16 August 2010

Review: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Sister Evangeline has lived in St. Rose Convent with the Franciscan sisters of Perpetual Adoration since she was about twelve. Born in Europe, she and her father emigrated to New York after her mother was murdered. She is content in her routine of prayer and then work in the convent's library.

In late December 1999, Evangeline opens a letter from a V. A. Verlaine, a researcher from Columbia University who is interested in a puzzling link between Abigail Rockefeller and the late mother superior of the convent. The two meet, and so begins their immersion into the complex story of Evangeline's family, the field of angelology, and human history itself.

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni is a fascinating examination of the struggle between angels and humankind from both Catholic and scholarly points of view. These are not the angels of little girls' dreams, but the nephilim and gibborum who resent humans for supplanting them as God's chosen.

The foundation of Trussoni's novel may be in the church and in the writings of the saints, but it is not religious in the traditional sense; it is a literary and intelligent tale of good and evil. The book also sits comfortably next to historical thrillers, modern paranormals, and theological mysteries.

If Angelology has a flaw, it is in the last fifty pages or so when, in the race to the end, the novel sheds its academic coat and fully embraces its adventure persona. It is not that the final pages are poorly written or unexciting but that the ending lacks the freshness of the rest of the book. The last scene sets the stage for a sequel.

The audio edition (Penguin Audibooks) of Angelology was read by Susan Denaker, who pulls the listener into the novel and makes it difficult to turn off the mp3 player. Her skillful handling of the range of accents and characters enhanced the enjoyment of the novel. Denaker's talent was especially evident as she read the letters and documents that are at the core of the book.

Angelology at Powell's
Angelology at Book Depository
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Published by Penguin / Viking, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780670021475

Challenges: 100+
YTD: 72
Source: Review (see review policy)
Rating: B
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 8/16/10, 6:51 AM  

Most off this sounds really good. I don't think I realized that it was going tobe a series of sorts.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/16/10, 6:56 AM  

YAY...glad to hear the audio was good as I have this on my iPod. Thanks for the great review.

Beth F 8/16/10, 7:00 AM  

Nicole: I don't really know if it's going to be a series, but the ending, while not a cliff-hanger, seems to leave the door open for more to come.

Nise' 8/16/10, 8:52 AM  

Glad to know the audio was excellent. I've had my eye on this book since you first mentioned it.

Andi 8/16/10, 9:09 AM  

Very interesting! I think I can see why Justin Cronin recommended this one on the Today Show recently. It sounds very good, and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Julie P. 8/16/10, 9:19 AM  

I've had this one sitting her for awhile and just haven't gotten to it yet. I am very anxious to read it though.

Unknown 8/16/10, 9:47 AM  

I thought the book was fairly average, but I think the audio might be slightly better way of getting through it. I think the film will be even better though - I'm looking forward to watching it!

Sandy Nawrot 8/16/10, 10:35 AM  

That was just a wonderful review, very insightful. I've read positive reviews and not so postive reviews, but I really want to dig into it anyway. And the audio! This is what I need. I am crossing my fingers and toes that the library has it!

Sandy Nawrot 8/16/10, 10:37 AM  

Psst. They had it! I am pumped.

Pam 8/16/10, 11:22 AM  

I loved this book!

bermudaonion 8/16/10, 11:47 AM  

A lot of bloggers that I trust have loved this book, but I can't decide if it's for me or not. Great review.

caite 8/16/10, 11:48 AM  

Angels..an interesting topic.
so long as they do not become the 'new' vampires, in terms of book subjects.

Heather 8/16/10, 1:18 PM  

For the most part I rather enjoyed this book. The ending wasn't what I expected and yes, I agree, it does sound like the build up to a sequel.

Vasilly 8/16/10, 2:52 PM  

This sounds like something that might interest me. I'll add it to my TBR list. Great review.

Michele 8/16/10, 5:46 PM  

Based on cover and title alone, I might have passed this up....but your review compels me to take a closer look. I'm adding it to the ol' list.

Kathleen 8/16/10, 8:09 PM  

The early reviews I read on this one were quite positive and then the negative reviews started. I was quite content to put the book on my "maybe someday shelf". Your review makes me rethink that. I'm heading to the library tonight and am going to see if it is in (doubt it, but I can try).

Jenners 8/16/10, 9:31 PM  

Sounds interesting. I know there are all types of angels but don't know all that much about them.

Carrie K. 8/17/10, 12:37 AM  

Our library has this available on audio through Overdrive - I will definitely be listening to it that way! Great review.

Beth Hoffman 8/17/10, 9:14 AM  

I've been on the fence about this book; it's not anywhere near my usual fare. But I will say that your review (which is excellent) nudged me to maybe give it a try.

Chrisbookarama 8/17/10, 11:29 AM  

I'm like Beth- on the fence. I might put it down the bottom of the TBR list though.

S. Krishna 8/17/10, 12:37 PM  

I totally agree with your review - I loved how literary it was, but didn't love the adventure turn it took. I gave it a 5/5 though because it was just so fresh and well written. I can't wait for the second one either!

April 8/17/10, 2:21 PM  

I have really been wanting to read this book. Perhaps the audio version is the way to go!! Thanks for the excellent review Beth!

Tales of Whimsy 8/17/10, 3:00 PM  

Sounds great. I have this one on my wish list :)

TheBookGirl 8/18/10, 9:06 AM  

Like others have commented, I had assumed that this was not something I would like as I don't usually read paranormal works, but your review makes it sound fascinating...I do like the theological aspect, and knowing that the audio is great is an added bonus.

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