11 March 2013

Review: Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

review of Angelopolis by Danielle TrussoniWhen I reviewed Danielle Trussoni's first book about Verlaine and Evangeline, Angelology, in August 2010, I noted that the novel was "a literary and intelligent tale of good and evil." Trussoni's follow-up novel, Angelopolis, out on March 26, is a little more thriller and a little less literary but still made me think. In the following review, I assume you've already read Angelology.

Angelopolis begins a decade after Verlaine saw Evangeline unfurl her wings and take flight from the Brooklyn Bridge, leaving him confused and alone. Now an accomplished angel hunter, Verlaine has mixed feelings when he finally crosses paths with her in Paris. With her life in danger, Evangeline has only enough time to slip Verlaine a package before she is captured by an enemy angel.

The story takes us from Paris to St. Petersburg and from there to Bulgaria, the Black Sea, and finally Siberia as Verlaine races to save Evangeline. Meanwhile, he and his fellow angelologists search for the meaning behind the beautiful Fabergé egg she gave him, hoping it will help them discover a means for defeating the nephilim once and for all.

Drawing on biblical and apocryphal writings, Trussoni creates a world in which angels have never forgiven humankind for supplanting them as God's favored beings. Angelology supplies the background to this millennia-long conflict and introduces us to the Society of Angelology, which is devoted to the study of angels. In Angelopolis the focus shifts to archaeology, genetics, and history and tells us more about the angels who live among us and who have shaped human beliefs and politics through the ages.

I loved Trussoni's alternate interpretation of history—especially of FabergĂ©, Rasputin, and the European royal families—and the way the angelologists pooled their knowledge and research in their quest to understand Evangeline's heritage and to develop a weapon to kill or subdue their enemies. I was pleased that Angelopolis retained the thriller elements I enjoyed in the first book while dropping what I think of as the "Dan Brown ending."

On the other hand, the novel wasn't without some flaws. In particular, I believe there were some inconsistencies and far-fetched luck in the final scenes, and I'm confused about some of Verlaine's actions and thoughts on the last pages. Still, the book ends just as the world is about to change, and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the series.

I listened to the unabridged audiobook (Penguin Audio, 9 hr, 38 min) read by Edoardo Ballerini, who did a wonderful job keeping me engaged in the story. His pacing and characterizations fit the text, and to my untrained ears, his accents and pronunciations of foreign words were believable. Usually I'm thrown off when a series changes narrators, but I wasn't bothered here, probably because it's been a few years since I listened to the first book.

Buy Angelopolis at an Indie or a bookstore near you. This link leads to an affiliate program.
Published by Penguin USA / Viking, March 26, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780670025541
Rating: B
Source: Review (see review policy)
t © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Sandy Nawrot 3/11/13, 6:51 AM  

I really enjoyed the audio of Angelology, and this is really not my type of read either. I loved all the history and world-building, but started to get twitchy with that Dan Brown ending. All that running around and close calls and clue-chasing. That is the only reason why I haven't loaded this one on the iPod yet. I will, at some point, give it a try.

Tea 3/11/13, 7:44 AM  

Would I need to read Angelology first? Your book review is very good. I'm reading a book now, Memory of Love, the beginning dragged. The characters don't stick in my head. I almost feel like stopping, but I will go forward like a good soldier.

Beth F 3/11/13, 8:15 AM  

@Tea: yes, you really do need to read the first book to understand what's happening in this one.

Daryl 3/11/13, 8:31 AM  

you know i love books like this and ironically this past weekend i was looking at Angelology at bn.com ... how did i ever miss this book?

rhapsodyinbooks 3/11/13, 8:48 AM  

These books sound SO MUCH like the Laini Taylor books (Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight). Those books have gotten so many awards - I wonder how the two series compare!

Heather 3/11/13, 9:44 AM  

i did read the first book in this series, but the 'angel' as a theme for a book doesn't really work for me.The proposed history of the angels was quite intersting and the story line, but not the angels. It's not the first angel book that I put aside. More thriller might have helped me. This second book seems more appealing.

Heather 3/11/13, 9:44 AM  

i did read the first book in this series, but the 'angel' as a theme for a book doesn't really work for me.The proposed history of the angels was quite intersting and the story line, but not the angels. It's not the first angel book that I put aside. More thriller might have helped me. This second book seems more appealing.

Anonymous,  3/11/13, 10:20 AM  

I enjoyed the first book, but it's been so long since I read it that I'm a bit concerned I won't remember important plot points while reading book two. May have to do a reread on audio before jumping into this one.

Zibilee 3/11/13, 10:57 AM  

I haven't read this series yet, but you make it sound like something that would really pique my interest and sit up and take notice at. I like that the history is well blended with the fiction, and that there is so much mystery. I have a few audible credits left, so I should probably try to get these on audio when I can!

Julie P. 3/12/13, 8:43 AM  

I still need to read the first one in the series!

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