Angelology, written by Danielle Trussoni, was a refreshing break from the YA science fiction and fantasy I read on a regular basis. Steeped in history and loaded with accurate religious references, Angelology was a well-researched literary ride that, at its core, is one heck of a fascinating adventure.
Evangeline, a Catholic nun of twenty-three, gets a request from a researcher to access the convent’s historical documents to gather information for a client. He’s investigating letters exchanged between the Mother superior running things during World War II and none other than Abigail Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller’s wife. What starts out as a seemingly simple request for information soon becomes much more, as Evangeline learns why this old connection is so important, and why this is information now being sought after.
Evangeline becomes thrust into the world of the Angelologists, a group of people over the millennia who have fought in secret to prevent humanity’s downfall. The enemy? Nephilim, beings who are half-angel, half human, able to blend in enough not to be obviously discovered, but powerful enough to weld serious control and influence over those around them.
These letters contain vital information, truth to secrets that would change the balance of the world forever. The enemy wants them, and the Angelologists will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening. Evangeline is stuck in the middle, and as she learns more and more, she starts to discover that her involvement is more than just circumstantial; these interactions have shaped her life, both present and past, and could change her future completely.
As I read the above description, even though it accurately describes the story, it doesn’t really explain it, not really. There are so many wonderful layers, twists, and turns that are really what make this book a winner. The story jumps from the point of view of different characters, from the nuns to the investigator, the villain to the Angelologists. The entire middle section of the book is a flashback to the time of World War II and the events that occurred then, which have completely dictated what direction the people in the present must take. I really enjoyed this part of the book. A lot of the characters described in detail at this point had been mentioned in some fashion prior to this, and it was great to learn more about them. It was also cool to see them from different eyes, seeing those who are known as good as not-so-perfect, and seeing the enemy as flawed and relatable. Trussoni’s character development was fantastic, and it was my favorite part of the story.
I can’t leave out mentioning the religious details though. The author did a year of research, and it shows. So much of the story was accurate, and she weaved fact and fantasy so seamlessly that sometimes it was hard to tell what truth and what was invented. It added an element of credibility and believability to the story that at times made me feel like I was reading a memoir and not a fiction book.
I did see the ending coming, and the only complaint I have is that a few of the big surprises, to me, were obvious in coming. But that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy getting to the point where these truths were revealed. And honestly, I liked the things I discovered, even if I had had a sneaking suspicion beforehand.
Excellent, excellent book. Such a nice read, so different from what I was expecting (the cover made me think, at a glance, that it was just another angel-human romance story). If religious-based fiction is up your alley, you have to give Angelology a look-see. It was so much more than I was expecting, and that is a great thing, as it turned out to be one of the most interesting books I’ve read in recent history.
Want more? I had the pleasure of participating in a web-chat with the author, so check it out!