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3.9 out of 5 stars69
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2013
While Angelopolis is disappointingly only half the size of Angelology and at times feels rushed, I still really enjoyed this book. It was great to delve deeper into this rich and thought provoking world that Danielle Trussoni is creating. I enjoyed meeting the new characters and those only mentioned in the first book partially, although I felt at the cost of the main two, Verlaine and Evangeline.
The cliff-hanger was surprising and left me wanting more. Let's hope the third book comes out quicker than this one.
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on 29 May 2014
I loved the first book, which had a great story line as well as some interesting spiritual connotations.

Angelopolis by contrast was a massive disappointment. The whole booked felt 'rushed' somehow - and generally badly written. Interesting that there was no 'hype' about this book, the way there had been with the first one. Almost as if the publishers knew it wasn't up to scratch. I don't recall seeing it in any bookshops and only knew it had been published because a friend had spotted it on Amazon. I felt no empathy with any of the characters, which was a real shame as the first book was building on that nicely.

The story lines that could have gone somewhere really interesting (eg Noah) were glossed over but the vast majority of the story (particularly the bits about the Romanovs and eggs in general) was just plain daft. I'm not sure I'll bother with the 3rd book in this series (whenever that may come out). Danielle Trussoni is going to have to buck up her ideas to get my interest back!
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on 8 July 2013
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the prequel 'Angelology', I was eager to get my hands on this second part of the story. Quite frankly, the story doesn't develop much, until the last few pages when things start to hot up. Don't know if I'll bother with part 3. However, this is only my personal opinion, so if it takes your fancy don't be put off by what I've said.
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on 14 May 2013
When Angelology was released back in 2010, Danielle Trussoni became an instant hit, and before long her debut urban fantasy novel charted on the New York Times bestseller's list. It was an original concept; a secret group that hunted the entire Earth for fallen angels, before these mythical beings started to gain the upper hand in an age-old war that has plagued mankind for thousands of years. It introduced us to a nun, a Sister Evangeline, who learnt of her secret past with the help of Verlaine, a man who had been working for an elite angel family, desperately searching for a cure that had plagued the high Nephilim family. Its Christian lore, clandestine mysteries and historical retelling captivated me and I instantly fell in love with this unheard of author. Angelopolis is the follow-up, and promises much more intrigue `against an astonishing fresh tableau of history and science.'

Angelopolis returns us to the action ten years after the ending of its predecessor. The two star-crossed heroes couldn't be leading more different lives. Evangeline is living her life evading a sinister, evil Enim angel, Eno, who is hell-bent on killing her, and Verlaine has progressed to be one of the top angelologists in recent years. That is until fate intervenes and the two lovers inevitably cross each other's path once more. Eno is on Evangeline's scent and before an intense fight ensues, Evangeline manages to pass a decorated egg onto the chasing hunter, before submitting to the Enim angel and is flown out of sight. The story progresses with Verlaine and his mentor, Bruno, who must unravel the mysteries of the Faberge egg, which leads them on a well-hidden quest from Paris to Russia, and to the Rhodope Mountain range and Siberia. Evangeline's true origins come to life and the true mission of Noah, Keeper of the Animals, is revealed. And what is this Angelopolis that is mentioned - a safe-haven for Angels, a Garden of Eden on Earth for Angels?

When I first read that ten years had passed from book to book, I was a little dismayed - what had happened to Evangeline? But thankfully, as I read on, Danielle Trussoni does a wonderful job at filling in the blanks along the way. And actually, it was really great to see Verlaine a more ambitious and manly character, compared to his rather meek personality in the previous book. He knows what course his life is now moving in, and he's happy to be a part of the secret world of Angels. This gives way to a brilliant set of action scenes throughout the book; fights, building scaling, explosions - you name it, it's all in here. And brilliantly structured too.

One of the highlights of Angelology was how Trussoni switched from the past to the present, and although it is understandably not the case in here, what she masters, is the switching of character viewpoint. Whether it is the rather eager Verlaine, the more mature Bruno, the intriguing Vera or the cold and lost Evangeline, we get to see the world in different perspectives, which is an extraordinary feat in itself. And plus, when we are following the quest of Vera to the Black Sea coast, we really delve deep into the true biblical lore that Trussoni excels at. Sometimes, a story doesn't need strong action to make the book thrilling, just the retelling of history and mythology we all think we know, to be turned on its head and shock us, well is just as exciting. Amazingly, this book has both! The little cameo appearances of characters such as Sneja (from Angelology) also delight.

But what really lies at the heart of this book is the revealing of secrets among History that all leads to Evangeline. It's a story about her lineage, her genealogy, and it's an impressive one at that. She's been lied to, tricked, deceived some more, and the reader feels the full brunt of these revelations. We feel for Evangeline, and we can easily sympathise with how alone and adrift she must feel. Ironically, the book is mostly about her, but Sadly, Evangeline doesn't appear half as much as I'd like in here.

It's plain to see that a book with angels in it is going to be classed as fantasy, and I suppose urban fantasy is more apt. It is however, strange to feel so at one with the book, as if everything that happens is in fact reality. This is a real gift, and one that we probably take for granted as readers. But fantasy it is, and quite humorously Trussoni evens borders the extreme. There is one moment in the book where she strongly suggests that Queen Victoria was of Nephilim lineage; the angel-human hybrid that sits at the top of the angel hierarchy, albeit apart from the Watchers.

What I really love about Danielle Trussoni's novels however, is her ability to write, the language she uses and the structure she forms her chapters into. I find her writing so romantic and very readable. I often found myself reading the book out loud because I found that had an even larger effect on me. Her sentences aren't incredibly simple; instead they elaborate profusely and build up the imagery sentence by sentence, and I could in fact read her work all day long. It isn't quite as extreme as literary, but overly simple like commercial. Even when she writes of genetics, Russian history, biblical mythology, she does so with such respect for each field, and still writes as if she is in fact a master of those subjects herself.

I so wanted this to be perfect, but sadly just like her first novel, there were small elements that I couldn't ignore. In Angelology it was the ending, in Angelopolis is was the ... well, ending of sorts. A banging cliff-hanger awaits us again, which is fine, but it was so abrupt, I was ready to read another 100 pages or so. A common criticism I have found with readers is that this book is incredibly short, and although I don't necessarily agree, I do think it could have been a little longer. Also, and I do realise that I'm probably going to counter my own argument from above now, but there was one particular line I absolutely hated. It just didn't read, or feel like Danielle Trussoni. It was thoughtless and completely not needed. A chapter quite late in starts: `Verlaine stepped into a narrow bathroom ... After taking a piss, he turned ...' - for me, the fact that he needed to urinate wasn't vital to the point she was making, and the colloquial term of piss doesn't match the romantic wording aforementioned.

Despite the Hardback edition being quite hard for me to get a hold of, Angelopolis takes a proud place on my bookcase. It is a fast, tense, interesting, bold, revealing and mythical sequel that reintroduces us to some brilliant characters, as well as introducing us to some fierce and spunky new ones. Her malevolent antagonist, Eno, is wonderfully created and adds touches of spiciness to this already powerful story. The history of the Russian Tsars is captivating, and on the whole her powerful imagery bring alive the romance of Paris, the seductive St. Petersburg and the otherworldly, yet familiar landscape of the Rhodope Mountains. If biblical lore interests you, if you are a fan of adult fantasy that differs from the densely packed genre of elves, dwarves and wizards, if you love a slightly retelling of history, although still keeping the realistic tension of the times, then Angelopolis is exactly the right read for you. Although, I'd strongly recommend the first in the series first, because undoubtedly both Angelology and Angelopolis are just the start of a much bigger story. I guarantee you that there are probably still more twists and turns to come that will shock us even further.
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on 10 August 2015
I admire the writer so I'll try to be fair. Just note these comments are personal to me;
What works - Begins well as we'd had a taster in the first book, some detailed narrative regarding the Faberge' and Czarist connections, beginnings of some character development e.g. Verlaine having an affair in the past with Vera and his son/father relationship with Bruno, historical background and biblical references, beginnings of the development of pseudo-angels caste system, surprising trip into Russia.
What doesn't work - more spy and espionage than syfi with irritating scene shifting as if written for a TV/film script (am I being cynical? Think not!), leaving some characters in mid-air e.g. Grigori matriarch on a train and seeing her described briefly as a "toad" -why? Not enough description and when there is it duplicates what has already been written by putting it in a slightly different way. Intelligence is insulted as I thinks I can understand that a rusty old Zid is not a Ducati. More mid-air stuff; How did the twins end up inside the prison? Why is the Russian Angelologist, Vera, left inside the mountain with a Watcher? Very dissatisfactory ending i.e. Evangeline flying off with her Dad and the phial and Verlaine vowing to kill her... er... why? Poor editing didn't help either.
I read on only because I'd paid for the copy. If it had been a library book I'd have taken it back early. Very sad as the writer has talent.
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on 24 November 2014
I don’t think this was as good as the first book. It was still good but there are things I would have liked to have been done different.

Firstly, we don’t get to see much from Evangeline. Considering she was the protagonist for the majority of the first book I found it a little disappointing to only have two small chapters from her POV in this one. Most of the story is told by Verlane who is now a full blown Angelologist, hunting angels in France.

And don’t get me wrong, I liked Verlane’s chapters. But the other chapters were filled in by Verlaine’s boss, and another angelologist they meet in Russia. But given the bomb shell we found out about Evangeline at the end of Angelology I just thought that it would have been nice to hear more from her… to see how she has been coping with her new life.

I did think that this was a very well written book – history wise – like with the first book, most of the storyline involves delving back into the history of Angelologists and angels and discovering secrets, solving mysteries and following Verlane on his quest to find Evangeline who has been kidnapped. The only niggle I had about this was that some chapters were a little too complicated and I started to forget details about the history and would have to go back and re read bits to try and keep up.

There isn’t a whole lot of action, but action isn’t really what these books are about and frankly, it’s not needed. However, for the small amount of action that is involved I did really enjoy this, it gives a very nice climatic ending and made the last few chapters really exciting.

The ending was very similar to the first book, in that not everything is resolved and one of the last lines from Verlane is a promise to do something very shocking. Which must mean that there is to be a third book at some point.

If you’ve read the first book then I would recommend picking this one up but I just wouldn’t expect it to have the same greatness as the first book.
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on 4 December 2013
Had none of the subtleties of Angelology more of an over packed action adventure although some of the story was intriguing just not as a satisfying read.
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on 1 June 2014
I waited a long time to read this: 'Angelology' had been thrilling, with characters who engaged me, even the vile Percival. There was something Dan Brown, something Elizabeth Kostova in the exploration of the Rhodope mountains, and the shift to Eastern Europe and Russia in this sequel was everything I had hoped for. Obviously the main premise is beyond belief, but we don't read these novels for their realism, do we?
Verlaine is the more fully developed character and if I have one disappointment, it was that having cared about Evangeline in the first book, there was nothing from her point of view in this second book. I am hoping (begging,even) that Trussoni will remedy this in the third book. For a third there must surely be. There's so much 'angel' stuff out there, largely romantic slush for teenagers, that a real thriller angel masterpiece is something to treasure, with as many surprises as a Faberge egg. Read it, return to 'Angelology', then read it again and savour!
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on 21 April 2013
Ugh. Where to begin?

I was always in two minds about Angelology. On the one hand I really loved the concept of the world, and had a fondness for the main characters Evangeline and Verlaine, but a rubbish ending (when there was no promise of a sequel to follow) made me feel it was just overall poorly executed.

Then I read this and redefined my idea of what poorly executed means.

It's as if this wasn't edited at all. Like the publishers received a terrible manuscript and thought: what the hell, it will sell anyway. The story is rushed, the characters motivations a mystery and there are some dreadful continuity errors.

It's very frustrating because this could have been good. Like in Angelology you have the continent hopping excitement of a Dan Brown-esque adventure novel. Trussoni has clearly done her research on ancient traditions and histories and her interweaving of her own angelic mythology into our real history is clever and satisfying. But then it's clumsily regurgitated by an academic character who just decides to launch into a monologue on ancient Russia with no regard for time pressures or raging battles.

And the battles aren't that exciting either. Everything seems rushed. Even the final payoff of Evangeline and Verlaine's relationship is summed up in a sentence before both characters inexplicably turn to completely the opposite line of thinking to what they had displayed throughout the rest of the book.

Overall, I was left both confused and disoriented by poor transitions, rushed scenes, brushed over revelations and a load of historical info-dumping that, while interesting, rarely did anything to move the story forwards. I couldn't even tell you what it was really about. Except it had something to do with some flowers and a Faberge egg...

Such a disappointment.

Rating: 1.5/5
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on 28 November 2013
I awaited the sequel with relish as I had thoroughly enjoyed the prequel Angelology as the premis is fascinating. I finished reading Angelopolis last night and my last thought was really? really!? The book is shorter and rushed. This might have something to do with the rumour that there is a film in the offing. That would certainly account for some of the more 'interesting' scenarios in the book and the, frankly, baffling ending that leaves the story wide open for a third book. Character motivation is all over place and that has nothing to do with adding suspense - it was just too hurriedly written. I'm trying to decide whether I need to read it again because I honestly wonder if I missed something along the way that would make more sense to the storyline. However, there is a nagging voice telling me I'll find nothing so enlightening.... Such a pity - it could have been great!
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