by Jeff Moberly

Xlibris Books, $29.00, 112 pages

The idea of heaven might seem like an unlikely setting—unless you think, The Divine Comedy was a sit-com.  If you regard Dante as a poetic genius ahead of his time, you will definitely enjoy The Angels of Mineral Wells. Jeff Moberly paints a fantastic glimpse of heaven and sprinkles it with imperfect characters, guitar blues, state-of-the-art transportation, and cheeseburgers.

In the story, Frank Tucker dies suddenly, before his preordained expiration date. His arrival in heaven leads to significant dissention among the angels. His angel guides have not quite perfected his transformation from human to angel, and the whole process is wrought with jealousy, revenge, and Frank’s unfinished earthly business. The angels take sides and attempt to destroy Frank’s guardian angels, which would leave him a lost spirit for thousands of years.

Moberly portrays a breathtaking portrait of heaven—in explicit detail. So much so, that the story is probably more suited for the screen, much of the book is devoted to visual descriptions. The author takes certain biblical liberties, but honestly fesses up to them in the preface. A portion of the book is devoted to Christian beliefs in the Holy Trinity and the fundamentalist notion of Jesus as a Savior. However, the book is character driven and because of the unique perspective, it could be re-written as an avant-garde screenplay.

In spite of its unique appeal, the writing is slightly cumbersome and the reader may occasionally find themselves confused. The characters however, are likable, and the author’s wit saves the narrative from staleness. If you have never thought about day-to-day life in heaven or the personalities of those who keep it running, this is a chance to allow your spiritual side some levity. There are several sub-themes woven into the story—some of which should have been elaborated on, others could have been abandoned entirely.

Reviewed by Sheli Ellsworth