Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Rich and complex.

The first hundred pages or so were compelling and interesting and I couldn't wait to see how everything fit together.  Danielle Trussoni created a fascinating world of New York city, full of fallen angels, centuries-old secrets, and a religious sect so vivid I can only wonder how much more there could be to know.

Unfortunately, after that first hundred pages, there was so much information that I found myself lost.  I had a hard time reading through the theology lectures and excerpts from texts written in riddles.  References to the bible and mythology made me dizzy and left me wondering if I wasn't intellectual enough for the novel.  I blamed myself for my own confusion while trying to disseminate what was important to the plot and what was background.

The pace slowed considerably about half way into the book, and I felt myself wanting to skim.  As you all well know...I don't skim.  Instead, I took a break from Angelology.

After a short break, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the novel, I picked up Angelology.  I'm glad I came back to it.  My own impatience most likely came from my love affair with Young Adult paranormal fiction - fast-paced, instant gratification, not usually requiring a lot of brain power.  Angelology welcomed me into the adult's world of paranormal fiction. 

Beautifully written, with vivid characters and meaty historical, mythical and biblical references, Angelology is a book that is meant to be savoured, not devoured. 

There may not be a lot of action in the overall storyline, but every word uttered, every glance stolen, had meaning.  There was subtlety and restraint coupled with a rich and extensive history.  Epic is the word that comes to mind.

Once I was in the right frame of mind to bring my own patience to reading Angelology, I was rewarded with a complex, rich novel. 

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.

About the Book:
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (February 22, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143118463
ISBN-13: 978-0143118466

About the Author

DANIELLE TRUSSONI is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and author of the memoir Falling Through the Earth, named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year in 2006 by the New York Times Book Review. She splits her time between the United States and France.

Visit Danielle on the web at and You can also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter

TLC Book Tours
Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and Penguin for inviting me to review this book and be a part of this book tour.
Angelology TLC Book Tour Page


bermudaonion said...

I'm glad this worked for you - I'm still not sure it's the book for me.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Rich and complex is the perfect way to describe this book in so few words! I can understand why you felt the need to pull away from the story until you were in the right mood. I did something similar and ended up enjoying it even more than I thought I would!

Cozy in Texas said...

Interesting - the cover looks a bit creepy though.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This is another one I have yet to read. I want to though :)

heathertlc said...

I'm glad you gave this one a second chance - it sounds like it was really worth it in the end.

Thanks for being on the tour Alie!

Irene Jennings said...

I had first come across reference to this book in an Amazon List and was intrigued. I was delighted to have been offered an advance proof for review. Now that I've read it, I feel privileged to have been one of the early readers and am looking forward to additional books from this gifted author. I highly recommend it.

Irene (Website link to Dallas Fort Worth Knee Doctor DFW Spine & Joint)

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