Merrimon Book Reviews

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Prominent socialite and philanthropist

Saint Thomas Aquinas,  ( ca. 1225 –  1274)  Priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism

John Milton

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
by Danielle Trussoni

Hard to put down, leaves a reader wanting more
Evangeline, sister of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in New York state received a letter from a scholar requesting access to the convent's archives.  Although she intends to follow instructions and refuse his request, she herself checks and discovers a 1943 letter from Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior Innocenta of Saint Rose Convent.  Further research reveals that all is not as it appears on the surface.  Throughout time, an epic conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the Nephilim, the eeriely beautiful children of angels and humans, rages and St. Rose Convent is a key bulwark in the fight against evil.  Will Evangeline be able to discover the mystery behind Abigail Rockefeller's letters in enough time to save herself, the convent and perhaps the world itself?

ANGELOLOGY is a fast-paced thriller, despite its length, laced with hints of biblical lore, mythology (especially the Orpheus myth), literature, secret codes, and history.  Most fascinating is Danielle Trussoni's ability to weave together epic and familial drama in a thriller with spiritual and personal ramifications in the fight of good against evil.  The characters, especially Evangeline and the Grigori family, drive the story forward and yet, at times, the most intriguing glimpses feel more like teasers for more details and stories to come, stories that do not come to fruition in this novel.  As a medieval enthusiast, this reader enjoyed discovering the imaginative ways she drew upon medieval history, joining widely divergent figures and historical periods in a framework that heightened the epic sense of time.  The ending has several delightful unexpected twists.  ANGELOLOGY is a very hard book to put down once started and yet it leaves a reader wanting more.  Also appreciated is the author's drawing on historical references to angels and the distinctions made between a simplistic modern feel-good fascination with angels and the author's more dynamic depiction of angelology. 

The emotional and poetic power of ANGELOLOGY centers around the mysterious early histories of Evangeline's family and the Grigori family.  These both need more development, at the very least in another book or two, for the narrative to have the full effect.  At moments, a reader feels emotionally drawn to the present day plight of the Nephilim.  How much more effective would their chilling power over the characters be if the author had developed them even more, allowing the reader to know them more closely!  Even at twice the length, this reader would have remained glued to the pages.  Indeed, at twice the length, with more details and characterization, this book would have been a book that haunts one's imagination for years to come.  Forgoing that, a prequel or two are a must.

Publisher: Viking (March 9, 2010)
Author website

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Review Courtesy of Amazon Vine
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