A Temptation of Angels
by Michelle Zink
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. (goodreads.com)
About a million moons ago, I won a contest on Michelle Zink’s website for a finished copy of A Temptation of Angels. Unfortunately for me this book published and got sent to me during the ARGGHHH! WHY CAN’T I READ ANYTHING!?!? time of my life. (Also known as: the last 4 months.) I should have devoured this book the second I got it, but I didn’t. (R.J. Anderson’s Swift suffered a similar fate, but I am happy to report that both of these books were completed this past weekend! Huzzah!)
You probably know Michelle from her amazing Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. This is her fourth book – and it’s a stand-alone (three cheers for that!) She’s still writing YA literature and she’s still painting beautiful images with her words and world building.
Michelle managed to tell a compelling and mysterious story in just one book. (Imagine that!) Helen Cartwright is a strong and likable protagonist with whom you feel sympathetic towards right from the opening chapter.
This isn’t an angel-oriented story full of wings and smiting. It’s a pretty original steampunkish tale of good versus evil. In fact, I often forgot about the angel aspect of the story (I don’t see that as a negative for me, though!) I loved the magical elements of the story and the ability to “jump” from one place to another through light. I found it sort of a historial James Bond-y kind of mystery. There are gadgets and skulking around in the dark, and hidden passageways and more. All elements had me intrigued and eager to turn the page and find out MORE!
As I mentioned in my teeny little blurb on Goodreads when I finished this book, I didn’t give the book 5 stars only because of the love-triangle angle. I hate love0triangle story lines. Hate them. I find they do nothing to advance the story and skip over all of the pining and whining over which man the heart belongs to. I also felt that that insta-love thing was present the entire time and this is one aspect that I think might have been improved upon had this been more than one book. Regardless, I still don’t like love-triangles in books. They annoy me.
That, of course, is my own personal opinion though. I don’t care how amazing a story might be, if there’s a love-triangle, I’ll hate that part of it. 😉
Michelle Zink has done it again, folks. A Temptation of Angels is beautiful and gothic and suspenseful and I just want to read more from her, like, NOW!