Thursday, February 24, 2011

Angelology - Danielle Trussoni (Audio)


"Angelology" was a book that first came to my attention nearly a year ago when it was reviewed by Swapna @ S. Krishna's Books , when she said the book was "one of the best in recent memory". Which if you know Swapna, and the hundreds of books she reviews each year, you know these are BIG words. I've always been a fan of Anne Rice, with all her complicated little creatures that she creates, and this didn't sound so terribly different. When I saw that my library had this one on audio, I grabbed it.

Synopsis: When Evangeline was just a young girl, her mother was killed under suspicious circumstances, and her father brought her to the St. Rose Convent to be raised under their protective care. Now, at 23, she has taken her vows and is happy with her simple, secluded existence with God.

Her life, however, suddenly becomes complicated when a young man comes to the Convent asking questions about an ancient artifact on behalf of his wealthy employer. Evangeline is compelled to help the man in his quest, and not only learns about the history of angels that exist among us on earth, but begins to connect the dots in her own past.

Trussoni builds a world that rivals those of Anne Rice, starting with the genesis of man and the fallen angels, the survival of the angelic species beyond the Great Flood, and their rise to power and fortune. These are not chubby little cherubs, but seductive yet deadly creatures that will stop at nothing to control humans and rule the earth. When their race is threatened by disease, a war begins over the one ancient item, more ancient than anything else on earth, that could save them from extinction.

My thoughts: I was immediately captivated by the legend created by Trussoni built on the foundations of Catholic church history, the Bible, and other religious texts. This web she weaved is far from fanciful. It is complex and thorough, and you can't help wanting to believe it all to be true. It was all explained in such a way that made complete sense, even to a good church-going girl like me. There was action, intrigue, mysteries, ancient texts, and suppressed accounts of harrowing explorations.

About 2/3 of the way through the story, however, it lost some of its gravitas and academia, and became a little Da Vinci Code-ish. Chasing clues, evading murderous angels, and racing against time. I think I inwardly groaned at this injection of Hollywood. It was just a little too much.

In the end, however, Trussoni does pull things together, throws in a juicy unexpected twist, and resists the temptation to wrap things up with a happily ever after. There is all kinds of potential for a sequel, although I'm not certain I want one.

A few words about the audio production: The narrator for this audiobook was Susan Denaker, a new voice for me. The was not the most expressive narrator, but she was an absolute master with accents, and lent the story authenticity. She seems to have been around the block as a narrator, with books of all genres.

4 out of 5 stars


13 comments:

Zibilee said...

Well, I had not heard much about this book other than reading Swapna's review, and after reading yours I think this is something I should read. I like the fact that there is so much world building, and can't help but be captivated by the killer angels. I do think I would also tend to shy away from the DaVinci Code aspects of the book, but from the sound of it, these aspects weren't overwhelming and didn't affect your enjoyment of the book. This sounds like a very interesting read, and one I should try to pick up.

There was a mini-series on Fox Family called Fallen about angels and the half human/half angel children left on earth that reminds me of this book. If you haven't seen that, you might enjoy it. I think you can get it on Netflix.

The Bumbles said...

Well this sounds fun and outside my normal reading box. I'll put it on my list. I like a little Da Vinci Code absurdity too so that piece is actually a draw for me.

bermudaonion said...

When this first came out I thought it sounded interesting, but the more I read about it, the more I think it's not for me.

Julie P. said...

I am still dying to read this. Why can't I ever seem to catch up?

heidenkind said...

I tried to read this last year but didn't like it at all. The writing style just didn't do it for me.

farmlanebooks said...

I thought this was OK. I think the audio might have made it slightly more enjoyable (as would having several hundred pages cut out!!) I'm pretty sure there is a sequel, but I don't think I'll be reading it.

Nymeth said...

I grew up on a steady diet of Anne Rice, and although I haven't enjoyed her more recent work the comparison was enough to perk my interest!

Jenners said...

Not sure this book is for me ...though I know what you mean about wanting things to be true like that.

Carrie K. said...

I really enjoyed this one on audio, too. According to the author's web site, she's working on the sequel, Angelopolis, right now.

Beth F said...

I absolutely loved this book until the last 45 pages or so. Then it got a bit too crazy. But still, I know I'll read the sequel.

caite said...

hmmm...just the mention of any DaVinci-ness is enough to keep me from picking it up.

Kathleen said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one soon for a TLC book tour. I've heard mixed reviews on this one but am feeling better after reading your review.

Alice Teh said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one too.