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Angelology, Danielle Trussoni

2011/11/11

Evangeline has lived in St. Rose Convent ever since she was a little girl; her days are spent in prayer, and in the library, sorting, filing and answering the Convent’s mail. When she opens a letter asking about a connection between a previous mother superior and a wealthy New York socialite, Evangeline responds with the standard form letter refusing any personal research at the convent and goes to file it away with the rest of the mail, but stops, curious to see if the letter holds any truth. Meanwhile, the wealthy Grigoris, who are of the strongest remaining Nephilim lineage, are searching for a cure to the wasting disease that has stricken their family, and, as history has proven, they will stop at nothing to find it. When their hired agent arrives at the door of Evangeline’s library, her seemingly simple life as a nun begins to unravel, and she discovers that her past may not be as ordinary as she thought it. Knowledge of history, science, theology, and the study of the angels and Nephilim known as angelology becomes critical as she seeks to find the truth. And if this all sounds a bit conspiracy-theory cliched, well, maybe it is.

Although the flashbacks and various historical accounts moved quickly and added to the main story, it was rather surprising when one of the characters noted that he had known the main character for only a day, making me realize how bulky the ancillary stories were to the primary plot. In addition, the novel stumbles to a quick close, which, while setting up a sequel, leaves much to be desired. However, as an example of contemporary science fiction blended with urban fiction (New York City and its landmarks play an important role), this is an engaging novel; if Madeleine L’Engle were writing science fiction today, I imagine it might look a little like this, especially the intersection of science, academia, and religion. It will also appeal to fans of Sharon Shinn’s Samaria series, although Trussoni’s angels are much more dangerous and less kindly.

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