The Angel Maker
By Stefan Brijs
Villager 1: The strange doctor is back... after being gone for nearly 20 years!
Dr. Hoppe: I'm home.
Villager 2: He even brought triplets with him. I wonder who the mother is.
Dr. Hoppe: They don't have a mother.
Villager 3: I saw the kids! The looked like monsters!
Charlotte: The one who will take care of such children... is an old teacher like me?
RATING: B+ (IMPRESSIVE! Oh this book is really good~)
FAVORITISM: 3.5 Hearts ---> LOVE
FAVORITISM: 3.5 Hearts ---> LOVE
The Angel Maker is a haunting tale of a strange scientist who just wants to help others.... and also wants to beat God. The novel explores the ethical limits of science and religion. I find the story very compelling, intriguing, and fascinating~
To be honest, I only picked this up because seeing the word "Angel" in the title gave me hopes of encountering archangels in this novel~ After reading the plot though, I found out that it was different from what I expected... but since I'm a fan of psychological thrillers anyway, of course I didn't mind at all.
The novel covers a wide range of topics: from genetics to psychiatry to geography to superstitions to morality. It primarily focused on the plight of special children, the great influence of society, and the value of life. It also emphasizes that the world is a shade of gray... there's a good and bad side in all of us. Ironically, our main character sees things otherwise.
On the surface, the main character is a good person: he treats his patients well and does researches that may help mankind. However, he has a mental illness which makes him only capable of seeing things in balck and white. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough proper guidance and he was even maltreated in the past just because he was different.
Anything that is too much is bad, of course that includes taking religion and superstitions to the extremes. Because of bias and wrong judgments, fanatics tend to create monsters without them even realizing it. Of course, not only these fanatics could cause negative influence, but professionals and even ordinary people as well. Any little thing that one does or says could greatly affect another's life.
The main character may be strange and disturbing.... even immoral and cruel.... it would be difficult to see him as someone completely evil once you lear his background and understand the way he thinks. He's a tragic character in fact, and I feel sorry for the guy. I feel pity towards the children as well.
The novel isn't just eerie.... it's also very sad. The happy moments had been very heartwarming (though it didn't make me that cheerful, it managed to make me smile).... while the tragic parts are so heartbreaking (though it didn't make me cry, I certainly felt the sorrow.). It was full of love... yet lacks love at the same time. Too bad misunderstandings shattered so many things.
The characters might be difficult to like, but that doesn't mean they're poorly made characters. I'm impressed on the character development on the main character, for it was very well done. Too bad the others didn't have enough of it. It also sucked that majority of the villagers almost think and act the same (they make a big fuss over rumors). But at least, even if they didn't say or do much... nor appeared much, they still had an impact to the story. The cast is quite diversed too, even the triplets have their little differences despite their shocking resemblance to each other.
Yeah, I got the archangels that I wanted... in a way~
This book has been a page-turner; it got me interested from beginning to end. It was fun to figure out the mysteries behind it as I read on. I really love the storytelling on this.... what an enjoyable read~