Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Imagine, if you will, that the story in Genesis of children born to fallen angels and human women was true: after one passing reference in the Bible, these "giants," called Nephilim, disappeared from view. Or did they? Danielle Trussoni's Angelology explores the nefarious influence the Nephilim have had on history since the Flood, killing and oppressing with wanton and inhuman cruelty. To combat their hold on human civilization, scholars have obsessively studied the Nephilim, forming angelological societies dedicated to freeing humanity from Nephilistic control. At the center of this struggle is the Lyre of Orpheus, which originally belonged to Michael the Archangel, and which was given to the fallen angels in their prison beneath the Rhodopes Mountains in the Balkans. This celestial instrument has the power to manipulate matter, and in the hands of the Nephilim, it could cause unimaginable destruction. It's up to one young woman, a nun in a convent in upstate New York and heir to a long heritage of angelological families, to piece together the puzzle of the lyre's whereabouts and prevent the Nephilim from realizing their own devices.

I was very intrigued by the premise of the novel, and found myself quickly engrossed. The style and the narrative structure, making much use of flashbacks and epistolary features, are quite reminiscent of Elizabeth Kostova's novels, particularly The Historian. Ultimately, however, the climax of the novel feels rushed and the reader isn't given sufficient detail to clearly follow the final events. Points of view switch with abandon and there are no markers to guide the reader through the pivotal last pages of the story. That being said, if you prefer your books with nebulous finales and like to imagine for yourself the ultimate outcome, this book may be a good candidate for your list. Trussoni's world is fully realized and features compelling characters--for the most part.

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