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Robina Williams




Chapter One


The seraph returns…


The birds had ceased their singing. The fox trembled with fear and crouched lower in the hedge as he watched the man clamber to his feet. He saw the man stare down at the figure sprawled on the ground, then drag the body across the lane and kick it into the ditch. The man stood regaining his breath for a few moments, then walked quickly away from the scene, turning once for a backward glance before disappearing round the corner.

Cautiously the fox emerged from his hiding place, padded over to the ditch and peered into it. He whined unhappily, and nervously scanned the road to see if the man might be returning. There was no human in sight, however, and he heard the birds beginning to sing once more--hesitantly at first, then with increasing confidence. Somewhat reassured, he jumped into the ditch, landing beside the unconscious woman. He scrambled onto her chest and, perched precariously, sniffed her face. In his ears the birdsong grew louder, steadier. A few notes sung close by caused him to look up sharply: he saw a robin staring down from the top of the hedge. The robin chirruped again, and flew down onto a twig closer to the ground.

The fox turned his attention back to the woman. He sniffed her face again and licked her cheek. The robin had now left the shelter of the hedge and stood on the bank of the ditch, trilling encouragingly. The fox whimpered and nuzzled the woman, following up with a vigorous head-butt. The woman groaned. The fox, struggling to keep his balance, leaned forward and barked sharply in her ear, before sliding down into the mud. The woman, a young woman, opened her eyes and stared at him; she looked around her in a puzzled sort of way, then managed a weak smile and stretched out a hand to pat his head.

"Reynard," she murmured. "My beautiful Reynard."

She elbowed herself painfully into a sitting position, then recalling the horror of her ordeal, buried her face in her hands and burst into tears. The fox, whining, scrabbled to get closer to her. She wiped her eyes on her cloak, put her arms around the animal's neck and buried her face in his fur, trying to drive from her mind the memory of the man's brutality: his gloating grin as he had approached her in the deserted lane, his mocking laugh as he had grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him as she tried to sidestep him, the contemptuous ease with which he had thrown her to the ground. He was a man who knew he was in control of the situation… in control of her.

She burst out crying again, as the fox trembled in her arms. The robin had by now flown down to perch on a branch that had fallen into the ditch. Keeping a wary eye on the fox, he added his own sorrowful notes to the vulpine whimpers.

The woman stopped sobbing and listened; then, softly to begin with, she joined her own sweet voice to the chorus. Her song was first the gentle ripple of a brook, then the resonant splash of a waterfall, and finally the silvery peal of bells ringing in the air.

The harmonies had soothed the fox. No longer trembling, he licked the woman's hand as she gently disengaged her arms from around his neck.

A movement on the bank caused the woman to look up. She saw a squirrel peering down at her.

"My Lady," the squirrel said, "we saw what happened."

"We weren't strong enough to help you," the fox said apologetically, with another lick.

"I know you weren't," the woman replied, stroking his head.

"He hurts us all," the robin said unhappily. "He's cutting down our trees."

"He's taking our roads away," the squirrel agreed. "The woods and forests are almost gone now. How can we move around without our highways?"

"Your creatures are suffering, my Lady," the robin said. "There are fewer and fewer of us. The ground-nesters are almost all destroyed. The farmers leave no room for them now in the fields."

"I know," the woman sighed. "And the fields themselves are exhausted. They're given no rest."

"We're losing our homes," the robin told her urgently, his dark little eyes fixed pleadingly on her.

"We're losing more than our homes," the fox remarked tartly, his amber eyes sparking with anger. "Some of us are losing our skins. A good chase is one thing, but having earthstoppers block up your den is something else again. I hate earthstoppers," he added bitterly.

"I hate cats," the robin burst out vehemently. "Trees cut down, houses built, and--cats! Cats everywhere. Damn cats! They're nothing but killing machines. And the vicious brutes aren't even hungry."

The air above the ditch shimmered and formed itself into a feline shape. A ginger tomcat dropped lightly to the ground, landing beside the squirrel. He gave the robin a long, cool look. Then his emerald eyes changed color, and the little bird, now shaking like a leaf, found himself in the glare of a golden spotlight.

"What was that you were saying?" the cat asked in a honeyed voice. "Would you care to repeat it?"

The robin trilled miserably.

"That reminds me," the cat went on, his golden eyes taking on a predatory, feral gleam, "I'm feeling a bit peckish. It's some time since I had anything to eat."

The robin fluttered his wings nervously.

Despite her pain, the woman giggled. She held out her hand and the robin flew quickly to it. "Take no notice of him," she told the frightened bird. "He's only teasing."

She stared severely at the cat, who gazed back at her with friendly innocence, his eyes green again now, all threat gone from them. Perched in the security of her palm, the robin relaxed sufficiently to twitter a note or two.

It was an early spring morning, blue-skied and sunny but still chilly; the woman shivered and tried with her free hand to pull her cloak--of fresh, vernal green--around herself. The robin helpfully fluttered to a nearby twig that was just beyond the reach of the cat's claws.

The woman, clutching her cloak snugly about her shoulders, looked up at the trees with their bright, bourgeoning foliage, then raised her eyes to the cottony white clouds floating by.

"What are you going to do, my Lady?" the fox asked.

"May I make a suggestion?" the cat offered.

The woman turned to him. "Of course, Quant."

"Would you accompany me on a visit, my Lady?"

"You mean…" She glanced up again.


She stared at him thoughtfully. "I will." She forced a smile. "Well, I can't lie around here all day." She struggled to her feet and, grabbing at clumps of grass, pulled herself up out of the ditch. She stood panting on the bank, then wiped her muddy hands on her cloak and pushed her long brown hair back from her face. "I must look a sight," she said, gazing down at her filthy, torn clothes. She gave a bitter laugh. "No one will recognize me."

"Everyone recognizes you, my Lady," the squirrel told her, with a slight bow.

"Not everyone," the woman retorted sharply. After a pause, she added, "Sorry. I didn't mean to snap your head off."

The squirrel bowed again, accepting her apology.

"What will become of us, my Lady?" the robin asked.

The woman regarded him. "I'll think of something. I always do, eventually."

"Thank you, my Lady."

"If you're ready?" the cat said.

"I am." The woman extended a hand toward the fox, the squirrel and the robin in turn, smiled fondly at them, wrapped her cloak around herself and began to walk slowly, limping a little, along the lane, in the opposite direction to that taken by the man.

The fox, the squirrel and the robin stared after the two retreating figures: a slender, graceful young woman and a small ginger cat. Perhaps the cat sensed that he was being observed, for he turned round. His green eyes lightened and brightened, and burned with golden fire. Then the blaze was dimmed, gold darkened to green, and Quant sauntered off to rejoin his companion, who had paused to inspect a clump of irises growing in the damp ground alongside the ditch. She drew the cat's attention to the flowers, then pointed upward, to where a rainbow now arced across the sky, though there had been no rain that morning. As Quant regarded the iridescent bands of color, a beam of white light struck him; the light diffused, and enveloped him, temporarily obscuring him. When the haze dissipated, the fox, the squirrel and the robin saw not a cat, but a tall, robed, six-winged figure standing beside the woman.

The robin shivered, and chirruped uneasily. "Cats!" He glanced warily at the fox, flapped his wings and flew hurriedly into the densest part of the hedge; the squirrel dashed up the trunk of the nearest tree and disappeared among its topmost branches; and the fox squirmed through a gap in the undergrowth and ran off across the adjoining field.

The breeze blew wisps of the woman's hair around her upturned face. She brushed them away from her eyes and drew her cloak closer to her. She turned to her seraphic companion.

"What am I to do, Quant?" she asked despairingly. "My creatures are suffering, my land is suffering…" She surveyed the landscape and shook her head sadly. Then, in an instant, her mood changed. Her cheeks flushed with anger and she burst out, "He seems to think he has dominion over all things. He wrecks my land, kills my creatures. And what is he?" She did not wait for an answer. "I'll tell you what he is. He's something that crawled out of the mud. And now look at him glorying in his power! Glorying in his power over me!" She stretched out her arms and clapped her hands, and thunder boomed overhead. She raised her voice, and waves of sound went crashing through the air. "Well, I'll show him who's the powerful one! We'll see how he copes with earthquakes and hurricanes. I'll explode some volcanoes. I'll shift the tectonic plates. Let's see how he likes that!" She smiled menacingly and added, "I'll wipe him out."

"Hang on," said the seraph. "If you do that, you'll wipe everything else out, too."

"Oh, yes, I would, wouldn't I?" said the woman. "I hadn't thought of that. I'll have to think of something else, then."

Quant paused, then ventured hesitantly, "They're not all like that, you know," adding, "You'd be wiping out the good with the bad."

"They're all bad. Mankind was a mistake. It should have been nipped in the bud."

"That's as may be," Quant said peaceably, "but what matters is where we're at now."

"Where we're at now," the woman said in a fury, "is that he's attacking everything in sight. He's no respect for anything. Men are rotten, all of them."

Quant gazed across at a small complex of gray stone buildings on a distant hillside. "With all respect, my Lady, I don't think they are."

The woman snorted in a most unladylike manner. "You saw what he did to me, you heard how he's harming the birds and the animals. And don't even get me started on the seas! My whales and dolphins are crying out to me."

"I know they are," Quant said. "I can hear them."

"All my creatures are suffering. I've got to help them," the woman said. "I can't let this go on. There'll be no life left soon. There'll be nothing left to help--everything will be gone."

Quant nodded but said nothing.

"I'm going to do something about it," the woman said decisively.

"Couldn't you," Quant suggested, "just, um, drop them a hint?"

"Drop them a hint?" The woman's tone was scornful. "I've dropped hints till I'm blue in the face. And a fat lot of good it's done."

"Okay, okay." Quant looked apprehensive.

"I'm through with hinting. I've a mind to destroy them. If I targeted just them…"

Quant regarded her unhappily. "It's a bit… final. Think of all you'd be losing."

"Name me one good thing about mankind."

"I could name you lots of good things," Quant told her, adding, "and some good people."

"Good people my foot," the woman replied. "Look what happened to me back there. No respect for me at all!"

"He didn't know who you were."

"He didn't need to know who I was… who I am."

"True," Quant conceded. "But they're not all like him."

The woman snorted again.

"Let me," Quant suggested, very tentatively, "show you one or two who aren't. Some are doing their best to, er, live in a green way."

"Live in a green way? They'd know what green was, if I sent the Green Man to them."

"Don't do that," Quant said hastily. "Leave him be, for the moment."

The woman and the seraph stared at each other.

"All I'm saying is," Quant said, "don't do anything too drastic."

"Nothing is too drastic for those rotters," the woman said venomously, turning and glaring down the lane.

"I just don't think it would be… fair… to destroy them."

"The rest of the world would get on a lot better without them."

"Possibly so," agreed Quant, "but I still think the situation can be salvaged. Man has got some good in him. Obviously," he added, with a glance heavenward.

The woman, too, glanced up. "Well, yes. That's a point. Maybe He wouldn't be too pleased to have His creation wiped out after all He's been through for him."

"I'm sure He wouldn't."

"Well, how about I just give Man a damn good thrashing?"

Quant looked pained. "Maybe you could just teach him a little lesson."

"Teach him a little lesson?" the woman echoed derisively. "I'll give him a good punch in the snoot."

"Okay," Quant agreed quickly. "A punch in the snoot, then. But not total destruction--please? Anyway, if you wipe him out, he won't be able to learn anything, will he?"

"That's true," the woman conceded.

Quant glanced once more in the direction of the gray buildings grouped on the hillside.

"Now," he said, "if you'll spare me a moment--"

"A moment?" The woman laughed. "I've got all the time in the world. They're the ones who are short of time."

Quant raised a conciliatory hand. "Okay, okay. Now, come with me and I'll show you one or two humans who are really trying." He waved a hand toward the hillside.

"I'm sure they are," the woman said sourly. "I find humans very trying."

Quant smiled and stared at the distant buildings. He and the woman vanished. And so did the rainbow.






Author Bio

Robina lives in the U.K. She has an M.A. in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and an M.Phil. research degree in English Literature from Liverpool University. She has been a schoolteacher, a college lecturer, a secretary, and a features writer for magazines and newspapers.

She thought that Schrödinger's Cat--a cat that is both alive and dead at the same time--would be a useful character for fantasy novels. Jerome and the Seraph, the first book in her Quantum Cat series, was published in trade paperback by Twilight Times Books in 2004. Angelos was published in 2006, and Gaea appeared in 2009. Robina is currently writing the fourth book in the series.

You can contact her at

TTB titles: Angelos
Jerome and the Seraph

Author web site.




Gaea Copyright © 2009. Robina Williams. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.


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  Author News

Gaea has been selected as the Science Fiction/Paranormal Feature Book of the Month on AllBooks Review.

Robina Williams, author of Angelos, Jerome and the Seraph and Gaea has an author interview with SpecFicWorld.

I hope you'll visit my website,, to read about Jerome and the Seraph and its sequel Angelos, and also to read my article "Paintings as Inspiration." Paintings feature in the plots of my stories. In Jerome and the Seraph, a sighting of Spencer Stanhope's Thoughts of the Past causes the Father Guardian to fear that his sins are about to find him out.

In Angelos, Father Aidan, lost in a spiritual desert, finds that a scapegoat and an ibex and a ray of sunlight in a Pre-Raphaelite painting guide him back to the path he'd lost sight of and despaired of ever seeing again. And that path leads to one of the twentieth century's most striking images -- Dali's Christ of St John of the Cross.

I hope you'll read and enjoy my books.

~ Robina ~



"Mankind isn't so bad. Trouble is they've evolved too fast -- too much too soon. They've lost their sense of proportion, lost their perspective." The Seraph explained to Gaea.

"Man seems to have taken more than they need; damaging the earth and leaving a path of destruction in their wake. It seems as though Gaea's planet is beyond repair. Angered, she seeks the guidance of the great creator; the Christian God who agrees with Gaea that Man needs to be taught a much-needed lesson. Gaea, goddess of the Earth asks her powerful relatives to aid her in her struggle. Storms rage, the oceans unleash their fury; the world seems to be fighting back, but will Man learn their lesson in time?

Robina Williams is an author who seems to find a way to entrance her readers in a spellbinding story while simultaneously sending an important message to the masses. With a beautiful writers' voice, she tells the story of a suffering earth; one that needs to be saved. Williams wrote this book in such a way that it forces the reader to keep turning the pages of the book until the very end, without ceasing. Robina is stylistically unique and is a superb author who will appeal to young and old alike. She herself believes in the possibility that Egyptian and Greek gods live in unison with the Christian God, a possibility that becomes a reality in the pages of her book. Gaea is the third book in Robina Williams' Quantum Cat series.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gaea; page for page it was laced with wonderful pieces of Greek mythology and modern day environmental issues. With beautiful wordplay and a wonderful story, Gaea is an enriching addition to bookshelves anywhere. Utilizing Gaea; Mother of the Earth as a main character, provided the book with an interesting perspective with regards to the environmental crisis that we on Earth are now facing. I hope to be reading more from Robina Williams very soon."

Gaea is highly recommended by Kirsten Bussière, AllBooks Review.

  Praise for Robina's other books in the Quantum Cat series

Death has done nothing to stop Brother Jerome's busy life. Now, rather than remain in his friary in prayer and contemplation, he tours the afterlife, usually in the presence of his feline companion, Leo, a.k.a. Quant, the cat with the ability to travel in time and space through quantum leaps. In this sequel to Jerome and the Seraph, Williams tells a twofold tale of one priest stranded in the ancient labyrinth of Knossos and another struggling with his own search for holiness-with only a small but very unusual cat to guide them both. With its graceful hominess, quiet humor, and abiding faith, Angelos belongs in most fantasy, Christian fantasy, or New Age collections.

Library Journal (the Sci Fi column by Jackie Cassada).

Top rating of 10 from Dallas Franklin.

"Quant, the magical cat that leaps through various worlds and dimensions is back again and in action. In Angelos, the sequel to Jerome and the Seraph, Robina Williams weaves her own storytelling magic and Quant rises to the occasion. This is a fantasy ebook and written so superbly that you become totally engrossed in the tale and forget it's fantasy.

Robina accomplishes this task by not only bringing this world together with the 'dead world' but in Angelos she even incorporates the mythological world. It gives us a whole new perspective on the topic of time and old/new worlds and how they are happening 'now'. Both ebooks give you much to ponder while enjoying a great read.

In Jerome and the Seraph we're introduced to Brother Jerome who has an unfortunate accident in the friary cemetery. Ironically, he falls and bangs his head on a tombstone and is killed instantly. He's not quite sure where he is and when he connects with his beloved cat, Leo he soon learns Leo isn't the cat he thought him to be. Leo tells Jerome he prefers to be called Quant and then helps Jerome travel from the 'dead world' to the 'live world' with some bumps along the way. Some of the Brothers at the friary witness Brother Jerome coming and going and if that wasn't enough to spook them, Quant is seen doing the same thing.

All this spooking comes into play again as Angelos opens with the arrival of the new Guardian of the Order, Father Aidan. The Brothers have all been enjoying a rather relaxed atmosphere but that all changes as Father Aidan begins to impose some strict rules while dealing with his own faith.

As Father Aidan lives through his dark night of the soul, he finds redemption and renewed faith in God through a number of well-known paintings that comes to summation with Dali's "Christ of St John of the Cross." Robina's writing talent connects all the worlds in an astounding tale.

She keeps you reading as you learn what makes each character tick and makes the story even more interesting when Brother Jerome, by another fluke accident, takes a quantum leap to the labyrinth of a Minotaur and the Minotaur ends up at the monastery.

We meet many mythological creatures, gods of the 'old world' and even get to see some characters in other past lives. Or is it a past life? It's a whole new perspective on 'time' and living in the 'now'. While learning all this you're transported to worlds that come to life in a fascinating way.

I loved Angelos as much as Jerome and the Seraph and if you like reading fantasy I'm sure you'll love it too. I highly recommend this ebook and give it a top rating of 10!"

Reviewed by Dallas Hodder Franklin for Sell Writing Online.

Not too long ago, Brother Jerome passed away, but in his mind he feels busier now than when he lived. Ironically he was a stay at home monk rather than a traveling soul as he is now especially when his friend Leo the live friary feline takes him on one of those weird adventures as his "dead" cat guide Quant.

At the friary, the new guardian Father Aidan seems opposite to his reputation of being an easy going person; instead he is tight and sets strict rules that disturb the brothers. Unbeknownst to all the residents except Leo, Father Aidan is undergoing a faith crisis with no one human to turn to for help. Instead he finds some renewal with paintings, but to fully regain his lost soul he will need a feline miracle.

However, Quant is too busy to show his Seraph soul to the skeptical Guardian. Brother Jerome, due to a freak accident, has exchanged places with the Ancient Crete Minotaur. While he resides in the Labyrinth uninterested in dining on teens, the bull relaxes at the monastery's modern day shed looking for some meat.

ANGELOS, the sequel to the fabulous JEROME AND THE SERAPH, is a delightful fantasy that uses humor to tell a deep philosophical tale. The story line moves forward (stop quibbling - back in time too) as the audience, Jerome and Aidan receive a feline education that showcases the true meaning of relativity. Life including religious choices depends more on the era and locale than on the dogma. Robina Williams provides a terrific tale that the audience will cherish.

Reviewed by Harriet Klausner.

This is another thrilling adventure of Brother Jerome and his friend Leo the friary cat. If you have not met these two, let me introduce you. Brother Jerome is a recently deceased friar who still visits his old home to check up on his friends. Leo is the friary cat. He is more then he seems. In fact, Leo is a quantum cat, a cat that is alive and dead at the same time. Because of this, Leo or Quant as he is sometimes known serves as Father Jerome's guide and guardian in all his afterlife adventures.

Back at the friary, things are not going well either. The brothers have a new guardian Aidan who has the reputation of being easygoing. When he arrives, they discover he has changed. He is now very strict and rule abiding, something that they are not. How will the brothers survive this unexpected change? What does Brother Jerome learn on his adventures through Greece?

I loved this book. I was ready to go out and buy it and the other books in this series the minute I finished this one. I strongly recommend this book for everyone. The author's ability to blend serious religious topics, art and fantasy together is something I have not seen since my last trip to Narnia. So if you love that series or you miss Middle Earth or it has been a while since you have seen the inside of Hogwarts do yourself a favor and try these books.

Reviewed by Mary Ebert for eBook Reviews Weekly.

"In Angelos, the sequel to Jerome and the Seraph, we meet the quantum cat again. When this cat is around, nothing is quite what it seems. Leo, the friary cat who can dance through dimensions is still keeping a protective eye on his friend, Brother Jerome. Jerome is still finding the novelty of the afterlife intriguing. Until a rock fall in the Minotaur's labyrinth sets off a quantum leap.

The Minotaur finds himself in a garden shed in the friary garden and Jerome lands in a maze of corridors and caverns below ground; trapped in the labyrinth. The cat is the only one who can rescue him. The Minotaur wants to get back to his labyrinth, to make an offering to Father Zeus, highest and best of gods. At its first meeting with the cat with the golden eyes the Minotaur thinks it is a god.

Meantime, in the friary, Brother Fidelis has gone to a new posting and the new father, Aidan, is not as easy to get on with. Father Aidan is struggling across a desert that is the barren wasteland in his soul. And his friars are suffering. Friars Peter, Oliver, Ignatius and Bernard didn't need a guardian in the throes of a personal religious revival. Perhaps things had got a bit slack around the friary but there was no need to go to extremes. No one was actually breaking rules-were they? But their Guardian thinks he knows what's best for the friars in his care-strict adherence to timetables to keep them to the right path.

The Minotaur is finally returned to his labyrinth, and curious Jerome is taken on a tour of the “Old World” by Quant. He visits Crete, King Minos's palace, Zeus's cave. He sees Talos, the giant guarding Crete, the white-winged Pegasus, the Sibyl and goes to Rome to meet many more characters from mythology. Jerome is still puzzled by the ‘time' thing. Maybe it's not as linear as he'd supposed. In fact Jerome is puzzled by many things. Is Quant a cat or a lion or the cat at two stages of its existence? Brother Jerome does not realize that he is a reincarnation of the great St Jerome-and, as a saint, is protected by Quant in the form of a lion.

At the conclusion of Angelos, Jerome is joined by a companion on the other side. Quant convinces Jerome the Minotaur is not a monster-just a different shape. Shapes mean nothing. It's what is in the heart that matters. And this story is full of heart. If you enjoyed Robina Williams's first book you will enjoy this sequel so much more-as I did. Angelos is filled with humor and wisdom."

Reviewed by award winning author Tricia McGill

Brother Jerome hasn't let a small thing like death get in the way of his adventures. Although now able to travel wherever he'd like, he still finds himself drawn back to the friary where he spent a lot of his living years and is still home to his friends and a very special cat called Quant.

For although Quant seems to be just a domestic pet, he is that and also not, he is alive, but can travel to the past, future, present and also to the spiritual realms. Brother Jerome finds himself in the friary's garden shed while waiting for his friend, the keen gardener, Brother Bernard.

In Ancient Crete, a heavy rockfall sets of a quantum jump and Brother Jerome soon finds himself in the Minotaur's Labyrinth and the Minotaur finds himself stuck in a shed in a world not his own.

Meanwhile, back at the friary, the friars have a new Guardian, Father Aiden, a man they remember from old as being a jolly chap who enjoys life. But the Aiden who takes up the new position seems to have all joy sucked out of him and gets stricter by the day, especially with himself. For Father Aiden is having a crisis of faith and can see no way out of it.

Back on Crete, Jerome wanders lost round the maze and panics when he comes across a room filled with bones. Quant is the only one who can help him now...

A sequel to Jerome and the Seraph, Angelos is still a unique book all its own.

What if the old gods never really left? As well as the Minotaur, we like Jerome, find ourselves transported to Ancient Greece and visit with the old gods there.

Blending elements of mysticism, mythology, quantum theory and art history, it is a tale like no other. The star of the show is of course, Quant, but the Minotaur comes a close second. For this Minotaur is no monster, out to eat everyone in sight, but normally a vegetarian who enjoys reading books and drinking wine, rather than having to eat the Athenian youths sent to him as tribute (they tend to get stuck in the teeth.)

Ms. Williams is an excellent story teller, for although short, this is a very imaginative tale, filled with memorable characters that stand out in your mind. If you are looking for something a bit different, then give Angelos a try.

A book to make you think.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author of Drowning Rapunzel and Shadows of the Rose for Twisted Tales.

Dead or not dead, Brother Jerome is a busy man. The modern-day friar, only recently dead, is guided by his friend Leo, a mystical cat. In a bewildering accident, Brother Jerome trades places with the Minotaur, the mythical bull-headed man from ancient Crete. Meantime, Jerome's brotherhood suffers a sudden change in leadership. The new "Guardian" has suffered his own crisis in faith. The easy-going friars find Father Aidan's new rules difficult to tolerate.

Angelos is amusing, with bits of tongue-in-cheek humor. I chuckled over the guilty friar who'd told a lie. Well, "not really a lie, more of a chronological inexactitude." Small nuggets of philosophy are scattered throughout the story. Religious duties and viewpoints, says the cat, differ according to time, place, and cultural tradition. Human needs, however, remain much the same from one age to the next, and the "quantum" cat is determined to prove it....
Reviewed by Jeanette Cottrell for SimeGen Reviews.

In Robina William's first novel, we are introduced to Jerome, a brother from a friary in England at the time of his unfortunate and fatal accident. The rest of the story revolves around Jerome getting used to his new level of existence and learning how to move between what he knew and what he knows now, all with the help of the friary cat, Leo. We also learn the brothers that Jerome left behind are not completely what they seem. Just because they joined an order and gave their lives to God does not mean that they still do not respect and acknowledge the history each of them had previously. Some with more regret than others.

William's book is a bit mystery, mixed with humor all in a fantasy landscape. I can't say I've ever read a book before that addresses a possibility of the afterlife with a religious undertone. What if the afterlife is not roads paved with gold, angels and our wildest dreams come true but just a continuation, of sorts, of the life we have been living? Who's to say that we perceived to be one way in actuality is something different altogether and we won't have the clarity of understanding until we have crossed over to that other existence? These are just a few of the trains of thought William's book brings to mind as you progress along with the story. Since it is the first in a continuation series, she does a nice job of answering some of the questions that come to mind of the reader while setting up another set, to which I assume, get addressed in the next book of the series.

For this to be William's first novel, I found her to have handled the multiple characters with great care, from the main character to Jerome, to the secondary characters as well as the ones just briefly touched upon as well. I was able to get a sense of each of their individual characteristics and personalities and sense a respect that authors sometimes forget to have for their characters. I love the touches of humor throughout the book, such as Brother Jerome's early attempts at traveling from one level of existence to another and the unlikely rescuers who help him out of his predicament.

I hope to have the opportunity to read more of the story of Jerome, his order, and the orange tabby at the friary named Leo, who, like most cats, is a lot more than what you would initially suspect.
Reviewed by Jennifer Murray Somerset for Book Pleasures.




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