Angelology has everything that I love in a story.
- An interesting premise
- A narrative with connections to a long history and interesting mythology
- An intriguing villain
- Interpretations of religion.
Which makes me wonder why was it so awful?
Angelology is slow moving, clunky and just plain awkward. The story spans from World War II to just before the turn of the millenium. Evangeline is a young twenty something extremely pretty woman who just happens to be a Nun and she is really good at it. One morning while checking the mail she comes across a request from a young PhD student asking for access to their library (which happens to be the largest library on the topic of Angelology. After their meeting Evangeline is dragged into the shadowy world of the Angelologists and their constant battle with the Nephilim: the evil soul-less spawn of angels and humans. Both sides of this battle are searching for a magical lyre (thought to be the lyre of Orpheus and the lyre of the Arch-angel Gabriel). The Nephilim believe that the lyre will help them transform into stronger, purer angelical beings while the Angelologists want the lyre to stop that from ever happening. They also hope to use the lyre to rid themselves of their enemies forever.
The first major problem with this novel is the Angelologists themselves. There seem to be two factions: the scholarly and the spys. It is both a career you can choose but it runs in families? It feels like the author couldn’t make up her mind if she wanted her secret society to be like academia or a secret society.
The characters in the novel also suffer from being one-sided. There is no character depth what so ever. Well. That’s a bit of a lie. There’s one character.
Percival Grigori. I wanted the book to be about him.
Percival is the fallen son of the Grigori Family a very influential Nephilim Family. His family had poured all their hope and pride into him. He was to continue the family line, find a good match in marriage etc etc. But then he got sick. Percival lives in constant shame manifested specifically in his rotten wings. Everything that marked him as the upper-class aristocrat that he was has been stripped from him, yet he continues to live only because his desperation to find a cure is so strong. The novel offers a comparison of present Percival with past Percival and how far the man has fallen. Percival is complicated, has motives and undergoes development through the novel, unlike most of the other characters.
All in all Angelology boasts an interesting premise with a fascinating mythos. The novel is hindered by its awkward prose and lack of interesting protagonists. With all this being said, I think that Angelology has the potential to be a decent movie. If given to the right people the film could be an atmospheric and interesting modern/urban fantasy or just a plain magical realist thing.