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." - Genesis 6:5
Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at 23, 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.
Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus, and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.
©2010 Danielle Trussoni (P)2010 Penguin
I debated getting this book for at least a month, due to the negative reviews, and the low star rating. But I was intrigued by the premise for the book. I AM SO GLAD THAT I DOWNLOADED IT. I loved this book, the plot, the characters. I hope the sequel comes soon. This would be a great series to replace the endless Vampire based books. A Saga of Angels on earth, count me in. I have to apologize to the narator, I ripped her for the naration of The Eight by Kathrine Nevile....She completly redeems herself with this naration.
I will begin with what I liked. First, the narrator was excellent. She made the characters come alive and each character voice was distinct and consistent. The second half of the book had a good deal of action and plot twists that kept you listening. The basic concept of the Nephelim is intriguing. I enjoyed the imaginative world of the story. The central human characters are engaging.
As to the negatives, I agree with many of the points raised in other reviews and will not repeat them here. However, the greatest weakness of the book is the handling of the Nephelim. They are cardboard characters who act like psychopaths. An entire species of psychopaths could not survive, especially when their main defense is bluster, smoke and mirrors. There is no real complexity to any of the Nephelim characters, even Percy and his sister, who offer some hint of depth, act like confused adolescents and never develop beyond caricatures. It is frustrating.
The author would have benefited from a tough editor who told her that she had a good idea and plenty of talent but that the story needs more work before it is ready for publication. The story is set up at the end for a sequel. I like the basic idea of the story and if the author does a sequel I will probably give it a read/listen in the hope the author addresses the weaknesses of this promising but ultimately disappointing first effort.
Stands Alone Unchallenged - Extremely well researched in the academic area referring to texts, geography, history etc. Creative with relation to genetic hypothesis on fictonal hybrid creatures. Such extreme detail is given to this sort of fiction aspect of "Angelology" career in the book that it makes it seem real. Even the hierarchal political rules of the creatures in the book have order. Yet there is adventure and plot and so so many twists and turns. The visual prose is amazing..truly breathtaking. Besides the gem this book is to behold, it is an extreme value due to the length of the book. A good many days may be spent in this world. Great naration as well. I completely believed the different characters.
Unlike the prior reviewers, I really enjoyed this book. It is very much in the same vein as Angels and Demons. Good plot, nice action, and very interesting premise (angels on earth). It has a nice romantic sub-story as well. I enjoyed the author's casual allusions to Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as various mythological tales and the old and new testaments. The narrator nicely made it clear who was speaking, and did a good job. The only minor quibble I had with the book is that the conclusion had a few loose ends - enough for a sequel, likely.
Say something about yourself!
The most difficult thing about writing a book about angels is doing something different that separates you from the crowd. In this case, the "something different" is simply keeping them in context instead of sparkling them up and making them all cutesy for modern audiences like their vampire or mermaid counterparts. The angels and their nephalim spawn are given to the audience wrapped in a sense of both wonder and terror. Suffice to say, I approve.
Trussoni's story is told largely in terms of discovering secrets, unveiling them not just a little at a time, but in large swaths that serve to drive the story forward and propel the sense of mystery. The best way I can describe it is this: imagine if Dan Brown's storytelling and depth of character actually rose to the level of his punchy prose style. I pick on Brown mercilessly for just that reason, but I still like the style he tries to tell. Trussoni succeeds for the most part in keeping the pages turning, though she doesn't use a breakneck speed to do it. The quality of her prose is thoughtful and unrelentingly beautiful at times, reminding me quite a bit of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. The styles are similar at times, but not... if that makes sense. Trussoni's depth of character is nothing less than impressive. You get to know the main characters very well, and even those secondary and tertiary characters become a rich part of the tapestry that is weaved here. For a debut novel, it's convinced me she's one to watch. If they could keep the prose of the narration, this would make a fantastic movie (and yes, the book will still be better).
I read this in hardback first a while back, not really expecting much (it is angel fiction, after all), and I had a lot of fun with it. It was a guilty pleasure when I picked it up because I do actually enjoy angelology as a subject matter. At the time I finished it, a little thing about the endgame bugged me, but I let it go because it ultimately served the story. And what a story it was! The second time through via Audible, same thing, but I was having too much fun to care. The audiobook serves to make that endgame more urgent, whereas the book almost encourages you to take your time with it. Funny how that works. I won't spell it out as it is spoilerific, and hopefully you won't be asking "what if" questions when you get there.
The question I will ask that's only a minor spoiler to the backstory is this: if a nephalim survived the flood by disguising himself as Noah's son, wouldn't God and the Archangels have noticed this? Admittedly by asking this, it reveals a whole house of cards that should rightfully come crashing down, but again, it serves the story, so I just let it go. I'm glad I did. And theologically you can having fun explaining it from a Gnostic POV even if you can't explain it from a Catholic or Protestant POV. I love novels that make me chew on the big questions and see things from a completely different perspective.
Susan Denaker is absolutely amazing. Not only does she give different voices to the various characters, she brings a full-scale performance from beginning to end. Her accents are enough to sell it without being over the top, and the personalities she brings to the characters... well, she clearly had a lot of fun with this despite (or perhaps because of?) the seriousness of the tale. This is my first book with her narrating, and I look forward to seeing if she's just as enthusiastic with her other deliveries.
The story has the theme and plot and imagination to be a really great book. Though, if failed. It was so slow getting started and the heart and interest of the book happened in the last 20 min. The entire story and plot was centered on what really should have been accomplished in the first couple of chapters. I think that the author intended to set the story up for a sequel but the attempt was disappointing. In the end I was ready for the story to be over having only thought it was just so-so and as she was wrapping it up, the first really interesting thing in the whole book happened and then it was over. ugh. Not good.
Although there were some aspects of the narration that were flawed, I found the reading acceptable and at times captivating. The story was an exciting mystery of the Dan Brown type, giving the impression of scholarship. Although complicated, it was fairly easy to stay with and hard to put down. Moreover, the characters were developed fairly well and memorable. In all I had a good deal of fun reading it. I have read some of the ancient texts referenced in the story in their original languages, which probably provided greater interest for me in these areas than for others unfamiliar with historical references to Nephilim and ancient beliefs about angels. The story, however, was not reliably faithful to the ancient references, but provided enough scholarship to pretend. I did enjoy the book and recommend it.
Angelology is a great combination of biblical and mythical lore with deep, rich characte development. Though slow at times, it's engrossing.If you like Dan Brown's books, you'll love this!
A mess of pseudo theological and historical facts, cardboard characters, poor writing, and the most inept villain since Gargomele on the smurfs.
I never take the time to do this -- but the narrator so ruins this story that I had to. What the other reviewer says (about the fake accent) is so true. Impossible to evaluate the actual book. Wish I could have a warning sign for this reader in the future. (WHY would you read with an accent for hundreds of pages when nothing in the actual book suggests that...)
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