Monday, December 21, 2009

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

I received a galley of this book as part of the Flight of Fiction from Viking Books (and thank you very much!).   I needed to take a break from reading paranormal books for a December book challenge, so I started on this.    The basic premise is that there is an ongoing, 1000-year conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the Nephilim, who are the descendents of angels and humans.   I think most people think of angels as being nice, beautiful beings, but the Nephilim are very strong, and not very nice, and they'd like to rule the world (thus, the struggle).   Sister Evangeline discovers a cache of letters from Abigail Rockefeller, the famous philanthropist, and someone named Celestine, whom she suspects is really Sister Celestine.   It turns out that Evangeline's discovery brings her into the path of some very dangerous people, and also brings her further into the world of the angelologists and the treasure they have been protecting for years.

Sounds a little like Dan Brown doing his bit on angels, but it's really quite good.   There's really an interesting premise here, and the author does such a wonderful job of not only developing the characters, but also building the story, and the suspense.   Evangeline is a complex character, enhanced by the other characters in the book, who are, for the most part, equally fascinating.   I found the pacing to be pretty fast, but maybe that was because I got caught up in the book and just needed to know what happened next.   I also enjoyed how I felt like I was learning things in the book (which reminded me a little of Dan Brown, but nowhere near as lecturing and annoying).    And, actually, I had a moment of remembering a movie called The Prophet, which had Christopher Walken as Gabriel.....   not a very good movie, but something in it has stuck with me all this time.   One of the main characters is talking about angels and says how, what if, instead of wonderful things, they were actually quite fearsome -- after all, some of them do the more horrific work for God -- and he says something about how it would be, to always have one wing dipped in blood.    As I said, not a great movie (although it's worth it just to see Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer), but the whole idea of the scary, intimidating, and fearsome angel has stuck with me ever since.

Trussoni's writing is very smooth, and the idea here in this book is very well developed.   I took my time reading it because there were a lot of details to catch, but also because it was a pleasure to read.    According to what I've found, this book is due out in March 2010, and I expect there will be some buzz about it (hopefully!)


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