Science fiction and fantasy
by Danielle Trussoni
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
If you like this, try:The Watchers by Jon Steele
A young man with a limp, a prostitute and a private investigator with amnesia fight to keep darkness from engulfing the world.
Review © Ros Jackson
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