Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Angelology

by Danielle Trussoni

cover  

Angelology is a contemporary thriller set in a version of our world that's secretly overtaken by the Nephilim. They're everywhere, hiding in plain sight in their hundreds thanks to wings that become invisible, and pulling the strings of the very wealthy and society's rulers. They're also cruel and unable to empathise with humans, or even with each other.

The story is told from several points of view. Evangeline is a young nun whose life revolves around prayer and routine, until she gets a letter that connects the St Rose convent where she lives with Abigail Rockefeller, a wealthy patron of the arts. This curiosity puts Evangeline on the trail of a mystery concerning angels and the artefacts they may have left behind in this world. It brings her into contact with Verlaine, a gaudily dressed young man who is researching the same thing. But he's working for Percival Grigori, an impatient bully. Grigori has good reasons to be impatient, but he's extremely dangerous. He harbours deep personal grudges, and he's on a desperate deadline.

The Nephilim are searching for a powerful angelic artefact which could give their kind new strength and unprecedented power. Opposing them are the angelologists, a secret society of scholars and fighters who have worked through the ages to protect the interests of ordinary humans. So it's a race to solve the clues and beat back the Nephilim before they can gain the upper hand.

The narrative takes in tenth century monks, wartime Paris, and New York in 1999, so it switches point of view several times. However, this isn't frequent enough to be confusing. The mixture of ancient scholarship, unfamiliar settings and well-paced action makes for a very enjoyable read. The style is somewhat similar to Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, except here the supernatural side is far more overt. The Nephilim and their angelic servants are everywhere, sometimes in great crowds. Realism takes a back seat in this novel, and Danielle Trussoni's angels take on quite unexpected forms.

Good research has put meat on the bones of this story, and the author's love of the subject shines through. However, it's a tale with a very Catholic message, and not merely because many of the heroines are nuns. One of the angelologists explains very clearly that the Nephilim benefit from science, to the angelologists' detriment. According to Dr Seraphina, the Enlightenment "was a major victory for the Nephilim." She goes on to say, "They promoted atheism, secular humanism, Darwinism, and the extremes of materialism. They engineered the idea of progress. They created a new religion for the masses: science." So readers are being asked to root for ignorance and faith instead of science and sceptical atheism. No, thanks. I enjoyed the entertaining way Angelology was written, but I couldn't get behind what it seemed to be saying.

11th January 2014

Book Details

Year: 2010

Categories: Books

  Fantasy
 

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3 star rating

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