July 2, 2010
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
The summary above from the publisher makes Angelology by Danielle Trussoni sound so promising and I had great hope that this would be a fantastic read, but unfortunately the novel did not live up to expectations. Albeit, maybe my expectations were too high. I won a a signed hardcover copy from Booklounge.ca and I had read S. Krisha's glowing review, so you can imagine I was quite excited to see its startling cover when it showed up in my mailbox. I thought Angelology would be something like The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, as S. Krishna described, and in a couple ways it was. Evangaline is a young nun of St. Rose's who is suddenly confronted by an almost unbelievable past through a series of letters and she must delve deeper into the clues left for her by her grandmother to determine her history and her destiny. Superficially similar to The Historian no doubt. Beyond the summary Angelology falls very short of the amazing work of fiction The Historian is.
I do give kudos to Ms. Trussoni for the interesting ideas involving Angelology and its intriguing historical content, as well as Angelologists and their eternal battle with the Nephilim. My mind was often left whirling from trying to absorb the unfamiliar but compelling concepts.
The novel is in three parts and changes focus from present day to historic day and back. I found the language staccato in places, mostly at the beginning, which made immersing in the story difficult at first. A portion of the book was about an Angelologist by the name of Celestine Clochette, set years before Evangaline's time, and included some historical writings by a Bishop on an Angelology mission. This section of the novel was truly interesting and engaging, I only wish the whole story was written this way. There were an abundance of characters in the novel, each with their own act, which detracted from the story because point of view switched between characters too often and left me unable to become engaged with any one character more than the other. This disconnect left me dissatisfied and feeling kind of left empty.
I am left with a couple of conclusions. The "heart" of the story seemed missing. Although the length of the novel at 464p (as compared to The Historian's 642p) seems average for most fiction novels, the switching from scene to scene to scene left me wanting more. There should have been much more description to enhance the erratic plot. "Scene to scene to scene" is the operative qualifier...Angelology reads more like a movie script rather than the novel it is, depleted of all the promise of what could have been a truly great story.
My Rating: 3.0
Gothic Fiction - Historical and Timeslip Favourites