Friday, March 8, 2013

Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni

Angelopolis: A NovelAngelopolis: A Novel by Danielle Trussoni

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Angelopolis is a disaster of a book.

It begins well, with our hero from book #1, Verlaine, and his meeting with Evangeline. Evangeline is taken by Eno, an evil Emin angel, which is the start of our adventure to Dullsville.

Trussoin spends an incredible number of pages dedicated to what each type of angel looks like, and what they do. Equally, the dedication to Noah and his seed catalog is tiresomely drawn out.

What is lacking from Angelopolis is a point. Verlaine MUST get Evangeline back because he feels awe and flutters when he's near her. The actual emotions of the characters are so stilted and academic, it hurts. The motivation is nil, and so the characters simply exist and perform the essential tasks needed to move the meager plot forward.

In this passage, Verlaine "shivers" because "There was something in her manner that inspired a sense of fearlessness." What that something is, we don't know. The character that inspires fearlessness, said relatively little.

In another instance, Vera has just awoken to find her party greatly reduced.

"Vera wanted to say something but she couldn't find her voice. She hoped that her silence would be understood as a kind of vigil."

These kinds of passages just scream cop-out. These are moments to be taken advantage of in character development, but instead, Trussoni simply moves forward. After all, there's boring and oddly executed action scheduled!

Equally troublesome are the settings that contain items that were previously not included.

"There was no bed and no sign of food or water."

Just one page later and in the same setting Trussoni writes, "Lucien went to his bed and pulled a beat-up suitcase from underneath."

Magically appearing beds are one thing, but cots and metal chairs make an appearance as well in a prison setting.

"There were no blankets, beds, or toilets nothing more than what was absolutely necessary to sustain the creatures."

"They (Angels) screamed and struck at the tower with whatever was on hand--metal folding chairs and rods broken form the cots in their cells."

Now they have cots, but no beds? It's troublesome when an author isn't clear about the rules that govern the world she's created. The angels either rest or need sleep, or they don't.

While I'm discussing things that don't exist, let's talk about the title. (view spoiler)[ There is no Angelopolis! Apparently it exists in the inner circle of the prison, but that's the extent of the conversation. I can only conclude that Trussoni liked the sound of the word, and used it. She had to put something about an Angelopolis in the book, and so we are fed lame lines that add up to nothing. (hide spoiler)]

At the heart of the plot are the evil angels and their threat to humanity. Very little time is spent on creating a sense of fear and impending doom. We simply have to take it on the word of the Angelologists that the angels are evil.

Let's not forget that Evangeline is in danger and Verlaine must save her because he feels awe and flutters when she's around. So, in what must be the stupidest section of the book, (view spoiler)[ Verlaine leaves Bruno and Yana from a security post because he's tired of talking and goes off to find Evangeline in the prison alone. Why? "His time for simply taking orders was over. He was going after Evangeline alone." Except that there were NO orders. (hide spoiler)]

This kind of manufactured drama stilted, I could simply not take it seriously.

Finally, the conclusion is horribly thrown together, and an ridiculous cliffhanger is tacked to the last page. (view spoiler)[ Verlaine plans to catch Evangeline, and kill her! (hide spoiler)] Dumb.

Quotes taken from an unedited e-galley.

ARC provided by and Viking

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