Arthur Dowekyo’s As Wings Unfurl is a dystopian novel set primarily in New York City, though parts of the story take place in Tibet, and South Vietnam. It is a world that features unusual characters and action. Remember that when you read the prologue; pay close attention to what is written there, for it returns later. Angelic-like beings, mere mortal types, and native species are all in the mix.
A clerk at an antiquarian bookseller finds himself in the middle of a fight between the demonic and heavenly angelic-like beings. After the store’s owner is attacked by a stranger and lands in the hospital, the clerk, Apple sets out to figure out what brought on the attack. You guessed right. It was a book, a very particular book. In this book, there is a hidden compartment, a sleeve, for hiding small thin objects like photos and negatives. Apple retrieves the sought after items. They are barely X-rated smut, but nevertheless, Apple is also attacked, in the store and then in on his way home. Enter the heavenly Angela. She spirits Apple away. After that the story takes off.
Apple is not just a lowly clerk; he is also a Vietnam vet who almost died in South Vietnam. He lost a leg and now has a prosthetic and is arguably addicted to powerful painkillers. His story as a solider is recounted throughout the narrative in the form of recollections, day dreams, and nightmares.
Add to all of the above a Big Foot creature called a Meh-teh, a Tibetan, a cardinal, a monk, and a monsignor and a few other characters along the way including New York City’s finest, the NYPD and NYFD, a demonic angel that seemingly has more than nine lives, and some otherworldly fighting and time and space travel, and you have a fantastical tale of good versus evil, of a plot to end the world that only Hitler, Stalin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and ISIS could only envision.
I hardly ever comment on a cover but As Wings Unfurl’s is amazing. My favorite character was pair, the Meh-teh, Yowl, and Tibetan, Shilog. I wish there had been more description or background on Yowl. Other than the problem of sorting out who is talking when one of demonic angels transforms into two different beings and then carried on a conversation between each (imagine overhearing someone talking to and answering themselves, you not realizing this and then trying to figure out who they are talking with), the writing is fairly polished with a good pace that keeps you reading. The blending of Apple’s memories in South Vietnam into the present-day narrative was masterfully done. It is like you are there on the ground in South Vietnam beside Apple, fighting with him.
***Copy provided by author in exchange for honest review