Book Review – Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams

My review of Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams 7/10

Bobby must face the consequences of his actions, route out a traitor in Heaven ranks and maybe, just maybe save the love of this life or afterlife depending on your viewpoint. So, not much to worry about then.

For the most part Sleeping Late brings all the story’s threads together nicely, throws in the Big Bad behind Bobby’s troubles (with some hints to his past, which are then left unexplained, grrrr) and provides him the opportunity to kick some major donkey (see no swear words), while still getting his ass (damn!) handed to him in various colorful and unique ways.

The introduction to the book, which begins with Bobby on trial in heaven for his past deeds, provides a great scene starter, as well as a few good chuckles as he tries to get himself out of another mess. It’s a fair way through the story before we get back to this piece of the plot and an interesting road that’s travelled.

In the beginning of Sleeping Late Bobby is suffering greatly following the aftermath of Happy Hour in Hell. His depression while very human was an interesting touch considering his angelic origins. However, without the background to his past I am not sure it had affect it could have. This same lack of history and context does detract a little from other aspects of his human behavior, namely the love notes between Caz and himself, which were really just sexing and a little teenagerish. These human aspects are a great idea, but ultimately a bit hit and miss with the history.

Along his path of realisation and recovery of Caz, Bobby crosses a new group of crazies, neo-Nazis zealots who pit weird and gruesome creatures against him in the hope of getting hold of Eligor’s horn. I enjoyed the introduction of this group as they provided a fresh source of trouble for Bobby and lead to the appearance of the Lesbian fighter girls, aka Amazonian Warriors. While the characters were very entertaining, providing a constant headache to Bobby and the occasional underwear trouble, as they ran around half naked, I did find the fact they were Amazonian a little on the nose and an unnecessary plot element.

As you would expect there is some good gumshoe moments and lots of action, with my favorite being the final battle at a museum with the person behind all of Bobby’s trouble — no spoilers sorry — resulting in an all in battle including from the bad guy or girl (wink), some automated defense systems and the monsters the neo-Nazis have been sending against him. As you can expect mayhem and destroy are good friends of Bobby.

— Small Spoiler — The one issue I did have with the story took place in the last few chapters and concerned the idea behind the third way. It boiled down to the premise that the people there could live forever, heal themselves spontaneously and live normal lives after they die. This place is not some heaven or hell but people who eat, breath, sleep and do all the other fun bits. This concept felt like a bridge too far for my tastes and I had hoped for something a little subtler.

The final book in this Bobby Dollar series doesn’t disappoint (well not much). It is a nice conclusion to this particular story line and I hope there is more to come, as there is still so much still waiting to be answered.

For even more reviews, author interviews and biographies, check out the site Fantasy Book Review.


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