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Jerome and the Seraph    by Robina Williams order for
Jerome and the Seraph
by Robina Williams
Order:  USA  Can
Twilight Times, 2004 (2004)
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Jerome and the Seraph, the first book in the Quantum Cat series, is an interesting mixture of Catholicism and quantum physics. Dying unexpectedly after a freak accident, Brother Jerome ends up in an afterlife very different from what he expected. Aided by a ginger tomcat (named Leo on Earth but Quant in the afterlife), Jerome learns how to open gates in order to go back and visit his brothers who are still mortal and living at the friary.

Unfortunately, this is the extent of the plot. There is a subplot concerning suspicions that many of the brothers have regarding their guardian, Father Fidelis, and a new parishioner. While these rumors are resolved by Brother Jerome, Father Fidelis's thoughts about the new parishioner are brought to light at the very end of the novel. But while the reader knows he is wrong, Father Fidelis never finds out his error due to the abrupt ending. The main obstacle to plot development is a constant jumping between inhabitants of the friary both alive and dead. Instead of advancing the plot while moving from character to character, the reader is basically given that character's take on Father Fidelis's supposed indiscretions and Brother Jerome's afterlife wanderings. Additional points are alluded to - such as all ancient religions being under one God - but never developed. Also, the symbolism in the book is not quite clear, although some is explained in an Addendum, as are some of the obscure literary and artistic references sprinkled throughout the novel.

The one thing that Robina Williams does well is humor. Her dry wit brings a chuckle when least expected, making certain passages very enjoyable. Whether unresolved plot points are wrapped up in subsequent Quantum Cat novels remains to be seen. I hope they are so that, taken with the whole series, Jerome and the Seraph will prove a more satisfying read.

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