Mercury Rests

Mercury Rests is the final volume of a trilogy of novels written by humorist Robert Kroese.

These novels follow the adventure of Mercury an Angel who unintentionally gets wrapped up in a plan to prevent the Apocalypse from occurring earlier than scheduled.  Mercury is not a goody-two-shoes angel, but neither is he a cigarette smoking fornication John Travolta type.  Mostly Mercury just wants to be left alone and do his own thing.  Instead he gets wrapped up with a range of characters in the present times and involvement with characters in Biblical time.  This is all played for laughs in a way that reminds you of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.

I quite enjoyed the first book (review here) for being a great humorous and imaginative romp.  The second book “Mercury Rises” picks up and continues the story.  While I enjoyed the second book it did  not shine on for me as much as the first one. Though the plot of it was also quite imaginative.

Mercury Rests for me grabs more of the appeal of the first book while bringing the story to a conclusion.  It was not a book that really had me laughing out loud along the way, but one where there was a constant grin that often broke into a wider grin regarding the footnotes.  These novels are certainly played for laughs and not for theological precision, though the author is a believer in the Reformed tradition and some of that worldview is reflected within.

In Ironic Catholic’s interview with the author he replies in part:

IC: Last but not least: Is Mercury Catholic or Reformed?
RK: A lot of people have compared Mercury Falls to Kevin Smith’s Dogma and I think it’s an apt comparison, except that Mercury Falls is the Reformed version of the story. It deals less with the trappings of Catholicism than with the obsessions of the Reformed theologians, like free will and determinism.
I think Mercury is sort of a hopeful agnostic. He wants to believe in something bigger than himself, but unfortunately the people he works for are idiots, so sometimes it’s hard to maintain the faith. If I recall correctly, one of your criticisms of Mercury Falls was basically that God never shows up. And while I sympathize with that criticism, I deliberately did not make God a character in the story, because it felt like cheating. I wanted the angels to be just in the dark about God’s existence and nature as human beings are. Which doesn’t mean that they are *completely* in the dark, of course. You see some characters who really are God-like in the best sense, such as the archangel Michelle. Michelle obviously believes in *something*, even it if isn’t spelled out in the book what it is. You’ll see more of that with Job in Mercury Rests.
The language can be rather raw at times with f-bombs and such, but it was fitting when spouted by the foul-mouth Satan.
I certainly had fun with the series and the author does exactly the type of silly humor that I enjoy and there are many cultural mash-ups in the story that add to the fun in the way they are incorporated.  I certainly enjoyed these books enough to see reading them again later.  I definitely look forward to what Robert Kroese has to offer in the future.

About Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is a former atheist who after spending forty years in the wilderness finds himself with both astonishment and joy a member of the Catholic Church. A retired Navy Chief who now makes his living as an application developer.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/happycatholicbookshelf Julie Davis

    I’m glad to hear that the third book resembles the first more than the second. I had similar reactions as you to those two, which gives me great hope for #3 … in my reading stack now.