09 March 2010
ARC Review: Danielle Trussoni - Angelology
~purchase a copy here~
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (March 9, 2010)
Genre: Paranormal Litarary Thriller
Characters: Evangeline, Verlaine, Gabriella Lévi-Franche Valko, Celestine Clochette.
Book Origin: A copy was offered to me by Viking/Penguin
A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.
Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.
For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.
My Review: What would you do if you found out Angel hybrids exist here on Earth and that they’re not anywhere near the cherubs humanity pictures Angelic creatures to be?
Evangeline’s days exist out of prayers, mass, devotion and preserving the books in the library of the Convent St. Rose. Then one day she finds a request in the daily mail, if the sender of the missive could visit the libraries archive to research a connection between Mother Innocenta and Mrs. Abigail Aldrich Rockefeller. She denies access but the two names fuel her own inquisitive mind and in her eagerness to uncover she finds much more than she bargained for.
Evangeline’s day-to-day life is turned upside down. Not only her past but her very family is intricately woven with the secrets of the convent and a sister present there.
I have absolutely fallen for the storytelling of Danielle Trussoni! ANGELOLOGY is intricately set up, it blends rich Biblical Lore, history and myths in to a story that demanded my unwavering attention. It isn’t a story that I could easily let go off, from the very first chapters I was absorbed by the secrets that taunted me as a reader to find out the how, why and where of it all. And with it I mean the connection between Abigail Rockefeller and Mother Innocenta at first, and from there it spiraled in to unfolding all the info that lead to that connection between these two strong characters; namely, the protection of the Lyre.
Evangeline is the center of ANGELOLOGY, everything revolves around her even though I didn’t find out until the very end to what extent. Evangeline is a character that I could instantly connect with, she is sharp-minded, young, devoted to what she does though a rebellious streak is also present. With the beginning I got drawn in to her day-to-day life but quickly the request of Verlaine teases her inquisitive mind. The story contains various strong female characters, not only Evangeline, but also her grandmother Gabriella Lévi-France Valko, Sister Celestine Clochette and Dr. Seraphina Valko, they all do not shy away from what needs to be done, they have passion for their convictions and make sacrifices for the greater good.
They are Angelologists, they fight the Nephilim – hybrids of Angels and the first Daughters of Men – and try to protect humanity against their powers. Their battle with their nemesis’ are both physical as focusing on obtaining Angelic artifacts of power. ANGELOLOGY is the story of obtaining and protecting such an artifact, it lead me from New York, to France in WOII and the mountains of Bulgaria back to New York. The story is divided in several Sphere chapters, with the first one I was quickly allowed to submerge in to the story but it is the second Sphere chapter that I struggled with. Not so much with the storytelling as that I got vast amounts of information, the back-story of how the Nephilim got to be, how they integrated so well with humanity and how they received gifts from their Angelic ancestors that advanced their race incredibly from the humans. Along there are myths such as Orpheus that also held significance and the hunt for the Lyre by the Angelologists was the focus of their group at that time. Celestine and Gabrielle in WOII were young, eager, smart and upcoming Angelologists and via their research, conversations with their mentors like Dr. Seraphina Valko I got to find out all I wanted to know about their group and the Nephilim they were battling. It felt like I got a course in Angelology 101 and while it captivated me it also demanded a constant focus. I had to considerably slow down my reading to absorb all the info given which made this part very intensive to read.
What it did provide was the fact that Danielle Trussoni really was able to delve in to her Angel Lore and she hit it home for me with her Nephilim, they are of ethereal beauty, of innate grace and sensuality yet possess a cruelty and hunger for power that turns them in the very evil of the world. The author also brings a love story to the plot that has substantial consequences, it is very subtle yet if you read carefully one of the discoveries Evangeline makes in the end wasn’t very surprising for me. After the second Sphere the story resumes a wonderful pace of revelations, in which Evangeline received help from Verlaine, nail biting moments as the leading group of characters/Angelologists chase clues around New York to discover and protect the Lyre. Every story thread interconnected in the end and amplified the absolute need to keep on reading.
Evangeline and Verlaine have chemistry, they’re both focused on solving the mysteries and secrets while the Nephilim up the ante and become a more visible threat. One Nephilim family gives face to their race and the creepy shills were joined by awe for their beauty and wings. Sometimes it felt that looking at them was like being a moth drawn to a flame. You knew you were going to get hurt yet you couldn’t look away from them. In most times, a fatal mistake to make. I was going through the suspense motions of the plot when I was suddenly confronted with a love angel between Evangeline and Verlaine. I liked the chemistry between them but I feel this romance needs further exploration and development for it to become convincing enough for me.
Sometimes a meaty book comes along that demands all of the reader, for me ANGELOLOGY was such a story. It demanded my attention, my curiosity, my emotions and every spare minute I could read. Perhaps individual the theme’s and topics are not original but this author concocted it in to an original story full of edge-of-your-seat scenario’s, characters who have a passion that demand their all and a fine line between good versus evil that founds a plot of puzzle pieces that fit in the very end.
ANGELOLOGY encompasses a story that needs to be experienced firsthand to get the full flavored effect of the atmospheric writing style, the compelling characters and the layered story is a treat to unravel. While not perfect Danielle Trussoni delivered a novel that will speak to a large group of readers and with a few open ended story threads the sequel already holds great potential! I can’t wait to join Evangeline in another grand adventure.