Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ANGELOLOGY by Danielle Trussoni

A few weeks ago, Michael Joseph, a UK imprint of Penguin, offered me a review copy of Danielle Trussoni's ANGELOLOGY. I agreed at once, as the book was on my TBR list already, first because of its massive auction and movie-rights deal, and second because its theme - that hybrid angelic beings walk among us - intrigued me. I've never been much for seraphs and cherubs; to me, angels have always been scary creatures, with those enormous statures and huge wings, and I was delighted to discover that Angelology satisfied my deepest fears.

Angelology combines the best of the traditional grand old novel with the suspense of a modern-day thriller, sweeping the reader up in its fantastic premise from the very first page. Once you start reading, you never want to leave this strange world again. It starts with the discovery in 1943 of the corpse of a Nephilim - a cross-breed between fallen angels and humans, which has evolved into a powerful race of beings who have infiltrated human society since Biblical times and wreaked havoc, garnering unassailable prestige and wealth in the process. Organized into a collection of distinctive dynasties with their own hierarchy and status symbols, disguised in plain view within our society, the Nephilim have been behind humanity's most tragic events; but now, in the 20th century, on the eve of the Millennium, they face a grave threat: a lethal virus, which is reducing their near-immortal lifespans and destroying their irreplaceable wings.

Working behind the scenes against the Nephilim since their beginning is a secret society of gifted, dedicated humans called angelologists. Descendants themselves of some of the world's greatest thinkers, they are devoted to hiding ancient artifacts that could bring about the Nephilim's salvation and grant them unstoppable power over the world. The angelologists have been involved in countless battles against Nephilistic beings throughout their long history, including two lethal expeditions into the mountains of Greece, where a deep gorge called the Devil's Throat contains a horrifying secret.

Veering from a convent in 20th-century upstate New York, where a young nun comes face-to-face with her family's legacy, to the perils of Nazi-occupied France, where two competitive angelological students are caught up in a struggle against the most powerful Nephilistic clan, Angelology is replete with fascinating theological, anatomical, and historical details that mythologize the origins of the Nephilim and their rise. Nevertheless, this neo-classical approach to its theme does not impede its hair-raising premise and genuinely creepy moments, which include a confrontation with a brutal warrior class of angels and a breath-taking plunge into a cavern.

Angelology is that rare book: an accomplished thriller that twists the confines of its genre into something unique, a thinking-person's tale that will keep you reading far into the night. To learn more about the book, the author and their world, please visit Danielle Trussoni's website.
Angelology is published by Viking Penguin in the U.S. and Michael Joseph Penguin in the UK.

(Author photo: Kailin Ruchev)

1 comment:

Marg said...

I borrowed this when my library first got it, but had to return it unread. I am planning to reborrow it in the not too distant future and hopefully get to read it this time as well.