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A Temptation of Angels

A Temptation of Angels

3.9 37
by Michelle Zink

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When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been


When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself town between one of the brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Touched by steampunk and Harry Potter, Zink’s (the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy) paranormal romance about angels is an enjoyable if by-the-numbers read. Ostensibly set in late-Victorian London, the action has little sense of place, and the history is so “alternate” that, in effect, it is pure fantasy. The eternal struggle between light and dark is staged between the angelic Keepers and the demonic Legion, with two corresponding sets of human proxies—the Dictata, who oversee the angels, and the Syndicate, who collaborate with the Legion and monopolize the world’s economy. Sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright knows nothing of this when her home is invaded and burned, leaving Helen the only survivor. All she has is a paper her mother shoved into her hand, which leads her to the Channing brothers, Darius and Griffin. It is up to these strangers—especially attractive, sympathetic Griffin—to keep Helen alive long enough to enter into her angelic destiny. The pacing and drama are slightly lacking, so while events abound, the narrative never achieves a memorable level of tension. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
VOYA - Kate Conklin
Helen Cartwright is roused in the middle of the night by her mother, who hands her a bag of clothing and toiletries and sends her into a door in the wall. Standing in her nightshirt outside the address Helen's mother slipped into her hand, sixteen-year-old Helen has her first glimpse into a world she never knew existed. She is a Keeper, an angel guardian of the earth and protector of the balance of good and evil. Unfortunately for Helen, this also means she is being hunted by an assassin, the same one who killed her parents and burned her house to the ground. Helen is quickly trained and just as swiftly begins to fall in love with one of the brothers, both of whom also bear the burden of being Keepers. Deciding between her childhood friend, Raum—who has fallen out of favor with the Dictata who control the Keepers—and Griffin—who, like Helen, is striving to restore the balance—is not going to be an easy task. Michelle Zink combines angels and steampunk in this novel without a clear setting. The introduction of a computer-like information database into a story where the main character dresses in long skirts and corsets requires readers to suspend disbelief. Plot and characters are well developed and teens are sure to enjoy the action and romance, as well as the supernatural elements of the story. Reviewer: Kate Conklin
VOYA - Alissa Lauzon
One night changes everything in Helen Cartwright's life when her parents are murdered and her childhood home burns to the ground. Helen discovers that she is a Keeper, one of three remaining angelic descendants responsible for protecting the world, and she has been training for this her entire life, though she has not yet reached the Age of Enlightenment. Helen and the Channing brothers, Griffin and Darius, the sole surviving Keepers, set out to discover who is murdering Keepers and their families, and what it is that they are trying to accomplish. Fans of Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters series will not be disappointed with her newest story. Zink returns to a Victorian-era setting, adding a twist of steampunk to her blend of fantasy and romance. Zink's writing is fluid, elegant, and engaging; although the story has an intriguing premise, it does not quite live up to its potential due to holes in world building and character development. Also, the love triangle between Helen, Griffin, and Raum feels forced. Though the story starts slowly, it quickly picks up steam as the central conflict unfolds and hooks readers. Zink leaves many questions unanswered, particularly regarding Enlightenment, the roles of the Dictata and the Syndicate, and the character of Raum. With no major cliff-hanger, it is uncertain as to whether there will be more books to answer these questions, though fans will definitely want more. Purchase this where Zink's series or Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series are popular. Reviewer: Alissa Lauzon
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Late 19th century London—or is it? Helen's mother awakens her in the middle of the night and begins to pack a small suitcase for her. In the background, she hears voices raised in anger. "I know you won't understand," she says. "Not yet. But someday you will, and until then you must trust me...Take this (a crumpled piece of paper) and sit very quietly, until you know they're gone...There is a stair that will lead you beneath the house and back up again further down the road. Join with Darius and Griffin...You must be silent as you make your escape. If they hear you, they will find you. And if they find you, they will kill you." Helen, who is used to obeying her mother, does remain quiet. Eventually she hears footsteps, and a man's voice saying "Burn it." But still she does not move until she hears a crackling that indicates fire. Still in her nightdress and barefoot, she opens the door, finds the stairs and the passage that leads her to the street—one with which she is familiar. This is a good thing; when she looks at the paper her mother had given her, she knows exactly how to find the address. A young man comes to the door before she knocks—as if he had been expecting her. He introduces himself as Griffin, and brings her to meet his brother Darius. Although the brothers feel she is too young to work with them, they have no choice (she is the only one available). It seems that both families are part of the ancient race of Guardians who keep humanity safe. Now, of course, the Guardians are under siege; their enemies are everywhere, and Darius, Griffin, and Helen are their first line of defense. This is only volume one, and the reader (this one, at least) is left hoping for more. Recommended. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Helen Cartwright is 16 when her mother awakens her in the middle of the night and hurriedly rushes her into a secret passage in the wall, telling her that she must save herself or everything will have been for nothing. Thus begins the teen's mysterious adventure and education into who she really is and what this means. Helen is a Keeper; she is descended from angels and given the task of protecting the knowledge of the past, present, and future for the mysterious Dictata. Zink does a marvelous job of blending technology and magic together to create plausible explanations for many fantastical possibilities like traveling via beams from light sources due to the particulate nature of matter and energy. The use of gadgets and inventions lends a steampunk air to several scenes. Two brothers, Keepers whose parents were also murdered, take Helen in. While investigating the deaths, Helen discovers that one of her childhood friends is connected to this mysterious new world and that her loyalties are going to be tested like never before. This is a compelling read, but it differs greatly from other recent "angel fiction" in that these beings don't have wings and, aside from being on the side of good, there is little connection to the typical Heaven and Hell. There is a hierarchy of demons and the Dictata, of course, but this may not satisfy fans of the emerging angel genre. It stands alone, but a sequel could help to flesh out some of the details of this world and hopefully build upon Helen's emerging romantic possibilities.—Genevieve Gallagher, Charlottesville High School, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Zink heightens the pile of heavenly sagas. Like most heroines in these stories, Helen loses her parents before they can explain her unique legacy to her. In Helen's case, however, they prepared her for it throughout her childhood, using games to train her for her calling as an angelic guardian. A council of demons kills without discrimination, on a mission to destroy those like Helen in order to tip the balance of the world toward evil. Obeying all the tropes of this genre, Zink allies Helen with male counterparts, two brothers who are also lesser angels and who have also lost their parents. Griffin wins her heart, though Darius conveniently spurns her in what seems to be an attempt to lend additional adversity to Helen's life, since Helen doesn't much mourn her parents' recent deaths. Given how few people share their unique backgrounds, Darius' scorn doesn't make sense. A childhood friend whom Helen has not seen in many years presents the only real complexity in the book; once a playmate, he has grown up to perpetrate grave crimes, and yet he holds the keys to thwarting the forces of evil. A formulaic and slow-paced tale combining too many conventions to excite savvy readers who have likely seen it all before. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.94(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.43(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Michelle Zink (michellezink.com) is the author of the highly acclaimed Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. Michelle think of her latest novel, A Temptation of Angels, as “Sexy Victorian / Steampunk lite.” She says, “It has all the elements that are important to me as a writer, but it’s sexy and edgy and action-packed, too.” Michelle lives in New York with her four children.

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A Temptation of Angels 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
rachelnaddeo More than 1 year ago
I know, I know, another angel-themed novel but I'm just a sucker for these, please don't hold it against me! But really who could resist the beautiful cover and the already enthralling synopsis? Even though I've read many negative reviews to this novel, I can't say I agree with most of them. A Temptation of Angels delivered what was expected of it, a most-pleasant read. The story starts off rather fast, already full of action, mystery and drama. Meaning the novel kept me hooked from page one. Helen, a completely ordinary girl who is home-schooled by her parents, has to unexpectedly escape her home and leave her family behind. The only things she could take with her were: her necklace, which her mother said to never take it off, and a piece of paper with an unknown name and address written on it which leads her to two peculiar brothers, Griffin and Darius. What Helen doesn't know is that she is no ordinary girl and that her life is about to change forever. Have you ever read I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore? Well, the plot reminded me a bit of it but instead of nine aliens being hunted and murdered, in this novel there are twenty and they are angels. I loved the uniqueness in the story involving its angel lore, for example this part of the plot: the Dictata, who chose twenty angels to look after planet Earth and one of these angels has the key to the desired records, which show Earth's past, present and future enabling the holder of the key to change the course of history. But I guess I would have loved to know more about the Dictata and the Syndicate (the enemy) since they were more in the background of the story. I loved how Zink's characters were all one of a kind. Helen was a determined and strong girl but somehow I didn't like her that much. Griffin, by far my favorite, was sweet and charming, wasn't in any way the perfect prince charming. The author had a way of showing each character's weaknesses and strengths, making her characters the more realistic and as a result more likable. Darius and Anna could have been more present and I hoped that we would get to know more about them but I wasn't bothered that much when that didn't happen. Raum was another character that was so conflicted and complicated but still relatable and lovable, that even now I can't decide if I liked him or disliked him. Overall A Temptation of Angels was a great read that delivered everything I was expecting of it: mysteries, action, drama and a sweet romance. Even though the novel slowed its pace towards the end of the story, the book still captivated me and I recommend to anyone who likes novels with great characters and a lore-related plot.
ErinLM More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I was so excited when it came out and I could wait to read it. It puts an interesting and fascinating spin on the stories of angels and demons. I connected quickly with each of the characters. I seriously couldn't put this book down. I was completely riveted the entire time I was reading it and just had to know what was going to happen to Helen next. It's an incredibly intense, very emotional read and I loved every minute of it.
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars A Temptation of Angels was so very different from what I imagined it to be, but Michelle Zink is a fantastic storyteller and truly knows how to capture a reader. The story starts off very quickly and with a lot of punch. Sixteen year old Helen gets instantly thrown into a world that she was oblivious to; her parents are dead, she’s all alone, and she discovers she is one of a few people who help protect humankind. Yeah, it’s a little bit overwhelming. Helen finds herself some companions in brothers Griffin and Darius though. They are complete opposites, but each offers her some great advice…and maybe a little something more. Their history, mingled with Helen’s, is a tragedy all in itself, but they’re part of a bigger picture. The Dictata is complicated and full of mystery and it’s a story all in itself figuring it out. The crimes against the Dictata, and the murders of its members, hit Helen, Griffin, and Darius very close to home. Enter in the bad guy…Raum…he’s supposed to be evil, but I couldn’t hate him. In fact, I find his side of everything to be understandable; not right, but I get him. He’s kind of an enigma in the grand scheme of things. The almost love triangle that forms is very strong (at least to me) from his side. My one qualm with the book is that it comes off as too simple. The Dictata sounds complicated, as is The Legion (bad guys), but the focus is more on Helen. She’s important, don’t get me wrong, but I would have liked more about the bigger picture and less about her and her love life. Griffin is nice enough, but his instant love for Helen threw me a bit. A Temptation of Angels is an easy read with a historical setting that is a bit vague, but still very much old world London. The setting, the language, and the descriptions are something that I normally shy away from, but I really enjoyed it. Michelle Zink has once again produced a story that is worth reading, but more than that, it is engrossing. It’s not to be missed.
AmysSimpleLove More than 1 year ago
Michelle Zink wove an incredible beginning to a fascinating new series. Steampunk and a tease of angels and demons fill the pages, and even though the story moves at a slower pace it was a page-turner and non-stop action. World building contributed to the slow pace, but I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, the romance and Michelle's attention to detail. I would have liked to see a little more of the supernatural aspect of the story, but I'm sure that will come with future installments in the series. The mature voice of the narrator lends the story a true Victorian England era vibe. I loved the fact that this book did not follow the typical YA mold: love triangles. We are led to believe that there is the prospect of one on the horizon, only that is not the case: Helen knows exactly where her heart resides. All-in-all, Helen was a strong independent character that I look forward to reading more of in the future.
bookchelle More than 1 year ago
I have heard nothing but great things about Michelle Zink’s writing. It is always nice to get a recommendation for an author, instead of just a book. It speaks so much louder than anything, in my mind. It tells a lot about an author when their fans will gush about their writing style and the reading experience when reading that author’s work. Michelle Zink’s A Temptation of Angels is my first book by Michelle Zink. My good friend Caitlin from whatchYAreading has urged me to read Zink’s books since we first met. I know, I am really late to the game, but that’s okay! It was well worth the wait. Zink brings a new spin to the paranormal story of angels. I was instantly drawn to the concept of angelic descendants and the protection they bring to the mortal world. I was instantly drawn to the world that Zink created, with every finite detail that was shown to me through her carefully thought out words. The beginning few pages were a great way to grab my attention. From the instant explosive adrenaline rush, I was hooked. I instantly connected to the heroine, Helen. Her innocence and lack of knowledge drew out my sympathy. But seeing her transform was something that I really enjoyed. It wasn’t really a coming-of-age story, but more like coming into her own. Helen has a unique personality and Zink voiced her perfectly. I knew who Helen was supposed to be and the fierce strength that she developed. A Temptation of Angels has a great cast of characters. Each one plays an integral part of the story, as well as in Helen’s life. Each moment in the book allowed for the characters to develop into their own leading characters, without being muddled in the background. I enjoyed learning about their past and am anxious to know about their futures. I love how Zink wrote this in an alternate universe, setting it in Victorian London. I love how the world is familiar, but still fresh and new. I appreciate the details woven throughout the book, enough so that I would reread a few scenes just to fully take in the moment. A Temptation of Angels was a fantastic book to add to my shelf of favorites. The culture of the Keepers, the thrill and excitement of the hunted, as well as the love story developed between two old friends and two new ones…well it was a perfect story filled with fantasy and wonder. I highly suggest picking this up.
redleocat1 More than 1 year ago
Michelle Zink (Prophecy of the Sisters Series) continues to write beautiful, tantalizing novels. Her latest; A Temptation of Angels is a wicked combination of Angels, a Strong female protag, and Historical Fiction that you won't be able to put it down. You'll love Helen Cartwright! Helen has good head on her shoulders, she doesn't fall head over heels for a guy or let it clutter up her thoughts. She's a girl on a mission. I'm just gonna say it, she is AWESOME! Loved her bravery and tenacity. She's up there with the other fierce leading ladies. There is a guy...well three! Griffin and his brother Darius. Think of them as Sam and Dean from The TV show Supernatural.They're just as clever and tough as them. But then we have Raum, who I'm kind of on the fence about, his intentions aren't clear but actions speak louder then words and he's is good in my book(for now.) I really liked Zink's secondary characters as well, Anna. Which I'm sure there's something going on between her and Darius. There's more to their story and I dying to know! I've always loved Zink's writing and story telling. She never disappoints, with A Temptation of Angels I was totally surprised and blown away. The plot is exhilarating, fulled with dynamic characters and an intriguing new world. The awesome-ness will appeal to teens across the board, I'm sure of it. The 1st book in a riveting new series, introducing the strong heroine Helen Cartwright, which will satisfy teens looking for action, romance and adventure. It's addicting! *review taken from Ramblings of a Teenage Bookworm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. I loved it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love this but wish there was a sequel or if there is one Mrs. Zink would kindly hurry and finish it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good book. I liked the love triangle and the plot and stuff. I would recomend this book if you like to read about romance and angels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, so its another winner in my book. Ya'll probably think I never say ANYTHING negative about any books.....,not true!!!!! I'm actually 1 harsh chiqa! I loved the story (period). It was unique, riveting from the first few pages. Iblove a good story that sucks you in right away! I fell in love with Griffin the moment I saw....errrrr read about him! But then thete's Raum......sigh!!!! It ended too fast!
mrsinserra1 More than 1 year ago
When I was about 75 pages in; the book was moving, but it was a bit confusing. There were quite a few characters to remember and there had been a few events that didn't really make sense yet. I was hoping that the story picked up and that I would enjoy the book in the end and I did. This is yet another take on Angels and their role in the world. It is not religious really, not like other Angel books I have read, but the concept of Angels as warriors is biblical. Though the story was muddled and confusing in the beginning, after a couple more events, things started to make more sense and the book became more enjoyable. There is both action and romance in this book. Like many other books, the heroine is torn between two guys, one is good and kind, the other has done many bad things, but stopped because he loved her. At least in this novel, Helen makes a choice. No, I am not going to tell you who or what happens, that is for you to find out when you read the book. I enjoyed the character development and would like to see more of these characters, though I have not been able to find if there will be more, or if this is a standalone novel. There is an ending of sorts to this book, enough that you are left feeling happy and contented, but there is still enough openness that more could be written. There are not many open questions at the end, which is a good thing in my opinion. It bugs me when books are totally left hanging, like the author wasn't sure where the story was going to go and so they stopped at a point, published the book, and decided after sales whether to write more. Positives: It has an ending. Helen actually makes decisions. The characters are pretty developed, but there is enough left unknown that more novels could be written. After a confusing start, it is fast paced. There is romance. Helen is a good role model; she is strong, independent, caring, understanding, compassionate, and brave. There is no sex. It is a longer book, and a lot happens. There is a pretty tidy ending, but everything bad that happened in the story does not get fixed. I hate too perfect of endings, kind of annoying. Negatives: see my blog (below) I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read. I would recommend this story for girls grades 7 through adult, I don't think a boy would be as engrossed with this story. Please read more of my reviews on my blog: sarahereads(dot)wordpress(dot)com
LoveBooks222 More than 1 year ago
So Good!!!!!
Mic4y More than 1 year ago
It was a good and easy read. The author had a very great idea that set this book apart from other books about angels. Although the delivery fell flat. The storyline would have been better if Zink would have elaborated more and not rush as much. I would have also liked to get to know the characters more, I feel like too much focus was on Helen. It would have been nice to at least known Griffin and Darius better since they were also Lesser Angels. Overall a really good read I just personally could not connect to it as well and did not mind putting it down very now and then (which is not such a good thing). I just could have seen this book go farther with all it's potential.
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Somewhat interesting idea but that is about it... got almost to the end and realized I just wasn't interested in the outcome. $10 not well spent.
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This is a great book i love the story and i love Helen she is a awsome caracter who loved here parents and wants to find the person who killed them and is trying to kill her but dosent know what to do when she finds out is was her childhood freind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NoMoreMarbles More than 1 year ago
Lately, I've been seeing alot more angel related books in the teen department, which I can't complain because I love the idea of angels mixed in. However, I wouldn't say this is my favorite out of all the ones I've read. It did have a good set upto get the story rolling, but I just didn't completely connect with the story. The love interest was cute, but I hate how it was rushed. By the end of the book, only about a week or two has passed so it seems, and shes already in love with two boys. I felt it could of been better if it was dragged out into the next books so more emotion could of gone into it, and built up the relationship.