Saturday, 17 March 2012

ARC Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Original Title: A Temptation of Angels
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers (Imprint: Dial)
Expected Publication: March 20th 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Young-adult


Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata 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 torn between the angelic 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.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.


*** Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers for the review copy. ***

Sixteen-year old Helen Cartwright was hidden in a secret place inside the house by her mother, who tells her that she was in danger and she must go to a particular address and meet a specific person named Galizur and that he will explain the rest.  Soon after Helen was hidden, her parents were murdered and the murderers burnt the house.  Helen after some initial feeling of sadness, is determined to be alive, atleast to make the sacrifices of her parents meaningful.

Helen escapes from the burning house and reaches the address given by her mother to find two brothers - Darius and Griffin - who also lost their parents from the same murderers and waiting to seek vengeance.  Helen was taken by the brothers to meet Galizur, who her mother told would explain everything to her.  Galizur tells that Helen is an angel and Helen, Darius and Griffin are the last of those who survived.  One among them is the Keeper of the Keys and that's why they were hunted for.  Helen takes in all of this slowly and takes measures to keep her alive and also to seek revenge.  But, things change when she learns that the person who ordered her parents' murder is a childhood friend of Helen's.  And behind all of this, a biggest secret awaits Helen and the other angels, that they hadn't expected.

This is my first novel from Michelle Zink and I admit that the author has brought a plot that was well thought out and trendy.  After a long time, angels and demons with their original duties and forms, come out in a angel-demon love life or star-crossed romance or hot demons (not saying I wouldn't like these types, just referring to common plot these days).  So, here, angels are angels - good, protecting the world, maintain the well-being of the residents of the Earth, secretive, trying to keep the demons at bay.  And demons are demons - ugly, monstrous, trying to take over the world, always disturbing and destroying the angels.  This simple thing was what I admired in this book.

And what I loved?  The plot.  The things that the author unwinds at various levels of the novel was good and satisfactory.  I explained the plot already and you should know, by now, what I meant.  Its not something flashy, but its simple and balanced.  The world-building is a good job as well.  Well done!

What I not liked?  Although it was set up in the historical trend, I didn't feel just felt like the current day setup.  And the character development!!!  There is no depth in any of the characters.  The characters doesn't feel at home (usually well-developed characters does, to me :)).  Though I understand that this is not a prime romance novel, I expected some nice romantic scenes, even if it is one or two.  So that was a disappointment, because when there are more than one love interests, those romantic scenes will help you understand the motivation behind them and judge who will win the cake.

If you like novels with angels and demons / good and evil, then give it a try!  But, don't set your expectations high!!!



Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist's Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library's Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library's Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.

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