Epeolatry Book Review: Archangels of Funk by Andrea Hairston


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Title: Archangels of Funk
Author: Andrea Hairston
Genre: Sci-Fantasy
Publisher: Tordotcom
Release Date: 7th May, 2024

Synopsis: Run from your past. Hide from your future. Protect your present.

The Water Wars have scrambled the world. Flood refugees are on the run. Disrupters and the nostalgia militia roam the roads wreaking havoc. Invisible Darknet Lords troll the internet, solidifying their power, while Cinnamon, her three Circus-Bots, and two dogs work with a community of farmers, Motor Fairies, and Wheel-Wizards to provide housing, health care and education for flood refugees.

As Cinnamon confronts threats from the Darknet Lords and the nostalgia militia, she must determine how best to honor her elders and her history while building a future for herself and her charges.

It’s not going to be easy.

It’s that time of year again, Reader, when everyone tells you to go out and get some sun after being cooped up in the house all winter. Local communities are putting on outdoor events and the local farmers’ market is just starting to get out the good vegetables. For this review, grab a lawn chair and head to the venue, because we have a concert to watch.

Archangels of Funk is a Sci-Fantasy novel by Andrea Hairston set in her Redwood and Wildfire world. The third book canonically and the second to feature Cinnamon Jones, the reader is taken through the events leading up to a Sci-Fi Carnival Jam. 

One caution I will throw to readers—this is a book in a series. There are moments where the characters are explored, and a good deal about their past is understood. I would suggest starting with Redwood and Wildfire, but at a minimum in order to understand the current characters, read Will Do Magic for Small Change by Hairston.

What makes this different from most is the world-building. Hairston has done a great job integrating various mythologies and cultures into a full setting. In a world where advanced technology, magic, and other-worldly beings co-exist, the best description for this is a benefit concert during a ShadowRun campaign.

The novel begins two days before the concert is due to start. Naturally, much of the conflict deals with the preparations needed before the concert can kick off. The cast of main characters are split up to make preparations for the concert, with brief interactions between them and the various dystopian antagonists. 

Throughout the novel, there are little excerpts from the characters’ perspectives. A concert flyer lists off the various food and events patrons can expect.  An advertisement for an app tells the reader what the characters are getting into. Little details like this might be avoided by other authors and publishers because of printing issues, but those details are unique and often appreciated by readers.

However, one unique touch didn’t feel quite right—the inclusion of a few quotes at the start of each Book of the novel. The quotes seem like they were picked at random since—in my view—they didn’t speak to that section of the novel at all. Additionally, the quotes are from well-known individuals or bands who may or may not even exist or take part in this world setting. 

Fans of science fiction are familiar with the idea of taking two science words and putting them together to create something ultra-science-y. It’s very off-putting, and the ploy makes several appearances in this novel. For those readers for whom this tactic goes completely unnoticed, forget I mentioned it and don’t give it a second thought. For those who do notice, you’ve been warned.  

In conclusion, Archangels of Funk by Andrea Hairston is a continuation of the Redwood and Wildfire world. If you’re already a fan, this will fall nicely in line with expectations. For readers new to the series, I suggest starting earlier in the succession if looking for a new Sci-Fantasy series.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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