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DENNIS COPELAN
Author
The Cupid Chronicles

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

A social worker and angel-in-training in heaven is assigned to advocate for an unruly Cupid's assistant and keep him from being "flushed" to the lower regions for violations of the Cupid's Oath. This is a Fix-up novel that contains short stories, which are thematically connected.

Reviews
A social worker in heaven tries to save a client from getting kicked out in this entertaining outing from Copelan (The Greatest Stories Never Sold). Pixel Millet, assigned to the “Paradise City Department of Discipline, Mythological Gods Division,” receives his latest case–a “bad apple” file of client Dean Webster, a deputized assistant to Cupid who is accused of seemingly endless violations of his professional oath. Pixel sets out to give Dean a fair fight, in hopes of finally getting promoted and earning his own full set of wings, but quickly realizes there’s something not quite right about this case.

Dean is an endearing character who only made it to heaven because he saved a kid’s life on Earth, but his performance as a Cupid assistant leaves a lot to be desired. His methods of making people on Earth fall in love are too unorthodox, leaving a trail of costly expenses and emotional distress, and the further Pixel dives into the defense, the more he starts to wonder if he’ll be able to keep Dean from “getting flushed”—heaven’s jargon for those residents who don’t work hard enough to stay. When Pixel starts to notice a trend in Dean's failings—that he projects his parenting onto his Earth assignments because he died before his own child was born—he soon discovers the whole situation is a set up by power-hungry angels.

Copelan’s tongue-in-cheek writing and relatable characters make this read a win, and he dissects the nuances of heaven versus Earth in a thought-provoking way. From the amusingly satirical interactions with humans, like the unionized genie in a bottle who keeps granting unfair wishes, to Dean’s hearing that deteriorates to the point where the “Big Guy” has to step in with a good old-fashioned rotary phone call, readers will be equal parts amused and intrigued. By turns lighthearted and reflective, this story will delight readers open to a touch of divine comedy.

Takeaway: A social worker in heaven attempts to save an assistant to Cupid from banishment in this enjoyable, irreverent read.

Great for fans of: Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi.

Production grades
Cover: C+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

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