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"There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." These words from The Book of Genesis in the Bible have been read countless times by both sacred and secular readers. Never until now, however, have we seen such a powerful fictional account of just who these "giants" were, their origin and their place in the future of humanity. All the average person knows about angels is a brief mention of the Angel Gabriel's message to Mary, the mother of Jesus, about her Virgin Birth to come, another mention in The Book of Daniel, and some other, all very brief, allusions to the praise and power of these ethereal, divine beings. But what about the fallen angels also spoken of in Genesis? They were cast out, we are told, and therein ends the story.
Sister Evangeline entered the Order of Sisters of Perpetual Devotion at St. Rose Convent with a firm faith in the power of prayer, a power that enabled her to escape strange memories, one event in particular which still had the potent, discomfiting ability to send her to the consolation of prayer, a balm which could not, however, eradicate the terror of her memories. As the order's librarian assistant, however, she one day receives a letter from an art researcher, Verlaine, which begins the chain of events that will forever alter her life in a dramatic, almost unbelievable manner.
Verlaine has been hired by a wealthy party, Percival Gregori, to find correspondence between the head of Sister Evangeline's order and Abigail Rockefeller, a notable woman of means who has been financing the activities of a group called Angelologists. The studies of this group lead them to realize that the "giants" of old and other fallen angels are still alive, some eternally imprisoned on earth and some in various degrees operating to wreak destruction on a global basis. There are Watchers, Nephilim who are the product of humans and fallen angels, and Gibborim who are warrior demonic angels mindlessly carrying out the orders of the former two groups. The Nephilim and Society of Angelologist are deep in the throes of a formidable battle for these documents that will reveal the presence of a hidden divine instrument.
The story takes us through the mountains of Bulgaria, the streets of Montparnasse in France, the quiet grounds of the convent in the Hudson Valley section of New York State, and the bustling holiday throngs of Manhattan in New York City. Suggestions abound that the Nephilim have been behind the most destructive forces in centuries of history, including the Nazis and other infamous groups.
As Sister Evangeline and Verlaine begin to gradually unlock the keys to the hidden object and creatures of divine origin, the plot progresses at a stately pace, at times offering solid research and a professional, scholarly approach to the topic of angelology (an actual science of study that exists in a quiet unpublicized way) in between acts of progressive exploration, violence and horror that appear at just the right moments. While there's a tad too much repetition about Biblical exegesis from the canon and apocryphal texts about angels, Ms. Trussoni is a master at deftly plotting the evolution of this battle between good and evil, without reducing it to a simplistic or overly dramatic style and including some other fascinating historical studies and angelology studies
The Nephilim are everywhere, but the byproduct of such intense study about the fallen angels and their divine-human offspring is that the Angelologists are able to anticipate the next nail-biting scenario at a hair's breadth of time.
Angelology is a unique fictional foray through the essence of good and evil, a credible story that will leave the reader sorry the story has ended (albeit with such a stunning ending that there is definitely room for a follow-up novel) and contemplating seriously the nature of the sacred and profane around every human life. A guaranteed bestseller not to be missed by any reader who loves a thoughtful, provocative, dramatic and passionate story!!!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on March 14, 2010