Angel of the City is an entertaining dystopian novel, but do not expect to encounter many things that are new to the genre. Leahy portrays a city closed off not only from the unknown outside world, but also divided into ethnic and economic class districts. A revolution rises up against the corrupt government with the Angel of the City as the human embodiment of the revolution's ideals. The protagonist, an unnamed ex-officer who fled the government and now lives off the grid, must rescue the Angel or risk being turned into the authorities by a drug addicted crime boss.
In order to describe a city full of unrest, Leahy relies on rape, violence, riots, and racism a little too heavily for my personal taste. The protagonist is a white man who looks down on the ignorance of the rest of the populace, even though that ignorance is forced upon them by the government. There are several riot scenes which allude to stereotypes of the Middle East, as do the names of many of the districts. If Leahy is attempting to address the futility of ethnic rivalries whose origins no one can remember, he fails with the protagonist's describing the people as savages. However, the characters are compelling and the suspense is plentiful. I was surprised by one aspect of the ending even though I predicted another aspect early on. While this surprise is not necessarily new to the genre, I did not see it coming, which heightened my enjoyment of the book in hindsight. If you especially enjoy novels that take place in a dystopian future, then you will love Angel of the City for the suspense and gritty details Leahy provides.
A vision of a dystopian future, as seen through the eyes of a brain damaged ex-policeman.
The last city on Earth is an overcrowded, festering metropolis of segregated quarters and ancient, ethnic hatreds. It is a city on the edge of starvation, slowly succumbing to the creeping death that has choked off the rest of the world.
When the leader of a nascent resistance movement is captured by the government, a nameless, brain-damaged thief is hired to rescue her. It's a suicide mission and he knows it, but it's a job he can't refuse.
And if he can get her out, then what? Where do you go, when there is no place to go? How can you hide in a city tearing itself apart in a wholesale ethnic cleansing? What drives a man to keep fighting, when he knows the terrible truth the future holds? Angel Of The City is a story of hope and survival in a broken world.