In Angel Time, Anne Rice tells the story of a present-day hit man, a former parochial school student. The narrator is his guardian angel. After learning about his depressing descent from down on his luck school boy to a life of crime, we meet said angel. And together they time travel to 13th-century England and Paris to save the lives of a Jewish family. That’s a pretty succinct version of the story, which clearly bends strongly towards the religious and philosophical. Or preachy and plodding, depending on how generous you are feeling.

In the midst of the story, Rice discusses the intersection of Catholicism, Judaism, and sin. If that sounds daunting, it was. Truthfully, she lectures about these topics and the story is secondary to the author unpacking her own beliefs all over the book.

The reviews for this book aren’t great. But I bought it ages ago, back when Anne Rice was an auto-buy author for me. And then I never listened. I’ve been trying to “clean up” my Audible shelves, so here we are. And I regret every minute of this book. Plus, the second book is on my audio shelf too. Argh.

My conclusions

If this was your first Anne Rice, it’s not hard to imagine it being your last. She takes a mediocre plot, mixes it with less-then-stellar writing, and tops it all off with a listless main character. He’s not even interesting enough to consider him unlikable.

Reading this book was like attending a wake for someone you don’t like, where everyone drones endlessly about their religious philosophy. Avoid it like the plague.