Friday, June 22, 2012

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Title: A Temptation of Angels
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Dial Book for Young Readers
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Pages: 435 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: book trailer | author website

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance.

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.


New rule: I will immediately say no to any novels with a mention of a love triangle in the jacket copy from this day forth. The only way I shall reconsider a novel is if trusted friends heap praise upon it (which is what pushed me to read the magnificent Unearthly by Cynthia Hand despite love triangle presence in the jacket copy) or if I've already started the series and may as well finish it. Why am I making this rule now? The misses far outnumber the hits and after coming off one novel with an irritating love triangle, rebounding with A Temptation of Angels was not a good idea. A lack of tension, stock characters, and a heroine whose split affections annoyed me sunk a promising novel.

Zink's writing style has a Dramatic flair to it, one I enjoyed and loved no matter how much the content of the story annoyed me. It was wordier than most prose, but it was just enough to give it a deliciously formal feel. It it had been much more, I would have called it purple and become more irritated than I already was.

The world of Keepers, descendants of the original angels assigned to guard Earth, and the Legion (demons and such; Lucifer leads them) was of great interest to me and I was sad to see it wasn't expanded on very much. The way Keepers were trained as children for their lifelong duty with games like Find the Way Out and other such little things that made sense once they knew the truth impressed me. If I had to pick something out, I'd say that was the best detail of the novel.

For all the good ideas and Dramatic prose A Temptation of Angels has to offer, there isn't much else I like about it. The characters are flat and uninteresting, stock at best; I couldn't have cared less if everyone died during the climactic scene. On that topic, with thirty pages left in the novel and the book entrenched in its climactic scene, I found myself unable to care about anything. I could have put the book down and never picked it up again and I wouldn't have had one problem with leaving it unfinished so close to the end. Uneven pacing had me hooked for the first one-hundred pages of the novel, but the next two-hundred or so bored me before it got back on track.

As I'm sure you figured out if you read my personal rule above, I don't like love triangles. I like them even less when one of the love interests has wronged the heroine pretty badly (like, say, giving the order to have her parents killed by burning to death in their home) and she falls in love with him anyway. I'm sorry, but... You know what? I'm not sorry. That disgusts me on a pretty deep level. "He killed my parents, but I'm going to fall in love with him!" Really? It reminds me of a series by another author where one of the heroine's love interests was a guy who kidnapped and tortured her twice. Ick ick ick!

And on another note, one of my greater pet peeves in a novel? When an author gives a character a Russian last name such as Baranova but does not follow the system that comes with Russian surnames, which makes the spelling change with a person's gender. A male in that family would be a Baranov; a female in that family would be a Baranova. Andrei and Raum Baranova are not female, so their surnames should be Baranov.

So yeah, I'm going to start following my new personal rule. Like, right now. Right? (Oh please, let me follow the rule this time unlike the last time I instituted it! I don't want to keep putting myself through the pain!)

2 stars!

What am I reading next?: When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

1 comment:

  1. I hate it when authors don't fully research the background of their characters D: Plot holes suck. I've tagged you in the Liebster Blog Award, if you want to check it out :)


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