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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni


where I got my copy: Viking/Penguin
where to buy: BN, Amazon, Borders

hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures

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.

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.

The book has a Dan Brown feel to it. mystery, history, religion, adventure, symbolism, etc.
It was said that angels came down to earth. The Archangels and the Watchers. They call this period of Antedeluvian. The Watchers were sent to observe the humans but soon they were interacting with them carnally. Despite their angelic features (wings, height, etc...) they are still very much like human thus sexually compatible. The union of angel and human bore an offspring known as "daughters of men" or "Sons of God", "the Giants" and also known as the Nephilims.
The Nephilims bore angelic qualities. But half-human, half-angel. They are known for their inhuman beauty, strength, cruelty, and avarice. It was said that they are the fallen angels who corrupted mankind that was why God got so mad and wanted to destroy the earth by creating the Great Flood or the Deludge to wash out the land of this creatures.But they have survived when the sneak inside Noah's ark.

Genesis 6:1-7

 1 When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal [b] ; his days will be a hundred and twenty years."  4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
 5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." (reference: bible gateway)

After reading this passage it intrigued me to no end. What is also surprising  is our heroine, Sister Evangeline is a 23 year old nun who lives in St. Rose Convent in Milton, NY. She was born in France but migrated with her father to the United States months after her mother's death. When she was 14, her father left her at the convent for reasons that she only know as work. 9 years later a letter asking for permission for a research from a man named Verlaine offsets her curiosity into digging the past to get the answers in the present day, her discoveries came with a price. After confirming her suspicions based on Sister Celestine's story. She found herself in the middle of a war between the Angelologist and Nephilim that has been going on for centuries. What surprises her more was her grandparent's major role in all these.

Most belief said that angels are indestructible because of said divine component that encompasses their being
but a very interesting concept was introduced on this book. The Angels have weakness. Percival Grigori belongs to a revered family of Nephilim. His wings was considered to be the most beautiful, until the mysterious disease started devouring his wings. The once glorious, sadistic and lustful Percival is now senile, fragile and possibly dying.They have been searching for a cure but the origins of the virus was unknown.Only one known object can restore his kind into their original glory, all they have to do is retrieve it from the hands of their enemies.

There were boring parts of Sister Evangeline's sleuthing that I wish to fast forward yet I chose to endure those parts because I was afraid to miss a potentially important detail. Her daily chores at the convent and observations about other nuns were tedious but I love it when she recalls her past. I gave me a chance to know her and not think of her as... well a nun. It was also full of fascinating clue on how is she connected with the Angelologist.

Angelology is Danielle Trussnoi's first novel. When I heard of this title, I'm like, what is Angelology? It sounds like a phony name for a study Angels but can you think of a better name for it? As a reader of PNR and Urban Fantasy books I confused this as such, as you can tell it isn't. While it is about Angels the story content in this book is pure fiction, it takes some getting used to. The absence of humor and the presence of well mannered dialogues made it borderline dull but the story was enthralling. The first 50 pages did not capture my attention but after some adjustments and with the help of a field guide (thanks you Natasha of Wicked Lil Pixie) I started enjoying it. My other complaint was it has too much information that I get confused sometimes, One part I wished was a prequel instead of actually being part of the book was the 1939 documentation of Celestine and Gabriella's academic life.

Watch out for the movie adaptation of Angelology under Sony Picture's and Will Smith's Overbrook entertainment. to be directed by Marc Forester. For more info click here.

check out the ARC Tour of Angelology soon for more reviews.


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

good review of the book--can't wait to read it

Rex Robot Reviews said...

I can't wait to read this one, Pat! Thanks for doing the ARC tour =) You're awesome.

And great post!

jmspettoli said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book but I'm still on the fence of whether or not I should read it. I wasn't really a fan of Dan Brown so I'm leaning more towards not reading it. Anyway thanks for the honest review!

(And wow its already being made into a movie??)

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

This was a great review! I am so looking forward to reading this one!

Barbara said...

This was a great review!

Cathy M said...

Interesting book and review. I first thought this was a non-fiction story myself and was going to pass on it. Now I think it might be worth a second look.

Kirthi said...

It sounds too "adult" for me, but if it weren't, I'd love to have read it!

Dwayne said...

Sounds complex, but that adds thrill - I say yes :)

Christa Holland said...

I really want to read this book. : ) I'm not a huge fan of Dan Brown, but there's something about this book that intrigues me.

Thanks for the review!

TJ said...

I've heard such mixed things about this one! I still haven't decided whether or not to give it a try...

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I have been eyeing this book for some time now, and I ahve to confess I read parts of your review through closed eyes as I didn't want to stumble upon any spoilers. The description of the book sounds intriguing, and Dan Brown came to mind right away. I find interesting the concept that angels have weaknesses and aren't indesctructable beings. Also it is quite uncommon to have a nun as the heroine. You definitely piqued my interest, I can't wait to read this book!

misskallie2000 said...

Great review. I can't say I will like this book but it does hold my interest and I will read more reviews and make my decision then.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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