Title: Jathniel, The Immortal
Author: Eugene Roy
Publication Date: April 29, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBTQ+, Contemporary
Length: 42 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 4 Stars
‘Angel Of Death’ Jathniel’s assignment at an elementary school shooting challenges his faith, and breaks his heart. But, like all Transitional Guides, he is supposed to be emotionally sterile. As a means of reset, Jathniel is thrust into unknown territory – life as a mortal canine, where he is granted the experience of love in its purest form, trusting and unconditional.
Content Warning: Car accident, mass shootings, death of a child, death of a pet, HIV.
Love comes in many different forms.
Jathniel’s reaction to each of his new assignments made me smile. I can’t go into a lot of detail about those moments without giving away spoilers, but I was delighted by how adaptive he was to new situation. The one where he was transformed into dog and had to adjust to a world where he understood the humans perfectly well but they weren’t able to return the favour well at all was especially fun. It truly felt like the author had tapped into dog psychology in those scenes, and I chuckled along as Jathniel adjusted to being someone’s pet instead of the powerful spirit being he had normally been.
My only piece of constructive criticism for this short story has to do with the ending. I found myself getting a little confused about one character’s transformation into someone else, and I would have benefited from a longer explanation about what was going on there. As much as I loved the rest of it, this scene did hold me back from going for a full five-star rating there.
The world building was fabulous. Did I want to dive deeper into it? Of course, but I was also satisfied with how much the author shared about what Jathniel did as an Angel of Death and why he was able to move so seamlessly from one death to the next. If Mr. Roy ever decides to write a sequel, I hope I’ll be the first person in line to read and review it. This was something I was thrilled to have stumbled up, and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to it yet.
Jathniel, The Immortal made me yearn for more.