The witness angel Pinsleep is an outcast among his kind. He grieves the loss of Adam and Eve, while his brothers and sisters witness human stories on earth. When a modern-day couple discovers the Garden of Eden, Pinsleep chances upon a hidden epic.
To understand the far reaching consequences of their trespass, Pinsleep must travel through time and space to uncover the cabal that orchestrated the couple’s arrival, a secret organization that threatens to rip the fabric of reality apart.
I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that House of Cabal is one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. We start off talking to an angel named Pinsleep who from the very beginning describes himself as looking more like a machine than an organic being, and who has made himself something of a hermit since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. A new couple show up seemingly out of nowhere and he takes them under his wing (no pun intended), determined to figure out how they got there and finally write an opera that will reveal something new to God. The next thing you know, there’s a conspiracy, bizarre research, and a spontaneous combustion all within the surprisingly short first installment of what promises to be an epic series.
A large portion of the book is written from multiple perspectives during a series of “regression” tapes. At first I was a little put off by the head-hopping but it really grew on me in a way that a lot of books that use the same technique haven’t. It really made me have to immerse myself in the story so that I fully understood what was happening, and even then I was left wondering what happened a few times. Of course, just when I thought I had the perspectives figured out things went completely sideways again and even Pinsleep made an appearance.
Once we start digging into the secrets of the House of Cabal, things start to get more sci-fi. When I read “witness angel” in the description I thought it might be influenced a little more by religious iconography, but McCraw blends classical religious elements with supernatural forces and speculation in an awesome mix that is completely outlandish at the same time that it’s completely believable.
The cliffhanger at the end left me stomping my feet wanting more, so I’m thrilled to hear that volume two is scheduled to come out this month. I’ll be picking it up for sure; I’m dying to read more of the regression tapes and find out more about what happened at the House of Cabal.