Book Report: Angelopolis

Angelology Angelopolis

What’s the buzz?: When author Danielle Trussoni released her debut novel Angelology back in 2010, it rode in on wave of hype – with seven publishing houses vying for the book (and two movie houses afterward), eyes and ears were definitely perked up in anticipation of this sweeping work of myth-based fiction. The first book in the series combined past and ‘present’ events to explore the world of Angelologists – a group dedicated to studying angels and their half-human offspring, the Nephilim. Essentially it centered on 3 generations of a particular family – the Valkos – and their involvement with angelology, spurred on by a young nun named Evangeline that was given to an abbey at a young age and is now curious about her lineage. Now three years later, a second book in the series – Angelopolis – has been released, allowing readers to continue on the journey with Evangeline and her lovestruck partner-in-crime Verlaine, after the major reveal at the tail end of Book 1.

What’s the story?: Surprisingly this book picks up a whole decade after the first one. Verlaine hasn’t laid eyes on Evangeline since the last encounter we see them have in Angelology, but he certainly hasn’t forgotten about her. Then again, he’s been a little busy training to become an Angelologist himself, and under the tutelage of his mentor Bruno, has quickly risen to the top of the society’s ranks. When Verlaine and Evangeline finally cross paths again, the results are electric and impactful – involving faked deaths, elaborate chases, and full-on battles in the streets of Paris. The rest of the book moves forward at a rapid-fire pace based on their meeting; Verlaine, Bruno, and an angeology historian named Vera are tasked with solving a bizarre puzzle laid out for them by Evangeline’s long-deceased mother that involves the lost ‘Imperial’ Faberge eggs of Russia, the biblical story of Noah, and a book of pressed flowers that was once in the possession of the Grand Duchesses and Rasputin.

Does the book have a particular vibe?: Admittedly, Trussoni’s style is a little perplexing. I read Angelology back when it first came out, and each of the three core sections had an incredibly different tone and setup – from a slow, character-based study to a historical account told entirely through letters to a fast-paced Dan Brown-esque clue-based adventure story. In her second novel, Trussoni seems to have righted the ship to head down a specific direction – a mixture of fast-paced action with an insanely in-depth exploration of the ‘world’ and mythology of angels that Trussoni has created. Large, large portions of the book focus on this mythology, dominating the bulk of the story’s dialogue. Meanwhile the adventure sequences in between keep the story moving, motivating the reader to try and connect the mythological dots along the ride. The perspective of each chapter changes, giving you access to a pretty widespread cast (about a half-dozen new characters join in this time around), and even then there are still a few surprising historical interjections told through letters and video.

So, what makes it worth reading?: I’ll say this for Trussoni’s books – they are quite unlike any others I’ve read. While I think her style is a little jarring (the pace speeds ahead too quickly in some spots, then goes extremely in-depth on historical points in others) it manages to pull off the fait accompli of being both high-brow literary and action-packed thrilling. Rest assured, this book rarely (if ever) comes off like a silly fantasy novel loaded with cliches and sappy romance. Because the focus is so heavy on the history and world-building, it’s honestly feels so grounded in ‘reality’ (the number of people posited to be Nephilim is astounding) that sometimes it’s hard to classify it as a fantasy or science fiction story.

Who should read this book?: Angelopolis (and to a lesser degree, Angelology) most specifically reminded me of a book I read quite awhile ago called The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber, which loosely speaking, involves a hunt for a lost / undiscovered Shakespeare manuscript. It was very much in line with the wildly popular (moreso at the time) Dan Brown / Robert Langdon thrillers, but with a much more sophisticated voice and style. The same general vibe is applicable here, only with a fantastical element. Beyond that, if you read Angelology, I can say this book is an improvement over that original entry into the series – whether or not you liked it, expect the best parts of it to be the focal point of this second chapter. And to that end, I STRONGLY recommend giving Angelology a reread before diving into Angelopolis if you read it all those years ago.

As per usual, I’m bequeathing a few of you with today’s featured titles. In fact, five readers are going to get their hands on both Angelology AND Angelopolis. Here’s how to enter:

1) Leave a comment by May 13th telling me why you’d love to read these fun books.

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around May 14th to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: If you’re on Goodreads, add these two titles to your to-read list, throw me a link to it in the comments below, and score two bonus entries.


48 Responses to “Book Report: Angelopolis”
  1. Hannah says:

    I read the Patch & Nora books on your recommendation so admittedly I’ve got a love for angels now! I’d love to read a more “grown-up” story.

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Sounds like these books would make really interesting reading. I am an avid reader and constantly have a book in my hand, I will read anything & everything. Even if I don’t actually enjoy a specific book, I will read to the end – I can’t just drop it.

  3. These are on my wish list. Yahoo. I have heard good things about these and look forward to reading them.

  4. mousecat says:

    These books sound really interesting. I’m on the waiting list to get the first one from the library. It would be great to have the books and be able to read one right after the other!

  5. Juliee says:

    The books sound like they are something I would really like to read

  6. kittypride says:

    Love books that encourage the belief in angels!

  7. cookie3 says:

    I am in search of a different type of book from what I’ve been reading, which are psychological or medical mysteries. These books sound as though they might fill the bill.

  8. photomum says:

    I read Angelology and loved the book.The book was so authentic in the description of angels,that it was so beleivable.

  9. I haven’t read either of these, but I’ll definitely add them to my to-read list. I love any sort of supernatural tale, and these have an original sounding twist.

  10. Audrey Skinner says:

    I love reading about angels and I think these 2 books would be a great read for the summer.

  11. Bex says:

    I love love love the Da VInci Code and those books, if this is the same I’d totally be interested!

  12. Taps says:

    I am a big fan of mythology.. Which i see these books as..

  13. Chantelle says:

    I would love to read these books because I love to read and I’m always looking for an amazing author to add to my favorites.

  14. Evan says:

    I’d love to read these books as spring season is here, and it’s always fun to wind down a warm night with a good book (or music). Helps mellow you out. Thanks.

  15. vanessa foster says:

    sounds interesting I would love to read and share with my bf…… I have a couple collections even graphic novels lots of fun thanks

  16. Linda Peters says:

    have not read these, but have seen some reviews that make them interesting, thanks for the chance

  17. michelle tremblett says:

    I would love to read these, I have joined the wait list at my neghbourhood library…. it is a longgg longgggg wait list :/

  18. Joan G says:

    I’m an avid reader and always looking for interesting books.

  19. GARRY S says:

    heard they were worth reading

  20. Sherease MacCraken says:

    I heard about these books and that they are very good! I would love to read them both!

  21. Jessica says:

    I would love to have these books to give to my husband, as he is an avid reader.

  22. Anne Derkat says:

    Sound really interesting. Am always looking for new interesting authors

  23. Carol Oddy says:

    Would love to check out these two books, am always looking for a different read. I always carry a book around with me when leaving the house, love to read!

  24. Alison K says:

    I’d love to read these fun books ‘cos I couldn’t put down Dan Brown when I got my hands on them. Danielle Trussoni’s books sound like they would be the same … just one more page before bed only to say that many hours later. Can’t wait. Thanks 🙂

    Bonus entry: put them on my shelf …

  25. Andrea says:

    I love discovering authors that are new to me and reading new books. These look like something I could immerse myself in

  26. Debbie Petch says:

    I love fantasy books. And I love reading them!

  27. Debbie Petch says:

    I have put both my books on my shelf in Goodreads! mysticmisha at hotmail dot com

  28. Diane Brunet says:

    I have these on my get them and read them list. I’d love to win these and add them to my collection.

  29. Sean Pynaert says:

    I want to read them because they look different from everything else out there.

  30. Annette Chai says:

    I have read a number of historical, religious & spiritual books about angels, and am curious about these fictional novels. I would love to read them to see how the angel mythos has been incorporated into contemporary literature.

  31. Quinn says:

    I love angels so Im sure I’ll love these books.

  32. Greta says:

    I’m a Russian studies major believe it or not so Angelopolis sounds particularly intriguing.

  33. Crystal Kordalchuk says:

    I have a strong love for angels byt my best friend even more so. Would love to be able to share these with her!

  34. Susan says:

    I loved Dan Brown’s books, so would probably enjoy these two titles as well!

  35. Marlene J says:

    This looks like an interesting read – would be great with a glass of wine on a patio in the spring/summer during time off.

  36. mindingearth says:

    I’d like to read these because I’m always on the look out for good books and these sound interesting.

  37. Crystal Englot says:

    I have heard some of my friends mention how the first book was absolutely a must read, I have to admit that I did not read it though. I would love to win to see why all my friends are raving about this author

  38. Crystal Englot says:

    Added both of these books to my Goodreads “to read” list

  39. Linda A says:

    I am an avid reader and they both sound like something I would enjoy reading.

  40. Ali Grotkowski says:

    They both seem like intriguing reads. As a library school student exposing myself to different styles of writing is key to being able to do reader’s advisory properly.

  41. Bex says:

    I love myth books or fantasy books, so this is probably a great series for me.

  42. Chloe says:

    I love angels – my mom always loved angels and I’d love to share these books with her for mom’s day.

  43. Sarah says:

    I’d love to read these books because I love books with a bit of history to them and these books have that!

  44. diane p says:

    I’d love to read these books because they sound really interesting. Thanks.

  45. Carol A. says:

    These books look like good reads. Love books about Angels.

  46. Latesha says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I should check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward
    to looking over your web page yet again.

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