Friday, March 12, 2010

Angels and Free Men


I have an issue. My issue is if a novel is about a war between angels and humans isn't that a super natural novel or horror or fantasy novel? It certainly isn't a regular boy meets girl or family builds business or pioneers settle in Kansas or parent loses child or spy verses cabal or allies verses Nazis fiction, correct? The fantastical element of angels on Earth takes this novel away from the realistic wouldn't you say? I would and I do and yet there is no mention of this description in any of the information coming from the publisher. Why I wonder? Is this another instance of Atwood-itis? We aren't supposed to acknowledge that Margret Atwood writes science fiction occasionally because that wouldn't be literary. The snobby side of this is off my chest and that makes me feel better and ready to discuss Angelology by Danielle Trussoni.

Angelology is not about good angels. Don't read this title and imagine Raphael's adorable cherubs pondering the world  or picture those cute little Fiorucci angels--with or without the sun glasses. Neither of them is going to show up in this read.
  Genesis 6:5 it says "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them." That seems to be the spiritual starting point for what we are asked to believe in Angelology. That there are angels that mated with humans (and are still doing so) creating a race of Nephilim. For centuries these creatures have sought to dominate mankind and perpetuate war. Now however their numbers are dwindling and the commitment to the goals of their ancestors is weakening One family among them is determined to reignite the Nephilim's power over man and regain the purity of their race.

The Nepilim have been hunted by angelologists desperate to stop them for as long as they have existed. Into the fray comes Sister Evangeline. She is a convent raised (having unknown to her lost her parents in this struggel) 23 year old nun at St. Rose convent in upstate New York. Tusssomi spends a lot of time establishing the maturity, devotion and trustworthiness of Sister Evangeline but despite all that It happens. Evangeline, upon finding an intruder in the convent, experiences the not very inspired but classic Out Of Character Moment to which many thrillers fall pray. She does nothing to stop the intruder. Rather she helps him by giving him the vital information he seeks and that she promised a much respected elderly nun mere pages before not to reveal. ~~~Insert organ music here~~~Now the bond between hero and heroine is established and said heroine can join the fight. Despite this one lackluster moment for Evangeline and the author, Evangeline is an intelligent and compelling heroine worthy of our loyalty and reading devotion.

Trussoni does an terrific job in creating a complete mythology for Angelology. The writing is assured and controlled. The good guys and bad guys have fully realized histories, understandable motives and a great deal of charisma. The plot runs steadily along in spite of frequent stops for the back stories that add richness to the novel. Angelology is an exceptionally strong super natural thriller wrapped up in a very interesting epic. It has the ancient secrets of Catholic Church interest of The Name of the Rose and Da Vinci Code, the determination of the Innocent to understand her parents and family as in The Historian and the suspense of La Carre but it is no weak sister to those creations. Angeloloy has an inventiveness and attitude all it's own. DanielleTrussoni can write beautifully whether describing the life within a convent or a battle between titans. Bravo!

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