Roc, May 2001, 6.99, 352 pp.
In the near future, mankind invents a weapon of mass destruction, the Plasma Bomb that turns anything organic within its wide range into glass. For instance, two decades after such an explosion, The Bronx remains a contaminated zone. Science has lost its lofty esteem with religion taking over the high rung among Americans, as the country has become a theocracy with everyone belonging to a church.
Most people are also hooked up to the LINK, an interactive computer implanted inside the human brain. Deirdre, a former cop, is disconnected from the LINK because the Pope excommunicated her, but she still knows about the mysterious LINK Angels. Agents of the Church and the government believe they are real and signify the Second Coming. Deirdre believes they are a fake, but even she feels shaken when the Archangel Michael visits her office to request her help.
Lydia Morehouse delivers a blunt message in her debut novel ARCHANGEL PROTOCOL that the Internet is a form of an addicting high no different than alcohol or drugs. The future is bleak and repressive in an Orwellian-like society. The repartee between Michael and Morningstar is fascinating, but the mortal Deirdre owns the show as she adapts to angels visiting her (after the initial shock passes). This science fiction novel will keep readers glued to the very end, but keep a religious artifact like a crucifix or a Star of David handy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner