Angels and human hybrids are in grave danger in Michelle L. Johnson’s Divinity. With the backdrop of modern day America, Johnson takes us to a world that is a mystical version of our own. Not only do angels exist but something is after their kin. A true coming to powers story, Divinity gives us comedy and tragedy during a modern day adventure.
When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she’s left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel. With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart. Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A’nwel and protect the family she never knew she had. What she doesn’t know is that Archangels have secrets too.
The story starts in a unique way, creating a woman who seems to have it all. This makes the first few chapters somewhat frustrating to read. The main character Julia isn’t quite endearing when she has the perfect boyfriend and dream career. Johnson takes us to the edge of finding Julia annoying to create conflict for her character – something the story sorely needed. After that, it’s a great race to the finish with fast paced writing and an imposing sense of plot urgency.
The characters of Divinity are neither a low point nor a high one. As I already mentioned, Julia is downright annoying in the first few chapters. Luckily she balances out and is realistically emotional. Every other character seems flat, having few characteristics or backstories. The one rising beacon is the Archangel Michael, a character with an odd sense of humor and wit. Unfortunately, Michael doesn’t really impress nor stay in the mind as a layered character. It is hard to see what his motivation is and what his future might hold. The one good aspect of this is that it makes him and the other angels feel somewhat more alien to the reader.
Plot choices are Johnson’s strong suit and all of my favorite aspects are these decisions. The evil creature, which is chasing after the children of angels, comes across as an evil Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy for the less dorky readers). This helps to make him visually imposing and clear in the reader’s mind. One of the saddest yet beautiful moments is a plot twist involving Julia’s best friend Charlie. It helps highlight the real notion of deep bonds that people create through the internet, knowing someone innately who you may have never met face to face.
The biggest downside is the beginning of the story and Johnson’s convenient use of time. Days or weeks pass without much happening and Johnson doesn’t really give us an overall sense of how much time has passed overall. Luckily this isn’t much of a factor and doesn’t hinder from most of the story.
Overall, the storyline and vibe outweigh the cons and Divinity turns out to be an entertaining light read. It may not be immersive nor particularly funny but the story is one that creates curiosity in the reader. Ultimately, I was glad that I had read Divinity and I’m curious to see what else Johnson comes up with.