Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

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Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 1.5/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: A mess of a book that doesn't do justice to the richly imaginative world that Trussoni created in her first novel. Rushed, info-dumpy and filled with continuity errors, this is a poor followup to what was a good, if flawed, first novel.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 320 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Viking
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0670785902

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Ten years after the events of Angelology, Verlaine is a fully fledged Angel hunter, one of the best. But something is holding him back that mentor Bruno can't understand. When Evangeline reappears in Verlaine's life, gifting him a Fabergé egg that will set him on a path to discovering what could be the ultimate weapon against the Nephilim, it awakens all the feelings he'd doubted for the past decade. Verlaine knows he's in love with Evangeline, and through everything else going on around him, he knows he has to find her and save her.

It's a good job this is considerably shorter than Angelology, because it's just a mess of a book, rather than a bloated mess of one that would have wasted considerably more hours of my time to read.

I kept reading, hoping it would get better and rekindle some of the better elements of Angelology, rather than continuing in the vein of the disappointing ending. But it was to no avail - the more I read of Angelopolis, the more bemused I got.

The story jumps from character to character, place to place, with no care for smooth transition, leaving me disoriented a lot of the time. Revelations are mostly told by other characters who apparently knew all this information vital to our heroes all along... It's lazy, lazy story telling. No good reason is given for the withholding of this information, and though I could forgive it once, it happens again and again.

Description is swapped out for massive info-dumps on historical events only vaguely relevant to the plot (origins of a helicopter, the only purpose of which is to fly the characters from one place to another, anyone?) and while certain characters may delight in the academia, I didn't come for a lecture on Russian history, but a story, thank you very much. It's like Trussoni swallowed a load of history books and regurgitated them with added angels.

I didn't understand the motivation of half the characters, not helped by the fact that a lot of major events (character deaths, betrayals etc.) happened 'off screen', remembered briefly by a character at the beginning of their POV section, but not witnessed first hand as it happened. And Verlaine, who I really liked in the first book, spends the majority of the story acting only because he desperately needs to see Evangeline again. There's no sense of threat - no greater battle driving the characters forwards. There was mention of some plot of the angels to build the titular Angelopolis, but if that was ever developed it must have been at a point I'd started skimming the long academic conversations in desperate hope that something interesting might happen. Even the fights felt rushed and unexciting.

I get the feeling this was published because the publisher knew it would sell. Coming off the back of Angelology's success - 'the long awaited sequel to the international best seller' is a hell of a sales pitch - they've put together a substandard book, knowing it will line their pockets regardless. It's bland, poorly edited (lots of continuity errors peppered throughout) and though the world Trussoni created is still a fascinating, rich and memorable place, Angelopolis really doesn't do it justice in any way.

My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.

For another richly imagined world with a far more satisfying story, Dreams and Shadows by C Robert Cargill is a fabulous read.

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