Azaraphale (an angel) and Crowley (a demon) have known each other since Eden. (Crowley was actually responsible for that whole apple business. Like many of the underworld's senior figures, he'd been an angel once. He hadn't actually intended to fall...he'd just hung around with the wrong people). The pair have been on Earth ever since, officially doing their Masters' work...and have been enemies for so long, they've become good friends. (They don't interfere too much with each other's activities, and even - occasionally - help each other out. It means they both get to look good in front of their bosses).
Crowley has been responsible for quite a bit of badness over the years - the M25 and VAT, for example. (He also received a commendation fror the Spanish Inquisition, even though humans came up with that one by themselves. Naturally, he just took the credit and said nothing). Unfortunately, Satan has decided it's now time for Armageddon and has decided Crowley should supervise proceedings. (He isn't too happy with this "honour". This is the Final Battle, after which there's no more world - just endless Heaven or Hell, depending on who wins. Crowley's grown quite fond of the world over the years, and he'd rather stay where he is). His first task is to deliver the Spawn of Satan to its human parents. Crowley arrives at the hospital just as Mrs Harriet Dowling - the wife of the American Cultural Attaché - has given birth. (Her husband's in on the switch, as are the nuns who run the hospital - the Chattering Order of Saint Beryl is, after all, an order of Satanic Nuns). Unfortunately, thanks to a mistake in the switching, the Lord of Darkness goes home to Tadfield with Mr and Mrs Young, who christen - if that's the right term - their new "boy" Adam. Meanwhile the American Cultural Attaché's new son - named Warlock - is fully human.
Following the switch, Crowley pays a social call to Aziraphale, who - like Crowley - has grown very fond of the world as it is. (Aziraphale runs a bookshop, but he does everything he can to stop people from buying anything. The shop is really just somewhere to store his book collection). The pair agree to become personally involved in Satan Junior's life, hoping their shared influence will bring about a stalemate - and preventing the war from starting. Aziraphale and Crowley, however, keep a careful eye on the wrong child and only realise the mistake - and how much trouble they're in - at Warlock's 11th birthday party.
Luckily, the pair will be getting a little bit of help. Anathema Device is an attractive young witch, who has just moved into Jasmine Cottage in Tadfield. She's a descendent of Agnes Nutter, the only truly accurate prophet who ever lived - and Anathema owns the only printed copy of Anges' very specific prophecies. Worryingly, they end - abruptly - shortly after Adam Young's eleventh birthday...though at least the prophecies have at least given her a heads up. There's also Newton Pulsifier. As a Witchfinder Private, it's his job to hunt out strange happenings...and he's noticed a bit of strangeness about Tadfield. (Newton and his superior, Shadwell, are the last two Witchfinders in England). An ancestor of Newton had, coincidentally, put Agnes Nutter to death - and now Newton and Anathema are fighting on the same side. However, they're really up against it - the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse are in the process of putting the band back together. (The group now consists of Death Famine, War and Pollution - Pestilence retired in 1936, after a nasty bout of Penicillen).
Inneffably good and totally recommended.
To the finder:
Welcome to BookCrossing!
Please make a journal entry to let me know that this book has been caught so I know that it has found a good home with you. I hope you like the book, but I'd be grateful if you'd let me know what you thought of it by making another journal entry when you've finished it.
Then, whenever you are ready to send it on its way, make a journal entry if you are giving or sending this book to a known person, or a release note if you are leaving it “in the wild” again for anyone to catch. Then watch its journey.
If you've decided to sign up, you’ll be alerted by e-mail each time someone makes another journal entry. And it’s confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spamless !
Thanks for stopping by, have fun!