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Rating: 3.5/4

Summary:  “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 … and their secrets assist in her dangerous hunt.” –STARRED Library Journal   

Reaction: I’ve been mulling this one over for quite some time now, trying to decide how I feel about the novel. (Based on that alone, you can tell it was thought provoking.) Was it interesting? Yes. Nice work of quasi-real religious fiction? Yes. Obviously very Da Vinci Code – and, as with that work, I’m sure some religious bodies are strongly objecting to this work somewhere, too. However, since I read it as fiction (just as I read The Da Vinci Code as fiction), I have no problems enjoying the imagination it took to create this work.  

My main objection to the book is that the whole middle section (an entire third of the book) didn’t compel me. I’m kind of surprised it made it past editing. The first and last sections were set in modern time, while the middle section was years past and designed to provide some background on both the quest and the characters. For me, it was just too long. It didn’t have the same flow or urgency as the rest of the work, so I ended up reading through quickly just to make it back to the story I really cared about.  While the information provided in the middle section was helpful, it could have been conveyed more effectively.

Additionally, I found the character of Evangeline somewhat shallowly portrayed. She is smart, pretty, and dutiful – I get that. But I wanted more about how and why her father got her to join a convent in modern times. I wanted to know more about how she felt about it – probably because I didn’t buy that she was okay with it.  And I thought the ending was rather sudden.

That being said, I liked it. The plot and the “religious fantasy,” if you will, are the high points of this work, and made it worth reading for me.

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