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Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A Temptation of Angels
Michelle Zink
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Source: Purchased
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.
I've loved Michelle's books for a long time, so when I first heard of this books I knew that I had to have it. This was an incredible angel book. Not only was it obvious well-researched, it also managed to be completely unlike anything I've ever read. The twist on angels was fantastic, and there was enough action to keep me from falling asleep. It definitely wasn't perfect, and yet I still genuinely enjoyed it. It as an incredible book, and it's faults didn't take away at all form how much I loved it.

I had some difficulties with Helen, honestly. It was hard to relate to her because she really had a tendency to be a little on the whiny side. Of course I could understand it to some point, but still. It was really hard to relate to her sometimes, when she could be incredibly stubborn or just flat-out act like an idiot. She did some really dumb things that honestly I couldn't tolerate. In some way I understand why she did what she did, but that still doesn't excuse it. It doesn't take much brain power to think things through and be less impulsive, especially when that impulse is likely to get you killed. Still, there were times when I liked her.

I love Griffin. He's so sweet, and a genuinely nice and caring guy. I just…love him. Honestly, how could I not? He's rational where Helen is impulsive, and he thinks of things she doesn't or won't. He's not without faults thought, and he isn't a perfect person, which I do like. He's also so loving and respectful. He's actually a little mellow for my taste, but I still adore him. I do wish he'd take a stand every once in a while, but oh well. He's a really well-written character.
Um. Well. I didn't exactly like Raum very much. Helen felt she could understand his past and what led him to make the choices he did, but that really doesn't excuse them. Ordering a murder is the same thing as doing it yourself—either way, people are dead and the blood is on your hands. So I didn't really care about his sob story at all. And I'm glad for Helen that she could forgive him, but whatever. It doesn't mean I have to like him.

I loved Darius. He's strong and really takes the lead. He's also confident, and in a strange way protective of his brother. He also sees his own weaknesses, and acknowledges them. And sometimes he'll do things despite his better judgment if he thinks they must be done. He's also an extremely well-written character, and though he comes off as aloof, it's easy to see that he's not always as strong on the inside as he appears to be, and I like that.
Anna's a sweet character, and although she's not in the story much, it's easy to get a good read on her. She's fiercely loyal to her friends, and she'll stop at nothing for them. She'll take risks if it means that they'll be safer, and she's soooo understanding. When things go wrong, she's okay with it being the way it is.
I liked Galizur. He's obviously intensely intelligent, and he's so helpful to Helen, Griffin, and Darius. Like a father figure, really. He represents both what Helen has lost and what she has gained, and that's really unique. I loved it.

Michelle's angel were something I'd never have thought of before, and illustrated so beautifully. The Dictata, the rules, the magic, everything about it. And there wasn't much magic. Just a little mostly involving travel, which I liked because it was described in an almost scientific way. There were also some weapons that obviously had some magical influence, but the magic was definitely not overused. Instead of being too overdramatic or ridiculous, it was a part of the story but not too central.

While the action started right away, it did move kind of slowly through some parts. Erratic. Things would happen, and then they wouldn't. Overall there was enough action to keep me interested, but some things definitely happened a little too slowly for my taste, and I needed it to move faster. My interest was held for the most part, but it definitely wavered.

And I had no interest in the storyline with Raum whatsoever. It was boring, and I didn't care about it at all. The whole childhood-friend thing was boring, and honestly I just didn't feel it. The whole thing felt kind of fake to me. It also dragged out a it too long and rather too dramatically, if you ask me. I was hoping that it would get more entertaining, or something, but to me it never did. I just had no interest in Raum, or his past, and anything involving that was horridly boring.

However, for the most part, I did like this story. I was entertained, and I genuinely enjoyed the story, and I definitely had a hard time putting it down.

The romance between Griffin and Helen was sweet, although it waas a bit instalovey for my taste. There was definitely development, but still. Still, there was enough development that I didn't feel completely cheated in the romance department. There's definitely chemistry between them, but it's not ostentatious, more on the quieter side. And as for the Raum love triangle thing, please don't even make me go there. I won't. I can't.

I've always adored Michelle's writing, although honestly, I think I enjoyed her first person more. Generally I prefer third person, but in this instance that's apparently not the case. It was difficult for me to relate to Helen even without hearing her voice, and while hearing her voice might have made it harder it also had the potential to make it easier. We do get into her head a lot, but somehow it didn't make me feel connected to her at all. And honestly? The dialogue wasn't that great. However, I did like the description. Gorgeous imagery, lovely sensory detail, the works.

I thought the ending was wonderful. It was left a little open and not completely resolved, and yet it was resolved enough that I felt satisfied with the novel as a standalone. There's obviously more to be told, but Ii think in a way it's best that Helen's story ended here. It's not all gumdrops and roses, but it's still satisfying. I enjoyed the way that it closed on a sweet note, but there was also a little sadness. But overall, there was the overarching happiness and hope that made this a worthwhile ending for me.

I'm willing to follow Michelle pretty much wherever she takes me, so whatever books are in her future I'll be reading eagerly. I loved this book, and I'd definitely recommend it if you're into the Victorian era and/or have a thing for reading about angels. There are some simply incredible angel books out there, but A Temptation of Angels should not be overlooked. Against all odds, it's a paranormal romance that I truly enjoyed and will definitely be reading again.




  1. I love books about angels and I like that you said this was well researched. The story sounds very original and I'm glad you said you liked it! Even with the action starting slow, it sounds like it ended up to be a great book and one that grabbed your attention later in the book. I like a good ending and with everything else you said, this sounds perfect for me!

  2. This is actually the only Michelle Zink book I've read, but while it wasn't bad, I wouldn't count it among my favourites. Something I could definitely identify with you on is Griffin and Raum. I mean, Griffin totally stole my heart, but Raum? Buddy, if you're going to try and kill the girl you supposedly love, I don't think she'd like that very much.


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