October 9, 2021
John Kerry's Review
The question at the heart of science fiction and fantasy is "what if?" What if gods and angels were real, but you could kill them? What if humans finally made it out among the stars—only to discover we're the shabby newcomers in a grand galactic alliance? What if an asteroid destroyed the East Coast in 1952 and jump-started the space race years early?
The Bloodshed Of The Betrayed (The Mercy Chronicles) by A. L. Slade is an assured, gripping, and stylish fantasy read; [the] totally mind-blowing angelic fantasy you've been needing... This is a novel that will thrill you like the page-turner it is but stick with you for a long time afterward. It's not every day a debut novel by an author you'd never heard of before derails your entire afternoon with its brilliance. But when my review copy of The Bloodshed Of The Betrayed (The Mercy Chronicles) arrived, that's exactly what it did. In fact, it arrowed upward to reach a pretty high position on my list of best fantasy novels ever.
An amazingly-threaded narrative proves seductive, drawing the reader into the naive but determined protagonist's efforts to transform an unjust universe. A. L. Slade uses an expansionist galaxy-spinning world-building [and] a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice to transcend angelic conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Angel Laramie and other characters that readers will invest in and establishes The Bloodshed Of The Betrayed as a gem to read.
Overall, A sharply written fantasy with a richly imagined sense of detail and place, this debut novel from A. L. Slade works as both an evocative science fiction tale and an involving character study; it's also a strongly character-driven piece, tackling ideas about angels and gods in a way that's both engaging and provocative. The Bloodshed Of The Betrayed is a gripping read that's well worth a look.