Author: Tammar Stein
ISBN: 978-0-375-85871-0

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Miriam is a girl who has always been uncomfortable with talking about religion. She has always assumed that there probably is a God, but He’s far away and certainly not paying any attention. Miriam’s twin brother, Moses, is her best friend. As twins go - they are very close, but Miriam has always been somewhat of the golden girl in their parents’ eyes, whereas Moses was always a bit like a problem child - always screeching when things didn’t go his way.

But this time the screeching is about to come from Miriam. It’s spring break at school and there are only a few people left in the dorms - Miriam is one of them. Her plans fell through and she finds herself in an extremely quiet building where she can actually hear the heat registers and the groans of the old walls. What she doesn’t expect is being witness to an ear-splitting shriek, a noise so loud that it actually splits apart her dorm wall and allows a freezing cold, glacier-blue light to permeate her room. From the frightening light comes a voice in Ancient Hebrew and then…just like that…everything disappears.

Being half Jewish on her father’s side, Miriam flees to the all-powerful Google and other resources and finds out that the “light” referred to itself as the archangel Raphael, and that “Tabitha” must evacuate before the Sabbath. Miriam has no idea what’s going on - she tries to remember her parents’ words growing up. Although they are now divorced, Mom and Dad are both professors of theology: Dad, Jewish - Mom, Catholic - yet they are truly the smartest beings Miriam has ever met when it comes to religion.

begins searching the school, coming across a young, happy girl by the name of Tabitha. That evening, before sundown, Miriam struggles with the young girl, but finally picks her up physically and evacuates her from the dorm…right before the building explodes and the people inside are engulfed in flames. Not a very god-like thing to do.  Even though the two left inside the building were huge sinners, Miriam finds it odd that the Lord would call for an attack on some college kids instead of “fixing” the wars and hideousness that’s going on all over the country.

Along comes her brother, Moses. Moses comes visiting and tells Miriam a huge secret that he wants only his twin to hear about. It seems Mo was “visited’ one night by the powerful being who explained everything to him and asked him to do a couple of errands. Mo is so excited. He not only has been chosen but he will also reap serious rewards for doing as he’s told and joining the club. Miriam has trouble exhaling when her brother explains to her that the being that came into HIS life as nothing to do with halos; he joined forces with the actual devil.

With all this information pressing on her Miriam, she soon finds herself dropping out of college, and heading to a small town called Hamilton, TN, where she meets new people, makes new friends, and lands a job with their newspaper. She’s still extremely nervous that this is Divine Intervention and proceeds to get ill - her nerves constantly at war with her so-called visions. While in town, she not only meets a tattoo-artist named Emmett, who is far more than his surface “label” says he is, but she also runs into a young boy by the name of Jason who is seriously messed-up and is about to be taken under her brother’s wing. Her evil brother? Miriam can barely stand the thought and has no idea what the future is going to bring either of them.

This is a fascinating look at religion, the icons that everyone knows so little about, and the way that good and evil are presented to the reader are intricate and well-thought-out. The author has done a wonderful job of making her characters realistic and their situation something you’ll want to read about in this book, and many more sequels to come. I love the point that the author makes that angels are “seen” as loving creatures guiding us through life, yet they are a little high-brow and demanding in this story. There is a very thin line between good and evil - and following what “God” asks you to do might not end in a pretty, angelic picture. Don't believe me?  Just ask Joan of Arc.

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