I really don't know where to begin with this review as there is so much I want to say but I don't want to put out any spoilers.......so, I'll just give a high level overview for now.
Angelology is a discipline of theology which focuses entirely on the study of Angels. There are groups of researchers throughout the world today called Angelologists and because I realised this fact from the beginning, the characters and story set out in Angelology by Danielle Trussoni became immediately more plausible and compelling to me.
As the story begins it becomes apparent that the contest between good and evil is waged not in the heavens but here on Earth between warring factions of biblical scholars, Angelologists and heavenly beings hiding in plain sight at the top of society in the most wealthy and powerful families across the world. These are a race of beings born from the union between a group of angels called The Watchers and their human mothers. The Watchers became fallen angels and were cast down into the earth to suffer for eternity for their transgressions with humans. The prodigy they leave behind, however, are known as the Niphilim and they survive to this day.
The central character in the tale is Sister Evangeline, a young nun living at St. Rose Convent in Hudson River Valley, New York City. As assistant to the librarian, during the course of her work, she stumbles across a mislaid correspondence between philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller and the convent's abbess of the time, Sister Innocenta. This letter has Evangeline intrigued as it alludes to an astonishing discovery in the mountains of Bulgaria in 1943. Simultaneously, the book introduces Percival Grigori, a critically ill member of the Niphilim and son and heir of the Grigori fortune. The Grigori family and others of their kind, have engaged in warfare for generations with the Society of Angelologists, a group that included Evangeline's parents, her grandmother, Gabriella and Sister Celestine who is now an old and sick nun also living at the Convent of St Rose. Evangeline realises that what she has been told of her past is not entirely the whole story and slowly she uncovers her heritage as an Angelologist.
This discovery draws her and Grigori into conflict over control of a powerful artifact, the lyre of the mythical Orpheus. It was said that the Angel Gabriel, so saddened by his command to commit The Watchers to their eternal prison in the earth, threw the lyre into the cave after his brothers to give them the comfort of heavenly music. He realised his mistake in an instant but it was done and the lyre was cast down, giving who ever found it a power equal to God. These are the stakes that Evangeline and Grigori are playing for.
I loved every minute of the battle and found myself staying awake late at night and getting up really early in the morning until I had finished the book......It was, for me, the most enjoyable read I have had in a long time.
There were a couple of things which really annoyed me though. Firstly, Danielle Trussoni takes, what seemed to me, an unnecessary amount of time to describe cars in the story......these descriptions have no bearing on the telling of the tale, that I can see and their inclusion made me ponder whether they had been written on days when the author wanted to complete a 1,000 words for that day. The other thing, which is really the fault of the editors, is that there are two big mistakes in the plot; one relates to the length of time Sr Celestine has been at St Rose Convent (the story says over 70 years when it should have said over 50 years) and the other comes towards the end of the story when the Angelologists set off in pairs; one of the pairings is named incorrectly half way through the telling of their situation (the story says Evangeline and Verlaine when it should have said Evangeline and Bruno). Small things, I know, which say more about me as a reader than they do about the author. It is clear to me, however, that from the outset Danielle Trussoni paid great attention to detail in the writing and she obviously did an amazing amount of research to bring the story into being, so, I felt these trivial things were careless mistakes in an otherwise well written book and should never have escaped the edits.
Having said all of that, it was an amazing book and I couldn't put it down. The storyline has all the ingredients of becomming one of the best, most popular books of the year and having looked over the author's website, it is clear that she has plans to make a series and turn Angelology into epic tale. The film rights to this story have been sold to Columbia and the sequel is currently in the making.
Good luck to her and I cannot wait for the next book to be published.
I'd love to discuss the ending of the book but will not write about it here so if you want to discuss it, then drop me an email.
The Kim-stillreading blog is book review blog. I read what appeals to me and that's not always the most recently published books. When I land on a book that looks interesting or when I discover a new author, I have been known to buy all their backlist! So, you may find a mixture of books being reviewed on the blog; those that are about to be published; those recently published; those published ages ago and classics!
For the You Couldn't Make This Up! blog, it all started with a challenge from a friend who asked me to write for six consecutive days about things I am grateful for. I did that and soon realised there were many more than six things to write about and so I decided to continue the list on this blog.
Feel free to tag along with me on my journey as I read and write my way through each day.