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The Alleluia Files    by Sharon Shinn order for
Alleluia Files
by Sharon Shinn
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 1999 (1998)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

The Alleluia Files is the final volume in the series about Samaria, a world where humans live with, and under the government of, winged angels. The angels' power derives from their ability to send prayers in song to their God, Jovah. In response to the angels' singing, Jovah can send down food, medicine, and on occasion, devastating thunderbolts.

A heretic sect, the Jacobites, claim that Jovah is actually a spaceship which brought the original settlers of Samaria from another world, and has been designed to respond appropriately to the angelic songs. The Jacobites are being persecuted relentlessly by the Archangel Bael. Only a scattered remnant survives, still searching for the Alleluia Files, which they believe will provide proof of their beliefs.

All of the other inhabitants of Samaria, apart from the Jacobites, have had a Kiss planted in their flesh so that Jovah can recognize them, and the story begins as Tamar, a fugitive Jacobite, obtains one illegally, in order to mask her status. She becomes involved against her will with Jared, a high-placed angel who slowly and reluctantly begins to question his faith in Jovah.

The inevitable romance is well worked out, and there are a variety of interesting characters and many exciting scenes. In some ways, this is much the best of the series, and a very satisfying conclusion.

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