Omens” by Terry Prachett Neil Gaiman which is another comedic must read.
If you like angelic incompetence, if you delight in demonic misdeeds, if you have ever lost a loved one due to having to wait in line at the Department of Miracular Vouchsafing, “Mercury Falls” is the book for you. “Mercury Falls” is also the first book in a trilogy and you’ll be able to read about the next books soon as I’ve already picked up the other two2.
1 Little known fact. No one really knows what acerbic means. It is, however, a requirement that wit be described as acerbic.
2 These footnote jokes are even funnier if you’ve read the book.