This final novel begins, not with Gabriel, but with his nemesis Uriel (Yuri), a lesser archangel, incognito as a soldier in Alexander’s (the Great?) army in ancient Persia. A dying Alexander wears the magic Ring of Solomon and follows its direction into a battle that leaves all dead except Uriel, who has seized the ring and managed to close a sliver of opening into the Light Realm. Climbing upwards into a desolate world controlled by evil Mastema, Uriel finds Gabriel’s footprint in the dust. Meanwhile, Gabriel is a child waking from his afternoon nap. Gabriel wanders to the door of his father’s study to hear his father on the phone declaring that he is not Gabriel’s father. Bewildered, Gabriel toddles into the room where he instantly grows into a teenager, blacks out, and wakes in the dead world of ancient Mesopotamia. Gabriel remembers nothing, but he is found and guided by Yuri, who promises that his memory will return and pushes him to escape the realm before both of them are murdered by lurking demons. What follows are many bloody encounters punctuated by Gabriel’s blackouts as he sporadically remembers past murders and betrayals. Hackings, rotting flesh, monsters, and blood and gore punctuate every chapter, but never fear—all characters can return to life. Gabriel is eternally confused and angry. He vaguely remembers past loves (father Joseph, girlfriend Micah) but must rediscover his archangel powers. Finally, Yuri becomes disgusted with everyone and leaves, while Gabriel and his friends return to the human world and become teens again. Lovers of the first two novels may find Evolution satisfying. Much can be permitted in a fantasy; however, this series is such a hodgepodge of terms and ideas borrowed from ancient and biblical history that finding connections is a real challenge. The character of Gabriel is the only genuine note: he is the quintessential teenager, lashing out while seeking love and acceptance. Gabriel may be an archangel, but he still needs his father and his friends to have a happy ending. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, August 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 3) - Laura Woodruff
Two teen archangels continue the fight to save mankind and themselves from demonic takeover.The archangels, no longer fledglings, are both in college, apparently white in their contemporary forms. This third installment of Duncan's Revelation saga finds archangel Gabriel—Gabe—lost in the apocalyptic Dark Realm, where he must face the intense allure of the dark power within him. Micah, the female incarnation of archangel Michael, concerns herself with Mastema, who in his depthless fury has a habit of disguising himself by residing in rotting human flesh. The archangels race to close the portal connecting the realms so as to prevent Mastema from releasing hell on Earth. Duncan, again drawing from Jewish traditions, also brings to action the massive beasts Behemoth and Leviathan to do ultimate battle with Gabe and Micah. By now, Gabe and Micah's relationship has moved from flickering romance into a deep friendship. The tale puts forward the principal that balance requires both light and darkness, good and evil. The third-person narrative, however, devolves into a shambles, swinging between times, locations, and the archangel's doom-ridden visions so often that readers will find that making sense of the events becomes their preoccupation. This convoluted episode seems to wrap up the trilogy, though there is a hint that the archangels might be needed again; whether readers will respond is another question entirely. (Fantasy. 12-18)