Sister Jones got me at "Your Honor", when she first addressed the Cardinal. I was so amused. She was so confused as to what she should call the Cardinal. And I know right there, she has a fiery and non-conforming personality. More like defiant. A Nun who usually break rules and get away with it. I am starting to like her.
Cloister is about the misadventures of Sister Charlie Jones who used to be a Security Service operative. After she was stabbed by a suicide bomber, she realized she wanted another vocation. She turned to the Mercy Sisters. And she thought, being a novitiate of the Mercy Sisters could give her a safe and boring life but it was far from what she hoped for.
Pope Michael is visiting Australia. The Cardinal received reports that there are threats to kill the pope. Knowing Sister Jones and her background, he decided that Jones could help liaise between the security people from Vatican and the local security personnel. And here again, Sister Jones finds herself in a very dangerous situation and questions her choices of leaving her previous job and keeping the current one.
This is the first time I encountered a bad-ass nun. Kick-ass as well. I have worked with both nuns and priests and I would honestly say that I would prefer to be bossed around by priests, rather than nuns. No offense there, I just did not have a really good working experience with nuns. I know, there are really cool and sensible nuns out there. This is just my experience and this not be taken as a point for argument. So back to Sister Jones, at first, she doesn't seem really impressive. In fact, she almost got killed, that is what prompted the change of vocation. She does have a very big personality though. The person you would like to be what nuns should be like but also makes you question if she is fit to be really one. She has piercings and tattoos but as she said, God doesn't look at the physical aspect of a person he calls to His ministry.
Sister Jones has a push and pull type of personality. She has traits that you would love but there are also things that you wish she was not. Makes you confused if you really like her or not at all. That is what I felt about her. Unlike all heroine and heroes in other novels, you just know that you like them, no doubts. But with Sister Jones, it's like solving a complicated math equation. No simple answer. I do not totally agree to some of her language. She doesn't want to be ordered around and she's causing her counselor a headache and her priest confessor sleepless nights. But she's a good person inside who doesn't want evil to triumph so I admire her. And I silently want to high five her when she gives out very smart answers. That's what I meant by push and pull. What's really impressive is she doesn't rest until she is sure that the problem is solved. That's probably the best thing about her.
I think Sister Jones is a good addition to the existing line up of heroes, especially in crime and espionage. She makes a really good operative. She doesn't have extraordinary abilities and skills just a lot of common sense and logic. If I were to work with a nun again, I would like her to be as bad-ass as Sister Jones. Practical and not self-righteous.
I give the book four crosses. The overused expression, follow the money, does not get old. Most of the time it's always the money that leads you to the source of evil. In this book, it still did it. Just one observation, one character referred to Pope Michael as Pope Francis and she did it twice. I don't know if this was intentionally done by the author to check if the reader was really following, or an error in the printing? I actually had to check myself that it was Pope Michael in this book and not Pope Francis. And I was right, it was the former. I guess, Slee should check this out. This was the scene in the police station.
This is book two. I am looking forward to reading the first book and the next of the misadventures of Charlie Jones. The third one is coming out soon. T J Slee, impressive work on this one. You have a space in my favorite authors list.
I learned a new word on this book - voluntold which means people were told that they were volunteering.
Is this one of those reverse revenge things where you act really nice to make me feel even worse?
- TJ Slee, Cloister -
I got this book as a giveaway from the author. Thanks again T J Slee.