“The Ash Angels”
After discovering a strange mark on the snow-covered ground, Felix finds himself thrust into a deadly race against time to protect the city from a paranormal plague that preys on all the dark secrets of the human soul.
But what is Felix to do when the next victim is himself?
|Published by:||Burning Effigy Press|
|Date:||September 2010 (chapbook)
June 2011 (second printing)
November 2012 (reprinted in SuperNOIRtural Tales)
“The Ash Angels,” my second Felix Renn novelette, started out as a fairly whimsical, light-hearted Christmas tale. But as I got into the story, which deals with a mysterious ailment that works like a supernatural version of seasonal affective disorder, it got darker, and darker, and darker.
The end result was a story very different from Felix’s first outing, “Temporary Monsters.” Whereas that story was a balls out monster mash-up action yarn, “The Ash Angels”is a creepy, atmospheric ghost story.
In addition to allowing me to write a different kind of story, “The Ash Angels” also gave me the opportunity to explore Felix’s backstory, specifically his relationship with his ex-wife Sandra. A large part of the allure of writing these stories is the way Felix and Sandra interact. Their back-and-forth patter isn’t quite as fast as that between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, but that’s still what I picture in my mind whenever I’m writing a Felix and Sandra scene.
“This novel is truly terrifying because it deals with the lack of control that comes with depression; the lack of agency and internal chaos that comes when one is submerged in one’s own shadows. These monsters, although external in the novel, are internal for many people and serve as a reminder of the lurking dangers within one’s own soul and the slight change that is needed to plunge a person into darkness.”
Speculating Canada (Read the full review)
“…The writing is mature and as professional as anything being stacked on the “Bestsellers!” table at Chapters.
With The Ash Angels Ian Rogers did me a solid. He affirmed my observations from his first chapbook, that a new talent had entered the literary world. The story is told with the same confidence and maturity, assuring the reader that they are in competent hands.”
Read the full review at The Man Eating Bookworm
“From the very start, Rogers conjures up a darker more melancholy universe for Renn. Set against the backdrop of Christmas Eve, The Ash Angels is a darker, grittier read that adds more depth to Renn and continues to peel back the layers of the story that readers will undoubtedly be intrigued with the same way I was.”
Read the full review at Bloody Bookish
“…this is a much quieter tale than it’s predecessor, however it still has the same great dialogue, great writing and snarky humour of Temparary Monsters. It was good to see such a different style of tale, it shows that Rogers is no one trick pony.”
Read the full review at The Ginger Nuts of Horror
“As much as I enjoyed the first Renn outing, I think I enjoyed this one doubly so. Renn’s personality seemed even more to the fore this time, his voice more bitterly humorous… It’s Christmas eve in snowy Tornoto, and the chilly isolation of the human soul is felt throughout — not least of all by Renn, who mourns the breakdown of his marriage. For a brief novella, there’s a lot of shading to Renn — the humor, the regrets, the resourcefulness — and a well-formed character will make you want to hang out with him again.”
— Jeffrey Thomas
“What can one say about “The Ash Angels”? The first sequel to “Temporary Monsters”, TAA take Rogers’s hero, Felix Renn, into quieter, more emotional territory. But don’t let that description fool you — Rogers’s dialogue is as sharp and funny as ever. He understands the rat-a-tat-tat language of the best noir, and uses it to explore the interpersonal relationships of his characters. The fact that “The Ash Angels” is a different beast from “Temporary Monsters”, and yet just as enjoyable, cements the proof that the Felix Renn character has a lot of life in him, and a lot of distance to travel. Which is good, as Rogers promises on his website many more adventures for the detective. That may be unlucky for Renn, but it’s oh so lucky for us.”
— Simon Strantzas
“Rogers has taken his incredible main character — Felix Renn — and expanded the story, bringing a more emotional and descriptively dark side of his writing style out for all to see. The pace is fast, the writing tight, but most important of all (to me) — this piece is pitch black in humor and style.”
— Paperback Horror
“With The Ash Angels, the second Felix Renn tale, Ian Rogers again delivers on a fast-paced entertaining story that gleefully mashes up all-things-supernatural with his hardboiled PI. In this installment, Renn – who is unable to shake the icy touch of the Black Lands or the lingering feelings he has for his ex-wife – delves into darker and more personal territory, all of which gives The Ash Angels a true sense of unease.”
— Paul Tremblay, author of In The Mean Time
“Wry and stylishly bizarre, Rogers hits the mark dead on with The Ash Angels. Hardcase investigator Felix Renn has entered the weird and wild urban fantasy front; I hope he’s on the job for years to come.”
— Laird Barron, author of Occultation
“Rogers continues to demonstrate the skill with pacing that distinguished Renn’s previous outing, Temporary Monsters, and Renn’s voice is pitch-perfect, an evocation of the classic, hardboiled detective that skirts the edge of parody without ever falling into it. With The Ash Angels, however, Rogers takes Renn to new places, deepening the character’s emotional life in unexpected ways that demonstrate Rogers’ ambition and abilities as a writer. It’s that rare thing; a sequel that makes you eager for what comes next.”
— John Langan, author of House of Windows
|Links:||Pictures from “The Ash Angels” reading at A Ghost Story for Christmas, 2009|