Angel Board, by Kristopher Rufty is a horror novel set in the southern United States. It takes place in modern times and focuses around David, a man who had recently attempted suicide.
After his failed attempt at taking his own life, David's mother gives him an Angel Board for Christmas. This board, much like the traditional Ouija board, is used to contact one's guardian angel. David quickly discovers that the board works only too well. He not only contacts his angel, but also finds out that she loves him deeply. In his weakened emotional state, she convinces him to start the process that would allow her to enter into his world.
However, her love is confused and her jealousy quickly leads to one murder after another, as his angel not only kills anyone she feels is mean to David, but the people that love him as well. Soon a race begins as David's former girlfriend tries to discover what is happening to the man she still loves and attempts to find people that can help her save him.
The book is well written and the villain is more unique than most you find in horror novels these days. The pace is fast enough that it does not leave the reader yawning through hundreds of pages before we get to the action and horror. Rufty also does a fine job with creating realistic and likable characters.
Rufty also does a fine job creating a world where he explains why angels can become so dangerous and leaves the reader wondering if any of the characters will escape David's guardian angel's wrath. The murder scenes and the suspense building up to them are also done well.
Downsides might include that the story itself as a predictable arc. Also the other characters begin to overshadow David about halfway through the novel and it might have been interesting to learn more about his anguish and decent into trouble. David becomes more of something to be rescued than a character himself. I might have liked to she more about the mythic background of angels as well.
If you are looking for a new look at horror, the novel delivers. It proved to be an enjoyable and fast read. A little lighter than some novels that feel they need to slow the pace down with a hundred pages of character development before any action occurs. This might be a good one for a plane ride or relaxing on the beach this summer.
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