Angelology: A Novel

Angelology: A Novel

3.6 522
by Danielle Trussoni

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A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures

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 bore children to them.
Genesis 6:5

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her


A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures

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 bore children to them.
Genesis 6:5

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What do you get whan an Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate and critically acclaimed memoirist trolls for the same readers who loved Dan Brown's search for the grail of best-sellerdom in the The Da Vinci Code? In the case of Danielle Trussoni's Angelology, a spellbinding quest novel. Move over, vampires. Dark angels are on the horizon in Trussoni's hefty fiction debut...She offers up intriguing characters, lyrical nature descriptions, hidden clues, secret codes, hidden manuscripts and treasure hunts, creating a sumptuous and surprising novel."
-Jane Ciabattari for National Public Radio

"Angeology finds an almost hallucinatory power....fusing the debased, the psychological, and the theological, into a single rich, strange tableau that transmits a shock of truth."
-Time Magazine

"Breathtakingly imaginative.... Once you've entered Angelology's enthralling'll be thinking, 'Vampires? Who cares about vampires?'"
-People Magazine

"An elegantly ambitious archival thriller in which knowledge dwells in the secret underground places, labyrinthine libraries and overlooked artifacts that have been hallmarks of the genre from The Name of Rose and Possession to Angels and Demons and The Historian. Angelology is richly allusive and vividly staged with widescreen-ready visuals, a dewy but adaptable heroine and a dashingly cruel villain.... Sensual and intelligent, Angelology is a terrifically clever thriller-more Eco than Brown, without the cloudy sentimentalism of New Age encomiums or Catholic treatises. It makes no apologies for its devices, and none are necessary. How else would it be possible to bring together the angels of the Bible and Apocrypha, the myth of Orpheus, Bulgarian geography, medieval monastics, the Rockefellers, Nazis, nuns and musicology? And how splendid that it has happened."
-New York Times Book Review

"Beautiful, powerful, cruel, and avaricious, the half-human, half-angel Nephilim have thrived for centuries by instilling fear among humans, instigating war, and infiltrating the most powerful and influential families of history. Only a secret group of scholars, the Society of Angelologists, has endeavored to combat the spread of evil generated by Nephilim. Now, a strange affliction is destroying the Nephilim, and the cure is rumored to be an ancient artifact of great power. Sister Evangeline of the St. Rose Convent discovers an archived letter regarding the artifact's location and is thrust into the race to locate the artifact before the Nephilim do. She uncovers her family's past as high- ranking angelologists, and their secrets assist in her dangerous hunt. Trussoni, author of the acclaimed memoir Falling Through the Earth, makes an impressive fiction debut with this engrossing and fascinating tale. With captivating characters and the scholarly blending of biblical and mythical lore, this will be popular for fans of such historical thrillers as Kate Mosse's Labyrinth or Katherine Neville's The Eight. Sony Pictures Entertainment has purchased the film rights."
—STARRED Library Journal

"Critically acclaimed memoirist Trussoni (Falling Through The Earth, 2006) breaks into the fiction market in a big way with an epic fantasy that combines a rich mythology with some Da Vinci Code-style treasure-hunting.

The contest between good and evil is waged not in the heavens but here on Earth, between warring factions of biblical scholars and heavenly hosts. The unusual central character is Sister Evangeline, a 23-year-old nun at St. Rose Convent outside New York City. In the course of her work, she stumbles across a mislaid correspondence between philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller and the convent's founding abbess concerning an astonishing 1943 discovery in the mountains of Greece. Simultaneously, the book introduces Percival Grigori, a critically ill, once-winged member of one of the most powerful families in an ancient race of beings born of a union between fallen angels and human beings: the Nephilim. These parasitic creatures, the "giants" referred to in the sixth chapter of Genesis, have engaged in spiritual warfare for generations with the Society of Angelologists, a group that included Evangeline's parents. "It has been one continuous struggle from the very beginning," says one of Evangeline's comrades- in-arms. "St. Thomas Aquinas believed that the dark angels fell within twenty seconds of creation-their evil nature cracked the perfection of the universe almost instantly, leaving a terrible fissure between good and evil." As Evangeline and Grigori are drawn into conflict over control of a powerful artifact, the lyre of the mythical Orpheus, Trussoni constructs a marathon narrative arc, ending the volume with a satisfying, if startling, transformation. A film adaptation and a sequel are already waiting in the wings.

An ambitious adventure story with enough literary heft and religious fervor to satisfy anyone able to embrace its imaginative conceits and Byzantine plot.
Kirkus Reviews

"A richly detailed, brilliantly conceived work that opens a golden door into another world-or, even more alluringly, another sphere."
—Lincoln Child

"Danielle Trussoni has written a great, cracking thunderbolt of a story. Angelology is an exquisitely crafted adventure into untold realms of imagination, religion, and history. Meticulous in its research and delicious in its execution, the novel weaves Western theology together with ancient myth in a way that will make readers question what they think they know about angels. A triumph."
—Katherine Howe, author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

"Angelology is everything a reader wants . . . a clever, fast-paced thriller with a strong sense of place and beguiling, emotionally engaging characters [and] a skillful, satisfying history. . . . A pleasure from start to finish . . . A wonderful achievement."
—Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth

"Angelology by Danielle Trussoni is a thrilling, gorgeous read. Atmospheric, beguiling, and-if you'll pardon the pun-diabolically good." —Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar and Sanctuary

"Angelology lets loose the ancient fallen angels to the modern world with devastating results. Trussoni has written a holy thriller that will arrest your attention from the opening pages and not let go till its mysteries take wing."
—Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child and Angels of Destruction

"Danielle Trussoni creates a gorgeous gothic world for the reader, where the people who surround us are not what they seem, and stories are unveiled as more truth than fable. This is a book that resonates as both haunting and holy. A must read."
—Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Angelology Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
599 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Danielle Trussoni’s first book, the memoir Falling Through the Earth, was selected as one of the Ten Best Books of 2006 by The New York Times Book Review. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Danielle resides with her husband and two children in the south of France and regularly spends time in both Bulgaria and the United States. Her debut novel Angelology will be published in over thirty countries. Film rights were purchased outright by Sony Pictures with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment producing and Marc Forester directing.

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Angelology 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 522 reviews.
JL-FR More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book because it is satisfyingly long, rich and crammed full of characters, stories, historical and fantastic detail. What I call a good read. Trussoni is a sensuous writer who made people, places and eras really come alive for me.even the most surreal and fabulous. I enjoyed the wealth of visual detail: Trussoni's superb descriptions such as of the secret academy in Montparnasse, Paris during the Nazi Occupation. or of a radiant angel corpse preserved deep in a Bulgarian cavern. The plot and pace of this book are very successful too. The pace really picks up and sweeps towards a riveting ending. Love stories and murders seemed almost incidental to the plot; while historical intrigues and family sagas kept me on tenterhooks for more. The Nephilim are a formidable enemy and I found myself really captivated and supporting Gabriella in her quest against them. Hope to hear that there will be a sequel!
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Good and evil have been at odds since the beginning of time. Sister Evangeline has found herself once again, in the middle of a war between heaven and hell. As a child, she followed her father and caught a glimpse of something not altogether human. Stuffing this find down deep inside herself, she decided that it must not have been real. At 23 she has a discussion with a man named Verlaine who has sparked her curiosity. Together they dig through old letters to find the truth about fallen angels and an item of immeasurable value. There are not any words that can describe how much I loved this book. Amazing. Thrilling. Intriguing. Words just don't measure up. This is one of my favorite books of all time and I can't wait to read more of Danielle's work.
kdporteus More than 1 year ago
I believe the author may have been trying to cash in on Dan Brown's success with the religious/mystery genre. Like Brown's work, the premise was intriguing, but the plot line meandering and the characters flat and lifeless. The Biblical references were compelling, but the premise of three plot lines caused confusion, and yes, even some boredom. The novel could have benefitted from some careful editing, as typos and long-winded descriptions were abundant.
TiredofGarbage More than 1 year ago
Hard to know how to rate this one - it starts off really well, with well-drawn characters, an interesting plot, and piles of research showing all over. We get the main story, about the nun, Evangeline, and the secrets hidden somewhere in the convent. Then we get the story within a story, about Claudine, the elderly nun, and the formal study of angels. By the time we get to the story within the story within the story, this time about Clematis and the First Expedition to find fallen angels, I started to ask myself, what gives here? Why leave the main characters completely and go off on 2 tangents? When we finally get back to Evangeline and a sudden (and not believeable) love interest, it seemed like a film plot tacked on to a book, as if the first part of the book is a real book, but the last part is a film script - and the 2 parts don't match up that well. Did we need lots of guts and gore at the end - no. Did we need the awkward love scenes - no, we didn't. Did we need to be deceived throughout as to the real identity of Evangeline - nope. There are lots of things that don't add up here, and it's a real shame - for example, we keep hearing about how frail the elderly nuns are, but suddenly they are strong enough to drag and dump large bodies. Like other books marketed to women, like "The Time Traveller's Wife" and "The Fearful Symmetery" this one is a big let down when you realize that it is really science fiction trying to hide itself as romance as a marketing tool. No dice, we are not that easily fooled. I am hoping that somewhere out there, there is an editor who cares enough about the reader's experience to stop the pattern of cheating the reader of a plot that makes sense, an editor capable of returning story telling to an art and not throwing away any sensible plot to sell a book as a script, something that clearly has happened with this book. In summary, I would give the first part of the book 4 stars, the stories within stories 2 stars, and the last third no stars because it was just completely unbelievable, in fact, ridiculously like a bad film script. Next time, I hope that this writer works with an editor and not an agent and an accountant to shape her work, and then her work will be worth reading from start to finish, but not yet.
charlottesweb93 More than 1 year ago
Angels are the new vampires!! Angelology by Danielle Trussoni just proves my point. Her debut novel, Angelology is a fast paced thriller that takes you from a convent in upstate New York to war torn Europe and finishes off in a snowy New York City. All to wage a war as old as time. Good versus evil. Put aside everything you think you know about Angels. Angelology is an absolutely wonderful, fast paced novel that is a mixture of factual history with a whole lot of fictional lore. Written in a way that will have you grabbing your Bible to do a little fact-checking of your own. I would say the concept is similar to The Historian, but with the action packed plot of a Dan Brown novel. I enjoyed Angelology so much that I am going to give it a "Best of" tag.
bdaniel More than 1 year ago
One of the best novels I have read in a while. Angelology has a great plot and is different than many other fallen angel or Nephilim novels out there. The ending was truely shocking and leaves you wanting more. I can only hope there is a sequel. You will be left thinking they are among us. If you have read THE Mortal Instruments Series you will enjoy this book because it helps you understand more about the Nephilim.
JGerber More than 1 year ago
Let me start with this, I enjoyed reading Angelology. I thought that it had an original idea and a compelling characters and a plot that kept me going back to it as soon as I put it down. I tend to choose books that seamlessly blend various bits of history and facts into ideas such as angelology, and if the writer is good enough, I come away with a sense of urgency to google said idea to sort out what is fact from fiction. Danielle Trussoni in my opinion, has managed this feat with her novel. I was captivated from start to finish and loved how the book made me think of landmarks and places in her book that I've personally been to in new ways as well as introducing a foreign subject matter. My only gripe with the book (without spoiling anything), is that I felt that the climatic action towards the ending happened too abruptly and then ended. Unless Ms. Trussoni is planning on penning a sequel, then I feel that is had a justified ending (crossing my fingers because I feel that there is more to the story). Enjoy!
FinMac More than 1 year ago
I thought this book totally fell apart about halfway through the part 2. There is no character development. I've always felt that was a cliche' to say but in this case there's just no other way to explain it. There is no hero in the book. The villians are portrayed as nothing more than spoiled children and vandals. The whole second half of the book just made no sense whatsoever. On top of all that, the authors use of emotion was just confusing. In the space of a 30 second conversation character emotions were described as joyous, irritated, grateful, condescending, etc etc etc. Seriously, it was distracting at the beginning, but by the end, I just wanted all the characters to get killed off. That's how poor a job she did of identifying the heroes and villians. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
NuclearPeanut More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after reading the back cover. It sounded interesting. Through the first several pages, I really was intrigued. But about a third of the way through, the part where you learn about Celestine in Paris, I began to get bored with the book. I would count how many pages I had left to read because I will not put down a book once I start it. The problem is that I did not connect with any of the characters, the story was poorly written, and that the story did not go anywhere. The ending was even more confusing and I saw it coming from a mile away. Sorry, that last statement may seem contradictory, but I am trying not to give anything away for people who have not read it. For those who have, you should understand. To sum up, skip this book. There are plenty of better books out there.
khk-67 More than 1 year ago
This was a page turner for me. Once I got into the story, I could not put it down. All though the theme is a common one, good vs. evil, I found it to be a new twist. I enjoyed the history that was woven through-out the story and learned quite a bit more about angels. One thing that was disappointing and is a reflection on the publisher, Viking; there were numerous typos, spell check is not reliable, a person still needs to review the copy.
kpsquirrel More than 1 year ago
I liked the theme and found the storyline interesting. It was too dragged out though which ended up making it somewhat boring and hard to get through.
Speak_Easy More than 1 year ago
This book would have certainly benefitted from a good editor. Inexplicably long with a storyline that often spiraled way off course. I read it to the end hoping for a redeeming conclusion; no such luck. It had the feeling of being written for the sole purpose of selling movie rights, complete with shallow characters and prepped for over-the-top CG. Maybe a good director can pull of the anti-hollywood: make a good movie out of a subpar book.
meat_dog More than 1 year ago
This is a book that will make the world occasionally dark and windy. There are creatures afoot that will change your perceptions, and forever change the meaning of the word "angel." I read Trussoni's earlier memoir and found it captivating, and had trepidation about this novel because Falling Through Earth was such a wonderful book. I heard the marketers hype it as the next Da Vinci Code. It's not. Its smarter, more thought provoking, more allegorical. There is a race underway for control of the world, and like an intellectual's "24," it's happening fast. Christmas be damned, the dark angels are itching for a fight. They'll burn nuns and kill researchers and stop at nothing to get an instrument that's twice as red-hot as the lost Ark. Take it home and light a fire in the fireplace. I loved this ride, and the author is more Umberto Eco than Dan Brown.
blue2280 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't get through the rampant use of "as if" throughout the book. Was this ever edited? It was a complete distraction to the story line and because it was used so much in describing EVERYTHING, it totally destroyed the flow of the book for me. I had high hopes for this book, as it has some really good reviews, but I just couldn't muddle through it. After a week of trying, I finally put it down. I may or may not revisit it, but I am disappointed.
Odysseus-Redux More than 1 year ago
'Angelology' by Danielle Trussoni (2010). A complete satisfaction in that this novel transcends the kitsch of muddled-headed angel-obsession and instead Trussoni writes a superb intellectual and metaphysical adventure that is very much a modernized novel, but feels as though a (positive) throwback to the likes of Umberto Eco (think: Foucault's Pendulum), John Fowles (think: The Magus), Iain Pears (think: The Dream of Scipio), and Harry Mulisch (think: The Discovery of Heaven). Trussoni has crafted a well-balanced alchemy of spheres that is part Dantesque, part esoterica, and the collision of old world mythology and new world discovery. Sidenote and only for the adept: SOTAR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS which was also found in 'Avalovara' by Osman Lins, 1979).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a great story that pulls you on and carries you along.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. Just about done with part 2 Angelopolis and i cannot wait for the third one to come out! If you want to find a great book then check this out!
Mike-D1 More than 1 year ago
I have trouble putting this book down. I truly believe this would make an awesome movie!!!!
bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
CD/Thriller?: Very long at 17 discs. The narrator did a great job with the voices, but I would have never finished the novel if I had the book. There was a lot of extra "stuff" that was not needed verses the quickness of the ending. I had a lot of problems with some of the plot logic, physicality logic, and economic logic of some of the character's wealth. I did like the flashbacks and back story.
I_am_Andi More than 1 year ago
The basic storyline is what caught my attention. I think there is potential here - if only the characters were more developed. I would like to see a series based on the idea of angels among us and this could have been a great lead into such a series (I am tired of the endless vampire stuff... and what;s the deal with zombies???). I give this a 3 star rating instead of lower because I do "get" where the author was going and that still leaves me optimistic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was by no means Tolkein or Hitchens, however the story was entertaining, the ending solid, and the characters kept me coming back. Im hoping that like Eragon's Christopher Paulini, Danielle will continue to evolve as a novelist, and that I will have the good fortune to enjoy the fruits of her labours. -matt love
aStudyinContradictions More than 1 year ago
One of three books that I threw across the room after I finished it. A mindless, pointless, horridly paced book that only exists for the author and publisher to cash in on the movie rights. True, a film is in development, and it will likely be far better than its origins; unfortunately that will drive people to read the source material, in a word: DON'T! Trussoni vacillates between a desire to show off how much research she did by plodding along and being incessantly repetitive, and attempting to creating thrilling action pieces that end up sounding like staging instructions. None of the big reveals are shocking (they all come across as "Well, duh!") and yet Trussoni also manages to have the people and creatures of the book act completely contrary to the characterizations she has created. The only redeeming factors of the books, are the chilling descriptions of the fully divine Angels and their subterranean prison. However, five minutes of tension is not worth the rest of my time it took to read.
patricia Lane More than 1 year ago
Left me wanting a sequel. I loved the concept. I suppose if one is not particularly interested in biblical fiction than one would become easily lost. Still, in my mind, the concept is unique nd well developed. All the same, I feel that some of the wording and presentation could have been displayed in a more fitting and apropriate way. I myself found portions which I could have writ for the best. I hav no doubt that the ideas were well developed, yet I feel that the same ideas in the hands of a diffrent author would have created a much more possitive effect on the work as a whole and possibly have created one of the best works in exsistance. As it is, the work is good but does not boarder on amazing.
HeatherM79 More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible. I own both the hardback and the audio version and they are both amazing. This book took so much work and it shows. But the book is incredibly well written and I found myself swept up in the characters emotions and search and could not wait to turn the page to find out what happened next! This is the best book I have read in over 5 years and I highly suggest that everyone who loves action, history, puzzle solving, and just a plain fantastic book to go out and purchase boh hardback/paperback and audio. Your money will be well spent.
Austringer More than 1 year ago
I've read other reviews and cannot fathom why some did not enjoy Ms. Trussoni's first efforts. This book was definitely not my usual genre, and I admit that from the start I was skeptical that I'd even like the book at all considering the subject matter. I was most pleased to find that after the first fifty pages, I was hooked. This book was with me wherever I went as each spare moment I had went to continue my reading. Characters, history, and the way the subject matter was presented made all seem believable. My only disappointment was its length, as I wanted this book to go on. I'm looking forward to the sequel.