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is an Urban Fantasy
series written by Tad Williams
. The angel Doloriel is an Advocate, one of several angels tasked with representing mortals' souls in a court-style argument with a demon after the mortal dies. The series kicks off after one person's soul disappears mysteriously, and neither Heaven nor Hell knows where the soul went. The series currently comprises two books: The Dirty Streets of Heaven
and Happy Hour in Hell.
This series provides examples of:
- Baleful Polymorph: Poor George/Fatback.
- Black Widow: You probably shouldn't assume that nice Victorian lady hostess is in Hell for jaywalking.
- Celestial Bureaucracy: Heaven. In the first book alone, there is an archangel supervising Bobby Dollar, a rotating group of judges for immortal souls, higher angels who supervise Bobby's boss and pass judgment on Bobby Dollar's performance. There is also a Hall of Records, and it is implied that there are many, many levels of bureaucracy between the Highest (God) and Bobby.
- Circles of Hell: Way more than in the Inferno, and set up like a stack of fruitcake tins.
- Crapsack World: And even more crapsack afterlife. Heaven's not all that heavenly, but hell is thoroughly hellish. And where you end up for all eternity is at least somewhat dependent on your celestial judge's mood and advocate's skill.
- Cynical Mentor: Leo (and to a lesser extent, Sam), to Bobby.
- Dating Catwoman: Sort of. You've got an angel dating a demon, but since this is basically supernatural Noir, it's more like the Anti-Hero dating a Femme Fatale (who also has elements of Damsel in Distress).
- Determinator: Bobby.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male Averted. When it happens, the victim is explicit about just how violating it is.
- Fantastic Noir
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: When he visits Heaven, Bobby Dollar has to hold onto his frustration and anger. In Heaven, happiness is mandatory.
- Hellevator: Actually, two in "Happy Hour in Hell:" one that goes down to the bridge that leads into Hell, and one within Hell itself. The latter, toward the lower levels, gets... very unpleasant, at least for Bobby.
- Love Makes You Dumb/Love Makes You Crazy: Pretty much what everyone thinks about Bobby's determination to literally go to Hell after his lady love. Even Bobby concedes that they have a point.
- MacGuffin: In the first two books a feather belonging to a higher angel. Implied that in the third book it will be a horn tip belonging to Eligor, Grand Duke of hell.
- Order Versus Chaos: The division between Heaven and Hell is more this than Good versus Evil. While Hell is definitely evil Bobby observes that it's also far more alive than Heaven which is a Crapsaccharine World where the saved are happy because their memories and personalities have been wiped.
- Our Angels Are Different: And split into many, many different types. Bobby and his co-workers are low-level angels borrowing human bodies. They drink, smoke, and swear regularly. Once you get above Bobby's supervisors, the angels... vary. Some are male, some are female, some are neither (or both), and it is implied that not all of them are benevolent.
- Our Demons Are Different: Hell has three kinds of residents: the fallen angels; the damned, who are either converted into demons or tortured souls or both; and, rarely, the odd soul who's *born* there.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Fatback who by night is a pig with a human mind and vice versa during the day.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Temuel, Bobby's boss, speaks on his behalf when high-ranking angels investigate Bobby after souls disappear.
- Take a Third Option: The whole point of the Third Way.
- Snark Knight: Bobby. Also a Knight in Sour Armor.