For thousands of years, angels like Captain Jediah had waged war against their former brethren: the demons. As Keeper of the Abyss, it’s his duty to ensure Appolyon’s army remains imprisoned until the end of the age. Unfortunately, despite all that God had entrusted him with, Jediah is plagued by an unceasing guilt from an old, rash mistake. It drives him to thirst for Christ’s redemptive power. He would ask for it, if not for one glaring problem. He’s not human. God’s gift of salvation is meant for mankind alone.
Things change when God appoints Jediah to lead a covert task force, consisting of five wildly different angels. They must rely on each other to hunt down dangerous demons across the globe before they decimate the world. Jediah ponders if his return to earth might be his only chance to learn what human salvation is truly like. Unbeknownst to him, however, his mission will push him to his absolute limit. One of his angels hides a secret agenda, and the past that haunts him—now aware of his return—is hellbent on revenge.
Can Jediah risk capture to find the relief he’s so desperate for? Or should he even chase what he cannot have at all? What does it truly mean to live redeemed?
First Place Winner of the ACFW
'First Impressions' Award!
What of you desired Christ's salvation but couldn't have it?
What if it was because you weren't human?
My quest to conceive a good Christian video game became a three month long Bible study. That Bible Study became an eight year long writing journey, and that writing journey lead to the creation of FlyingFaith and what I once called ‘the angel project’. It’s my debut book, Celestial—a story built upon exploring salvation’s core, what it means to live redeemed, and delivering a view of angels that’s closer to the reality God described in His Word than the manmade traditions and folklore we have largely accepted. It is my sincere hope that, although a Biblically plausible fiction story, Celestial will be a blessing to its readers and maybe even challenge them to ask the tough questions in how they perceive God’s tireless work - both in the visible and invisible plains.
What a wild ride Celestial is! The reader is immediately immersed in the realms of angels. The author vividly describes the heavenly beings, and their demonic counterparts, in details that make them seem as if they’re hovering around us as we read… which they may be.
Hannah’s research on angels is a solid foundation for the hierarchical structure of her characters. She clearly describes the duties, attributes, and limitations of the different “types” of angels – soldier, messenger, ministry, worship, nature, and destroyer. Seeing these beings exist within a social structure and exhibit distinct personalities totally destroys the pre-conceived idea of angels as chubby babies or shiny women in white robes.
To think that an angel, any angel, could be envious of the human experience, and the privilege of Salvation, reminds the reader how precious it is to choose life in Christ. At one point, an angel who hadn’t visited the earthly realm in thousands of years touched a human. What he felt when he did so absolutely wrecked me: “Christ’s Spirit felt like…home.” Oh, that we would long for that feeling of home.
As Celestial closes, the angels are preparing for a confrontation. The ending left me on the edge of my seat wanting MORE! I can’t wait to see what would happen next if Hannah writes a sequel. Of course, we all know God wins in the end, but I have a feeling the journey to the victory would be yet another wild ride!
- LeighAnne Clifton (ARC Reviewer)
In Celestial, Hannah Mae has written an intriguing book about the spiritual warfare going on around us all the time. It was a great read for refocusing my mind on the vastness of God’s creation, and how what we see is just a small part of it! There were some great descriptions of the cosmos and the new earth. For me, those were my favorite part of the book.
As for the angels, they come off as just shy of humans, with full scale emotions and even flaws. Their desire for redemption (a very biblical view, “…even angels themselves long to look into these things…”) also put into perspective the massive size of God’s grace and how we don’t do anything to deserve it, but God has chosen us anyway! It certainly got me wondering if this is what angels are really like. The writing is fast and efficient, and well done, which can be so hard to find these days. While I was a bit confused about some of the emotions and actions between the angelic/demonic relationships, I think the book did a great job showing the ‘friends turned into enemies’ conflicts (one of my favorite plot devices!). There were also several moments I laughed out loud.
If you need a book that will turn your mind to our great God, pick this one up!
- Abbie Wilkes (ARC Reviewer)
[In Feedback Email to the Author]
The Epilogue had me crying happy tears.... Now that I have finished, I love the book, and I love these characters. I think it is well written and while there are many point of views, you are clear on who's point of view we are reading from.... You asked me which character was my favorite, and I don't think I can pick. I like each of them for different reasons... And even though I don't like the main bad guy, I [still] think he is well written.... thank you for letting me read your book. It was a great adventure.
- Sondra Bunnell (Beta Reader)
[Compiled from Feedback Emails to the Author]
It took me a bit to fall into your description, but I personally like the way you write. I must say that before I finished the preface, I experienced chills.... Overall, I loved the story. Your detailed descriptions were wonderful!... the ending brought me to tears. Beautiful.... I really can't decide which [characters] were my faves.... I love how [they] grow. The fight scenes were fantastic. Jediah’s scenes [with the antagonist] were moving and human-like. I loved it all.... Wow!...I will be buying this when it comes out, and I'm sure I'll be reading and rereading it. You have a gift, my friend.
- Kaci Rigney (Beta Reader)
[In Feedback Email to the Author]
Thank you so much for this book! I really, really enjoyed it,.... I absolutely want to own a hard copy!... Many of the themes, scriptural quotes, and verses resonated deeply with me as a Christian. I teared up throughout the book, and all out cried at the ending - in a good way! I am so excited to have experienced a Christian book so full of genuine characters and thoughtful theology that's not corny, preachy, or just plain lame. I was about to type "Akela is my favorite character" and then thought "but, Jediah, oh, and Nechum...and you gotta love Laszio and Eran. And Alameth; I enjoyed his story arc from creepy inscrutable angel of death to someone we could identify with. I enjoyed the adventurous, travel around the globe, spy mission feeling of the book. I can't think of another book I've read like this!... I think that overall the story and characters are really solid. The action was well-paced and felt like a reasonable amount of time moving from event to event... Reading this book has been an encouragement to me both as a Christian and a writer - that Christian fiction can also be good, epic even!... I think your depiction of angels and demons is really cool!... Thanks so much, this has been a great experience!
- S. M. (Beta Reader)
[In Feedback Email to Author]
What an adventure this story was! I've never read a book with such strong angel characters. This was exciting and just a little heartbreaking at times. You managed to honor their angelic-ness (is that a word? lol) while exploring their imperfect characters. And you kept me wondering what was going to happen next!... I genuinely liked all of the angel characters. But my favorites were Nechum, Akela, and Alameth.... The character development was done very well. I watched each angel grow and overcome their shortcomings. I love how they all stuck together. And I love how you incorporated grace into their stories, even with them not being humans. What a beautiful picture of God's love for all His creatures....Thank you for letting me read your story! It was well worth the time.
- Crystal Grant (Beta Reader)
Author Hannah Mae’s book Celestial tackles angels and demons without coming across heavy handed. A fascinating, enthralling story with action and theology that doesn’t come across as too much. Can angels find redemption? How can an angel ever understand the gift of salvation and sanctification? Are there different types of angels and demons? Can demons trust each other? As you follow a group of six angels tasked with thwarting Lucifer’s plan to release plague and destruction on humanity, you learn more about the different types of angels and their adversaries, who at one time were their peers.
This book is riveting, and I couldn’t put it down once I got started. I enjoyed it so much, I plan to purchase a digital copy for myself and four copies for each of my girls. If you enjoy action and suspense and have questions about God, this is a good book to read. Follow Captain Jediah and his two subordinate warriors, as they leave The Abyss (a demon prison). Set off with a messenger angel, a ministry angel, and an angel of death who walks people into eternity (for the better or worse), then sit on the edge of your seat, as they work to once again stop Lucifer and his demons from destroying earth and all humanity.
- Maureen Koeppel (ARC Reviewer)
I received a free review copy of the supernatural thriller Celestial by Hannah Mae earlier this year. The story centers around a group of angels going on a secret mission to stop a deadly plague from crushing humanity. The leader of the group, Jediah, is one of the highest ranking captains in God's army. His loyalty to God is solid but his desire to truly understand the gift of salvation, that is only available to humans, could threaten everything he fought for and could lead to a demonic breakout from the Abyss, their prison.
Under Jediah's command are two of his closest associates, Laszio and Eran. The two have trained under Captain Jediah's tutelage for a very long time and interact with each other like close brothers. Despite their constant training, they are considered the weakest and are always striving to overcome their self-doubt. One of the darkest and the most emotionally unstable angels on the mission is Alameth. Nechum is the ministry angel who helps Jediah, Eran, and Laszio adjust to the humans’ world. Especially since they aren’t familiar with many aspects and devices of modern life. (His attempts to help the warrior angels sometimes results in comical errors though.) Nechum also concerns himself over Jediah's internal conflicts. Akela the messenger angel, who’s carefree antics sometimes lands the group in trouble. Lastly and surprisingly, the main antagonist is not Satan. It is a fallen angel with a millennial long hatred of Jediah, and it’s this personal conflict that drives much of the story’s drama.
One of the positives of the book is its Biblical portrayal of angels. I like that the angels are not depicted as the fat little flying babies that adorn many a postcard or Victorian Era picture. The angels in the book are powerful. They have to be in order to fight demons like the main antagonist and the Devil. They also show feelings. In other books that I read about angels, the angels would not show any emotions except happiness all the time. The angels in Celestial are at times filled with joy and other times saddened by the evil done by the demons. The second positive that I liked about the book was the many international locations, from La Isla de las Munecas (The Island of the Dolls) in Mexico to the banks of Paris’ Seine River. It was good to read a supernatural story that was not confined to the United States like many other supernatural fillers that I read. I believe that this can be a book that can be enjoyed by all.
- Joseph Ficor (ARC Reviewer)