Archangel Protocol

Posted by : atcampbell | On : November 19, 2002

Archangel Protocol by Lyda Morehouse

Thirteen people attended this meeting at Judy and Jeff’s home. The topic was Archangel Protocol, a hybrid detective/sf/religious novel set in near-future New York. In this story, a female private detective gets involved in a case that involves the Internet, virtual reality, politics, angels, and the devil. Ten of us had started the book, and five finished it.

We liked several things about this book. The noir atmosphere was unusual and got the detective story off to a good start. We liked the idea of covens of angels living within our world. The story provided a clever twist on the apocalypse.

Unfortunately we found much to dislike. Computer and network technology is an important part of the story, but it is portrayed so inaccurately that it seriously bothered many of the high-tech professionals in our group. The detective element of the story fizzles quickly, leaving us with a standard thriller plot. The characters in the book are generally unsympathetic, not very bright, and uninteresting. We all found the protagonist’s romance with an angel to be downright creepy. Many people had a hard time getting involved in the story and staying interested in it, so half of us never finished this relatively short book.

Archangel Protocol is Lyda Morehouse’s first novel, and many of the problems we found are common to new writers. We do think this author has some interesting ideas, and we hope she develops her craft as a writer.

At the end of the meeting we had a prearranged phone conversation with Lyda Morehouse. We learned that the author lives in Minnesota but set her book in New York because she felt the story needed a more cosmopolitan setting. She can’t decide the genre classification for Archangel Protocol, but her editor considers it science fiction. In her research, she read a shelf full of books about angels and devils. She wrote Archangel Protocol in a year and a half, then spent two years shopping the book to four publishers before she sold it for publication. In her day job she’s a web designer for the Minnesota Historical Society. She belongs to writers’ group called Wyrdsmiths that also includes novelist Naomi Kritzer. Archangel Protocol is the first in a planned four book series.

We enjoyed our conversation with Ms. Morehouse and appreciated the time she spent with us. After the meeting, we had a nice dinner at Buca di Beppo.

— A. T. Campbell, III