Fenn, Jaine: Principles of Angels (2009)

Principles of Angels is Jaine Fenn’s first novel. It’s supposed to be set 7000 years into the future on the uninhabitable world of Vellern. People live either Topside or Undertow, where Topside is the more attractive part of their world. Here the world is ruled by democracy by murder (you get to vote on whether to kill a representative). The assassins are called Angels.

Taro lives with his Angel aunt who is murdered. This throws him even deeper into the Undertow and we get to see his struggles to survive and his search for his aunt’s killer. I think “Principles” could probably be called a mystery. On Taro’s search, Taro is confronted with his own fears and prejudices.

I liked “Principles”. It is a well-written novel with prose that flows from one line to another. It is violent, but I’m guessing people who live in this world’s Undertows would recognise the fears and difficult choices you have to make. If Fenn continues like she has, then her authorship is going to a fun one to follow.

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