Archangel (Samaria Series #1)

( 52 )

Overview

Through science, faith, and the force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they perceived as perfect. Diverse peoples held together by respect for each other and the prospect of swift punishment if their laws were disobeyed. Fertile land that embraced a variety of climates and seasons. Angels to guard the mortals, and mystics to guard the forbidden knowledge. Jehovah to watch over them all... Generations later, the armed space cruiser Jehovah still looms over the planet Samaria, ...
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Archangel

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Overview

Through science, faith, and the force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they perceived as perfect. Diverse peoples held together by respect for each other and the prospect of swift punishment if their laws were disobeyed. Fertile land that embraced a variety of climates and seasons. Angels to guard the mortals, and mystics to guard the forbidden knowledge. Jehovah to watch over them all... Generations later, the armed space cruiser Jehovah still looms over the planet Samaria, programmed to unleash its arsenal if peace is not sustained. But an age of corruption has come to the land, threatening that peace and placing the Samarians in grave danger. Their only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel. The oracles have chosen for this honor the angel named Gabriel, and further decreed that he must first wed a mortal woman named Rachel. It is his destiny and hers. And Gabriel is certain that she will greet the news of her betrothal with enthusiasm, and a devotion to duty equal to his own. Rachel, however, has other ideas...

From the acclaimed author of Shape-Changer's Wife comes a stunningly beautiful novel of a distant future--where the fate of the world rests on the voice of an angel. Targeted ads. TP: Ace.

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Editorial Reviews

Carl Hays
Next in line to become archangel in the angel-led dominion of Samaria, Gabriel must lead the next chorale praising the god Jovah, which means he needs a wife--fast--to sing beside him. Guided by the local oracle and the light emanating from the Kiss of the Gods (a homing device in his wrist), he finds his Jovah-selected fiancee in a common Edori slave girl named Rachel. The marriage proves, however, anything but romantic. Far from rejoicing in the sudden freedom that her marriage brings, Rachel quickly becomes a thorn in Gabriel's side, using her newfound influence to help her downtrodden Edori brethren. Displaying sure command of characterization and vividly imagined settings, Shinn absorbs us in the story of how Rachel and Gabriel eventually unite in true love and respect. With place-names such as Gaza and Jordana, she tantalizingly hints at her Samaria's connection to an ancient Israeli past, and she tempers the angelic milieu with talk of her angels' technological heritage in an entertaining sf-fantasy blend that should please fans of both genres.
Kirkus Reviews
An odd, science fiction/fantasy hybrid from the author of the 1995 paperback The Shape-Changer's Wife. Flying angels have been ordained by the god Jovah to watch over the people of Samaria. At the next Gloria, or festival of song, the angel Gabriel will take over the duties of archangel from old Raphael, so he asks the oracle Josiah, who Jovah has decided will be his bride. Josiah announces that Gabriel's bride shall be Rachel. But when Gabriel goes to claim her, he finds the remote village long destroyed, with no sign of Rachel. Then, quite by accident, he comes upon her in the house of a rich nobleman, where she is a slave. Though Gabriel plucks her from slavery, the two fight at once, since Rachel sides with the servants and Samaria's downtrodden folk and distrusts angels; neither will she reveal whether she can sing, a talent vital to a successful Gloria (Gabriel, of course, sings like a dream). Raphael, meanwhile, no longer believing in Jovah, refuses to watch over the people and encourages every sort of wickedness; to prevent the Gloria, he is willing to capture or even kill Rachel. Gabriel, who knows that Jovah will hurl firebolts should the Gloria fail, has other ideas. And the big question remains: Will Gabriel and Rachel ever stop fighting and get together?

Taut, inventive, often mesmerizing, with a splendid pair of disaffected, predestined lovers. Only in the final quarter does Shinn's control slip into flabby, annoying repetitions. Highly encouraging work overall.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441004324
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Series: Samaria Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 616,495
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by  Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    why isn't this a nook book!!!!

    What is the point of buying a nook if I can't freaking buy every book I want to read FOR MY NOOK!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent!

    Even though Rachel's character is annoying and extremely selfish, I was delighted by the plot. Again, Shinn's descriptions are just a hint of how beautifully the scene is conducted. My only problem with this series is the sequence, for some reason I just got lost...this is supposed to be Book #1, we see Gabriel, Rachel and the others in Book #4... Any sense? Other than that, I am just enchanted by these angels...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Archangel

    Angel Gabriel has known for many years that he will be the next Archangel and that he must go to the oracle to discover who Jovah has chosen to be his Angelica or human bride. In Samaria, Archangels are a sort of divine chosen ruler over the land, changing every fifteen years. They lead Samaria in the Gloria (a sort of sung mass) each year, reminding the people of their dependence and love for Jovah. Gabriel has put off the task of finding his bride until he only has six months until his inaugural Gloria - so when he discovers his Angelica Rachel is a young woman from a family of peasant farmers he is shocked and more than a little surprised. Rachel herself has not led an easy life and is not too happy when Gabriel shows up declaring that he will be her husband. All her life her choices have been taken from her and she is not about to let Gabriel take them away from her again.

    Let me start off by saying what in the heck is going on with this cover? Is Rachel cringing? Singing? Sighing? None really match her personality so I can't really figure it out. Not to mention the odd little ball - is it supposed to be the Kiss which not only allows Jovah to track you but tells you when you've found your one and only? I thought that was supposed to be embedded in your skin? Weird. Too weird. Other than the oddness of the art, I really enjoyed this unusual story of religion mixed with politics set in a brand new world. And once again Shinn does not disappoint with her wonderfully crafted characters. A competely believable hero and heroine and some nasty villains who really are a little larger than life. The narrative switches back and forth between Rachel and Gabriel, which at times seemed a bit redundant since they would cover each situation twice, but overall served to really give a good understand of each's personality. Inventive and very readable, I can't wait to pick up the rest of this fabulous series.
    seemichelleread.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Top ten favorite book

    This book combines the perfect combination of romance and science fiction and the characters melt your heart. I wish she sharon shinn would write even more set in this world!

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Recommended

    Very interesting story and world building. Really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    I love this book!! It is a unique take on the role of angel and

    I love this book!! It is a unique take on the role of angel and their interaction with normal human beings. It also shows that at the highest position, one can be corrupted. Moreover, the book touches on issues of slavery, class, and power struggles. It is exceptional. The touch of romance is an added bonus.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    I Enjoyed It!

    This book marks my first experience with Sharon Shinn. I had flirted with picking up one of her books for quite some time, but, invariably, always picked something else up to read. I then heard of her first series after her first published book "The Shape Changer's Wife" and decided to give them a try, thinking they seemed unique. I am glad I did.

    "Archangel" is quite different from really anything I have ever read. It is a genre bend, somewhat of a cross between Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and even Historical Fiction. The essence of the story is how the incoming Archangel, Gabriel, and Rachel, a former slave destined to become his Angelica, fall in love. It is a long and arduous journey that the two take riddled with political struggles, prophecies, questions regarding God, and host of other trials. But, at the end of the day, this story is about them.

    Sharon is an excellent writer and there are many things within these pages to emulate for aspiring writers. One of the reasons I selected it is due to my penchant for writing stories with action. I wanted to be told a story that didn't rely on these devices and instead completely relied on building tension between characters without violent action. I learned quite a bit.

    I already picked up the next two Samaria books as well as Book One of her Twelve Houses saga. I would recommend Fantasy and Science Fiction fans to pick her up if they are looking for character driven stories that are engaging and quite a bit unique from the stable of series out there.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    One of my favorite books ever!

    Wow I read this the other day and quite frankly, I was stunned! The setting is very unique. The book was captivating; I couldn't put it down! I especially enjoyed the evolution of Gabriel's and Rachel's relationship, although I expected it to go a little farther. The only thing that bothers me is Rachel's immense selfishness. I understand that her life wasn't easy, but that said, her actions are pretty immature (ex. the bracelets scene, deserting Gabriel after the Gloria). I also don't really understand the cover... Nonetheless, I loved this book--it's by far the best in the Samaria series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    I was a fan of Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses Series and decided to try out this series. I did not know what to expect from this book but I am astonished how richly imaginative this book is. The concept of angels and humans living together was fascinating. The characters Gabriel and Rachel are frustrating at times but that's what makes them so right for each other. I am running on 4 hours of sleep right now because I could not put this book down. I am impatiently waiting for the rest of my Samaria Books to arrive. I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    A good heart warming book.

    Pretty unique in the consept for this book. It has a nice love story and I like how she makes the relationship between the main characters difficult, but in the end they figure out a way to make things work. Its more relistic this way. An overall good feeling book.

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  • Posted November 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If you like romances, I dare you to try this scifi/fantasy and not like it.

    This is one of those great crossover books that can be used to introduce a reluctant reader to a new genre. Shinn writes wonderful stories drawing the reader in and introducing characters the reader actually cares about. Try this book and if you like it, she has written four more books about Samaria.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2007

    Incomparable!

    Crown Ms. Shinn 'La Sharon' right now!!! This book -- and the entire Samaria series -- was an unexpected, lyrical, haunting triumph of world-building. The fact that the reader recognizes that, in this Agrarian-type society, what inhabitants worship the God and Angels MAY just be the result of advanced science is a huge part of the growing tension in this and the other books. I don't know where La Sharon got her inspiration for this, but I hope there's more where it came from! I know the Angels series is over -- there were three initial books and two additional ones that were just a lovely addition to the legend and mythos of the world -- but I continue to re-read the books about the land that looks remarkably like Israel, with its inhabitants of all backgrounds and races and all compelled to literally sing to the God named Jovah to ensure their very survival. Words fail to adequately describe how much this book has imprinted itself on my mind and heart. This relationship between Rachel and Gabriel breaks my heart. How ironic, that their getting together is supposedly foretold and yet, it might not happen because, well, they seem to almost hate each other! This book is magnificent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    Great book. Interesting concept. Easy Read

    It took me a second to get into it cuz' the dialogue wasn't to my taste-at first-but then it did get a lot better. I was shocked at first as well cuz' the Angels weren't what I imagined them to be.. and I realized that it was a pretty interesting concept where you think your are reading a fantasy book, but actually it is a Sci-Fi....I will say that the main heorine really made me want to smack her for her undying 'stubbornism' ^_^, but I believe the book is easy to read and I recommend it. Safe for kids I think, the romance is there without the 'yucky' parts. I liked this book a lot, and really want to read others by Sharon Shinn....this one is only the first, and definitly not the last! Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    amazing book

    i love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2005

    Another Awsome preformance by Sharon Shinn

    i loved this book, i haven't yet read a Shinn book that was not great. it combines angels and mortals, an interseting plot, and a love that Shinn keeps quiet till the end but still giving clues but not enough to no be suprised at the end. Excellent, Awsome, Fantsatic book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    Best Sci-Fi book i ever read!!!!

    This is by far, Sharon Shinn's greatest book, the first thing that caught me about it was the title and the front cover, but it seems that the attractiveness doesn't end there! It continues on throughout the WHOLE book (more than i can say for others...) It's captivating and I couldn't put it down. This book is my favorite in the whole Samaria series and I think Sharon Shinn's best! Definitely a good read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2004

    Amazing

    I don¿t know why I bought this book. Was it the unusual cover? The ¿award winning author¿ quote? Or was it was just one of those odd impulses that makes you believe in psychic powers. I¿m not a fantasy reader, and haven¿t even read much in the way of science fiction since I was a much younger man. So why this book, with its unusual, predominantly ¿female¿ choice of subject matter? I have read and enjoyed Howard¿s Conan -- why would I be interested in strong women and sensitive men in a land of winged angels who sing, fear ¿God¿ and answer the prayers of ¿worshippers.¿ What was I thinking? There was no reason in the world for me to pick up this book. But I did. And I read it. And I loved it so much I¿ve read everything I¿ve been able to find that Sharon Shinn has put to paper. She has created a fantastic, believable world in Samaria, peopled it with interesting and diverse characters that you at best love, at worst can¿t wait to see what they¿ll do next. She captivates you with magical places and diverse cultures in all her books. But in these ¿angel¿ books in particular she has created a world that is rich, deeply thought out, growing and changing in logical and fascinating ways as the series progresses. And layered over it all, a compelling love story. With each new book, I continue to be impressed. There are shocking surprises in this series, and in Archangel in particular, moments and events I never expected, like the episode toward the end of Archangel on the Plains Of Sharon (Sharon?). I challenge even the most jaded readers not to enjoy, at the very least, this book. Trust me. I am one, and Ms. Shinn won me over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    awsome

    this was one of the best books i've read and that means alot i average a book or two a week sometimes up to 5. this book got me interested in sci-fi fantasy books its a wonderful book. as is the whole series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2003

    Most unusual storyline

    I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. I have two copies now, one to lend out and one for rereading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2002

    Spectacular

    As a seasoned reader who is VERY picky about her books, Sharon Shinn captivated me. My librarian offered me Archangel to read, and being the nice sucker I am, I took it home even though I have a deep distaste for most Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. Well it sat on my dresser (next to about 10 other books waiting to be read) and never felt my fingers leaf through it. I gave it back to her, recieved Jovah's Angel, and repeated the same procedure. But as they say, third time's the charm. She gave me The Alleluia Files. By that time, I was looking for a new book to read and I was so bored I opened the book to the first page. Immediately I was sucked into the world of Samaria. When I finished Archangel in a mere two days (it would have been one day, but I fell asleep on the book)I just about cried from the pain of being taken away from those glorious creatures and dazzling characters. So I hustled out to B&N (where they know me by sight anyway) and asked Amiee (my personal book slave... he he he..hello Ames!) for Archangel and Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn. I hastily paid for them, took them home, and gulped them all up by the end of the week. The prose was incredible, characters starkly heartrending, and although at first the Biblical refrences got on my nerves (bit of an agnostic) it was woven in with such deftness that I didn't mind. Whenever someone asks me what books I can recommend, I immediately rattle off: Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix and the Archangel Triology by Sharon Shinn. Sharon Shinn is truly amazing, and I can only dream of a world like Samaria.

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