Vero Leland has always wanted to fly. While many children are satisfied jumping off the arm of the living room couch, Vero’s desire to soar has taken him places no parent wants to see a child, such as the house roof. Vero’s advanced intelligence and perception also mark him as somewhat different. Still, his mother denies that Vero is anything but a normal pre-teen. She knows better.
After Vero turns twelve, his life starts to change in unexpected ways. He begins seeing things and sprouting wings from his back. Eventually he meets Uriel, who not only informs Vero that he is a guardian angel, but takes him to The Ether, a training ground for guardian angels. Slowly, Vero realizes that the reason he never truly fit in on Earth is because he never really belonged there. He and his fellow fledgling angels had been sent to live on Earth until they were old enough to begin their training. Now they must face a variety of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges to see if they have what it takes to protect human beings in their journey through life.
Laurice Molinari’s first novel presents an unconventional view of angels. Vero and his colleagues, while possessing intellectual powers superior to that of humans, still must undergo spiritual growth and testing. They face numerous trials as well as demons, one of which seems to have been created for the sole purpose of the angels’ training. These trainees are still capable of poor judgment, mistakes and selfishness themselves. However, as they learn from their experience, they realize that concern for others and teamwork is the only road to their success. While the publisher recommends an audience of 8-12 years, some frightening scenes as well as a small romantic subplot better suit older readers.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.