Author: M.D. Neu
Publisher: NineStar Press
Publication Date: September 23, 2019
Length: 53100 words
Reviewed by Sammy
Tad bounces around in time and watches mankind grow and change. He loves humanity and helping when he can. However, his job isn’t conducive to helping people—he’s an Angel of Death.
Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.
When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?
Tad is an angel of death. He takes his job very seriously and, as such, often bends the rules when it comes to just how much death is meted out. He has traveled into different realities and different centuries spans both ushering in death and sometimes changing its catastrophic consequences. Fate, an archangel, has often had to clean up the mess Tad has left behind after he tries to “minimize” the number of fatalities. When Fate decides that Tad has overstepped for the last time, he strips him of his wings and makes him “human”, homeless and miserable. That’s where Doug finds him—dirty, hungry and lost on the streets of New York.
Doug is a train wreck in the making. He drinks too much, uses drugs too casually and has pretty poor self-esteem. When Tad enters his life, he will not be able to give Doug the physical release Doug initially desires with Tad but he will give him the emotional support that will eventually change Doug’s life and that becomes the catalyst that nearly destroys the world. An angel has landed on earth and the life he lives will affect millions.
M.D Neu is a new author for me and before I get into what worked and what didn’t in this interesting story, T.A.D., I want to say that I will be seeking out this author’s other works. I think Neu is a good story teller and the premise for this novel was pretty fascinating. Unfortunately the alternating point of view format really didn’t work as well as I had hoped it might. I found that the passages Tad narrated were entertaining, interesting and furthered the plot of the novel. When Doug was in control of the narrative however, the chapters fell flat for me and I didn’t feel I got any further insight into his character or what motivated him, as a result. I also regretted the author’s choice not to delve too deeply into the background of Doug and his friend/crush, Shannon. The loss of Shannon obviously impacted Doug greatly and yet we never got the full detailed story about their relationship. If you read this book you will understand why that was so important.
I wish I could review T.A.D. more cohesively for you. I really felt discombobulated when the chapters jumped sometimes both in locale and time frame with the result being that we lost entire years. Suddenly Doug had a serious relationship with someone, or Tad was embracing his humanness, or some other major change had taken place with the turn of a page. While that worked to move the story along, it also made it feel disjointed and confusing for me. I liked Tad so much. I struggled with always liking Doug but I think that’s more because his character felt underdeveloped as compared to Tad’s. I often felt the side characters were thrown in and never really felt interconnected to Tad and Doug.
I know it seems as though I thought there was more wrong with T.A.D. than right but honestly I did like this author’s take on the fantasy/paranormal trope. It was undeniably a fresh approach to an often overworked theme. In the end, T.A.D. was just a good story—not a great one but certainly enough to make me want to check out this author’s work in the future.
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