When I opened Angelology by Danielle Trussoni, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It looked like a good read, but nothing in the blurb had me jumping up and down to get into it immediately. When the book turned out to be a great read, I was pleasantly surprised.
Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.
For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.
I’m usually a person who goes straight for the action packed books. Ones that have a lot of fight sequences and explosions. Angelology isn’t that type of book, but once I got into the story I forgot that I was ever looking for that type of book in the first place. In this one, the Angelologists fight with their intelligence instead of with strength. It’s steeped in Biblical lore and history about angels and the children of angels and humans, called nephilim. The plot constantly had me guessing; whenever I thought I knew where something was going, that idea was thrown on its head.
Evangeline was likable enough, if not a bit boring. Her personality was a bit bland, but her history was rich and interesting. Although, her relationship with Verlaine was odd. Within the first couple of meetings. Verlaine was thinking about spending the rest of his life with Evangeline. When two people fall immediately in love it always bothers me, and this was no different.
My favorite character by far was Celestine. Her competitive friendship with Gabrielle was great to read. The history of Angelology was told through Celestine’s point of view. A top student of Angelology during World War II, she was deeply involved in the recovery of an important weapon that could tip the balance in the war between humans and Nephilim. I felt like she had the best story of everyone, and discovering all the secrets of angelology through her eyes was vivid.
The ending was abrupt, and left me with a lot of questions that I hope to get answered in the next book. However, the biblical lore and history were fascinating to read. The characters, at times, felt secondary next to the story, but they were able to hold their own. With mystery, ancient battles, and secret societies, Angelology should appeal to a lot of people. I enjoyed it, and I’ll be looking forward to the next book.