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Archon: The Books of Raziel

Archon: The Books of Raziel

3.0 26
by Sabrina Benulis

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Angels and demons do battle for a girl possessed by the spirit of a powerful, dead angel in this fabulous paranormal debut by Sabrina Benulis. Archon is the first of the Books of Raziel, a truly fantastic and very hip new take on heaven’s warriors that readers of the angelic novels of Danielle Trussoni, Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Alexandra


Angels and demons do battle for a girl possessed by the spirit of a powerful, dead angel in this fabulous paranormal debut by Sabrina Benulis. Archon is the first of the Books of Raziel, a truly fantastic and very hip new take on heaven’s warriors that readers of the angelic novels of Danielle Trussoni, Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Alexandra Adornetto are sure to adore. Archon is new wave urban fantasy, a tale of the supernatural that brilliantly blends passion, obsession, horror, and suspense in a way that will appeal to dark fantasy fans and paranormal romance readers equally. Sabrina Benulis’s angels are creepy, sexy, and totally awesome—and, like Anne Rice’s amoral, ambiguous, and addicting vampires, they will seduce and terrify you at the same time.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Benulis’s urban fantasy debut displays stunning visual imagery and atmosphere that fail to disguise a desperately incoherent story line. Suicidal “blood head” (redhead) Angela Mathers, whose paintings depict the angels haunting her dreams, is sent to an isolated Vatican academy in the decaying, gothic city of Luz. There she is revealed as the possible Archon, container of the spirit of the dead archangel Raziel, potential destroyer of humanity, and pawn in the schemes of powerful, morally ambiguous angels. As Angela incurs the enmity of mean girl Stephanie Walsh, a witch and would-be Archon, she is drawn to Stephanie’s lover, the mysterious novice Kim, who is hiding his relationship with a murderous jinn who stalks the students. Benulis never engages emotionally with her characters, despite a dizzying series of viewpoint shifts, and the confusing, slow-to-develop plot fails to fulfill its apocalyptic promise. (Jan.)
Boulder Examiner
“These angels can be vindictive and cruel, more human than you might expect and oozing supernatural abilities…. If you think you have the guts to take on this novel pick it up.”
Lexington Literature Examiner
“A dark, bold story.”
Suspense Magazine
“With the first installment in her trilogy, Benulis uses lush descriptions and larger than life characters to tell the story of a battle between Heaven and Hell… I will definitely be on the lookout for the next installment in her book of Raziel series.”
Fictional Distraction
“Angela is someone I would want to be friends with, someone I would want to have in my corner. She’s out of her mind, a little, but honestly – who isn’t?”
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
“Forget what you think you know and allow the book to show you a new vision of angels and demons. It’s a terrifying one, but extremely interesting.”
Literary Feline
“Even when I wasn’t reading, I felt a little like I had one foot in the book and the other in reality.”
The Wilkes Beacon
“This plot is original in every way, and it resembles nothing that I have ever read before.”
The Baryon Review
“In this fascinating, well written first novel, Sabrina Benulis has created a world where it’s hard to tell the demons and angels apart. Be prepared to read this one in one sitting because it’s one of those rare novels that grabs you and doesn’t let go.”
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
Angela Mathers is not a normal teenage girl. She is a student attending an academy owned by the Vatican, but she is having visions of supernatural creatures. She soon discovers that her visions link her to an ancient battle in which she is key in determining the outcome. This book does have its strong points, such as the lyrical writing, but they are outweighed by the negative. First, it was difficult to get into this book at first because the first page of the book feels like it should be closer to the middle. Second, this book follows the unfortunate trend in Young Adult literature wherein the heroines are more pathetic than they are heroic. The fate of the world rests on Angela, but for most of the book she contemplates suicide in order to be with the beautiful male angel in her dreams. Teenage girls deserve to read a book with a better message.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.42(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.92(d)

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Meet the Author

Sabrina Benulis graduated with a master’s in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband, Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel, Caesar. Archon is her first novel.

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Archon 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
AcesMommy More than 1 year ago
Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Bernulis was a bit of a challenge. Where the first few chapters were very confusing and I was so lost that I couldn't even remember what I read a few pages back. However, I did read on and finish the book, and I can say that at about 130+ pages the story started becoming very interesting. Sabrina Bernulis has a thought-provoking take on angels and it's a side which made myself more drawn to finishing the story. There were small tid-bits that were like 'Ah Ha!' moments that you should have seen coming, which I really liked. The way Luz was described in detail was well written and vivid that I imagined a dystopian demonic world or a medieval age revolving around Angels & Demon lore. What I didn't like is that early in the story there was a bunch of character dumps that I had difficulty catching up on whose who. And although it did get better as you read on there were still little hiccups that get me confused all over again. On a note on past reviews that have mentioned about Angela's constant attempts at suicide -- they were a bit exaggerated. It was mentioned from time to time, but it was because it leads to an important part in the story/climax. Final thoughts, It may not be for everyone but it is still worth reading if you're not easily driven away by literary hiccups.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read alot of the reviews on this before i purchased it and regardless of alot of the minor complaints,i read it and found it to be quite compelling. I didnt feally put it down til i finished and am combing the nook site for any news of a sequel in the works. To anyone who follows reviews closely,remember regardless of others opinions,if simething about the desription grabbed you from the start youll probably be happy with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book lacks the sophistication and refinement of an adult novel....it can't compete with Dan Brown's novels or Angelology by Danielle Trussoni....this book reads like a Young Adult novel...dealing with high school/college like behavior...i.e. sororities, who's dating who couples, teen witches with short skirts, and the typical angsty romance of the main character for her dream angels...it is quite an embarassment and has a Twilighty feel....young teen agers may like this book...but not adults...the world is very juvenile
clambakecat More than 1 year ago
Finally a trilogy that doesn't keep the plot dragging out with filler. She gets right to the good stuff and keeps it coming the whole way through. Interesting plot & not your typical read ..kinda dark but not over done. I like the author's spin on the angel/demon dynamic & the subject of love. The first book i couldn't figure out the end of from the first chapter. BUt dont be a lazy reader. You need to pay attention as they say the devil is in the details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read this book when it was first released and also having read it multiple times since I was shocked to see the one star reviews of this book. Not only to my own surprise i am sure since the author's website had plenty of posts of hungry fans waiting to devour more of Angela's story. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion I guess. I felt that the introductory book into Angela's story was gothically beautiful. The description used painted beautifully, dark, hopeful pictures in my mind with every page. I couldn't put it down the first time or any of the subsequent times either!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not care for this book. It jumps ahead to stuff that never gets explained, you kind of have to piece it together. I don't recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author has a talent for imagery and the story was good, but this book would have benefited greatly from a book editor. No typos that I caught, but there were some very confusing passages, unclear antecedents, and an odd smattering of contemporary references in what seemed to be a pseudo-Medieval setting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi *Beware of possible spoilers* In Sabrina Benulis’s debut novel, Archon, there has been a prophecy made that the destruction of the world as we know it will be brought on at the hands of a red-headed human. Therefore, no parent wants to have a red-headed child and when they do it usually leads to a childhood of abuse. The Vatican has created a school, West Wood, for these ‘blood heads’, as they’re called, in an isolated town called Luz. Angela has been obsessed with angels as long as she can remember as her dreams are full of the beautiful creatures; the same couple of angels appear in her dreams again and again. She recreates them in her paintings and has attempted suicide numerous times so that she can be with the bronze angel of her dreams. This has led to her being in a mental institution for the last couple of years. But now she has left the institute, and being a blood head, she is entering West Wood Academy, where her brother is a novice, or priest in training. Angela just wants to go to the academy to apologize to Brendan (her brother) for accidentally killing their parents when a suicide attempt got out of hand; burning their home to the ground with her parents inside. Then, she wants to continue her mission to die; unfortunately her angel keeps protecting her and keeping her alive. But Angela discovers the more she’s at the academy, the more she truly has to live for. I must start this review off by saying that I’m not a fan of most young adult novels. I feel that the genre suffers from more and more authors that write books geared to younger and younger people most of which seem to be geared towards teens or even tweens in some cases. So I was thrilled to see a young adult book that truly is geared to adults. There is sex in the book. It’s not a play by play like more adult driven genres have, but Benulis lets you know that it happened. And, there is mild swearing in the book as well. The author doesn’t try to censor herself for a younger audience, which I applaud her for. This is not a book for readers younger than adult. Unfortunately, the book being geared toward adults isn’t my only requirement for a good book and I did find this one lacking. I found this book to have a lot of interesting things going on, but it seemed to be too much all at once and made the book hard to follow. I was finding myself re-reading paragraphs once or twice trying to figure out what just happened. A little confusion in the beginning while the story is being lined out is acceptable. I received this book from the publisher, Harper Voyager, and I really enjoyed the paper they sent along with it outlining several of the main characters. It explained who they were, some of their familial relationships, their appearance, and a short profile about their character. I would love to see this included in the book along with the glossary that is already in the book. But even with that information, I still had trouble keeping up with this book and it just got worse as the book progressed and ended up leaving me pretty bored and a little lost in the process. Benulis gave us an interesting story with a completely different look at angels, then we’ve ever seen before. I felt it has potential, but ultimately falls short. This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
soulscater More than 1 year ago
So I discovered the reason you should never judge a book by it's cover. The only thing that could serve to recommend this book is it's brevity and even that is stretching it. While the plot was interesting and different than anything I've come across, which is why I read it, the writing and character development were abysmal. Part of my problem with the book was with the latin phrases that appeared throughout the book... though some of it I could figure out by the context, I cannot read latin and the phrases weren't translated. Why even include them without a translation?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quan-Kun More than 1 year ago
I am still a novice in regards to writing reviews, but Archon was a tantalizingly brilliant read! The detail was surreal, the characters truly defined. Sabrina Benulis truly captured the emotions of the characters, my only regret being that it eventually had to end. This may be her first book, but I certainly look forward to her next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First the positive: the setting of this book--a blend of the supernatural with an original variation on Christian mythology (albeit one that plays very fast and loose with its source material; that's not a complaint, just an observation) is extremely original and very interesting. I had an easy time imagining Luz--although I kept trying to figure out where exactly off the coast of the Americas it was--and the descriptions of the setting and the world-building were among the strongest aspects of this debut. On the negative side, there's a lot of technical problems with the writing of this book. A few examples: you get characters reacting to information they already know--and you know they know, because you saw them receive it a few pages ago--as if they don't know it and it is utterly shocking. This rather leaves one going 'wait, why didn't you freak out about this earlier when it would have made sense for you to freak out about this?' That's not the kind of question I want dancing through my head when I'm trying to get into a character's perspective. There are also characters who you are told--repeatedly--have certain goals that they don't appear to do much to further (and even appear to actively work against). You've got point-of-view characters who are hiding information from the reader--that's a big pet peeve of mine. If you are going to give me someone's point of view, I don't enjoy having that character play "I KNOW SOMETHING I AM DELIBERATELY NOT GOING TO FULLY THINK ABOUT SO YOU DON'T KNOW IT!" with me. This is all the more confusing given the sheer number of point-of-view characters in this book. It seems like half of them could easily have been omitted and the storyline would have gotten much more readable, because pacing is so fast--the entire action takes place over the course of what appears to be about two weeks--that the story is hard to follow. I had a hard time getting past that. I shouldn't have to fight with the writing all the way through a novel. I hope the sequel improves on a writing-craft level, and if it does I may consider picking it up, but if not I think I'll probably pass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story but I found the character development to be somewhat confusing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Guest Reviewer/Jessica & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog This book is intense…Archon can and will fulfill that dark void in your library.” ~Under the Covers In Archon we meet Angela Mathers, a tormented soul who is starting a new school after being released from a mental institution for brutally murdering her parents. Unfortunately, her hopes to start a new life, makes a turn for the worst when she decides to attend West Wood Academy. Her dreams turn into reality as she is pulled into a life of Angels, demons and witches. What Angela doesn’t know is that this may have been what she was destined for all along. Archon is a dark and in depth book. It took me a while to get through it because there are a lot of elements to this story, so while I found myself intrigued I also found myself a bit lost at times. These characters however are ruthless individuals. They stop at nothing to get what they want and what they want is power, plain and simple. This book is intense, each character having his/her own darkness to make the book even more creepy and at times quite disturbing. There were some times where I found the story to be slow but things soon picked up and it was just a mess of bloodshed, tricks, manipulation and lies. Now, I don’t want to get into a lot of detail because I don’t want to ruin it for you all and also because I felt like I should have done my homework before I read Archon so that I could be prepared for all the information I had to take in. (This means stop being lazy and read the definitions in the back of the book!) Archon isn’t a book to just pick up on a whim for a light weekend read. Where does Angela lie in all of this? Well I can’t tell you that, can I? Or I’d totally spoil it for you! What I do know is there is no doubt in my mind that there is a second book! Angels who are more corrupt than demons and witches who are more evil than the demons they summon, Archon can and will fulfill that dark void in your library. *Review copy provided by publisher
e_bibliophile More than 1 year ago
A very intelligent story taking pieces of theology to blend in a very gothic story. The imagery really paints a picture of Luz and its inhabitants. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So confusing...and girls names used as boy names and visa versa, annoying. In my opinion, the only thing good about it is the beautiful cover....glad I didnt buy this book.
Jodi_Ann_Hanson More than 1 year ago
Angels, and demons, and witches oh my! My senses were overwhelmed with “Archon” beginning with the book jacket, making me want to read what was inside. With the first installment in her trilogy, Benulis uses lush descriptions and larger than life characters to tell the story of a battle between Heaven and Hell. Angela Mathers has led a hard life. Born a twin, she was shunned by her parents because she was a blood head, a feature that according to prophecy will be the dark messiah. Filled with self loathing Angela made numerous attempts to take her life, but each was thwarted by an unknown force, possibly one of the angels she dreams of nightly and hopes to meet. In one final attempt Angela sets her home ablaze resulting in the death of her abusive parents and leaving her scarred. She finds herself at West Wood Academy in Luz, the Vatican’s secret enclave in the search of a normal life and her twin brother Brandon. While at the Academy, Angela learns about the coming of the Archon or Ruin. The Archon is the only one who can open the book of Raziel, taking control of the supernatural universe. One of the students, Stephanie Walsh—a witch and leader of a sorority who believes she is the Archon—takes an instant dislike to Angela because she is rumored to be the actual Archon and the object of her lover’s affections. In a battle between three Supernals, Angela and Stephanie become bitter rivals both working with their own angels and demons dragged into Hell and the Heavens. They are searching for the key that opens the book of Raziel revealing which of them is the Archon. “Archon” is Sabrina Benulis’s debut novel after graduating with a Masters in writing popular fiction. She proves herself as a force to be reckoned with in the paranormal fiction genre. I will definitely be on the lookout for the next installment in her book of Raziel series so I can grab it up and pour over each page. Reviewed by Jodi Ann Hanson for Suspense Magazine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow this book was over thought big time. Yes I know she is making it into a series but there was so much info packed into this book that it got very confusing and hard to follow. It started out very interesting so it started out as a five star but then by the middle it dropped to three then the end was a one only because i was so upset by it i just wanted the book to end.