Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Published:March 9, 2010
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN – 10:0385668619
ISBN – 13:9780385668613
Sister Evangeline was just a young girl when her father left her at St. Rose Convent under the care of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Now a young woman, she has unexpectedly discovered a collection of letters dating back sixty years – letters that bring her deep into a closely guarded secret, to an ancient conflict between the millennium-old Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful Nephilim, the descendants of angels and humans. Rich and mesmerizing, Angelology blends biblical lore, mythology and the fall of the Rebel Angels, creating a luminous, riveting tale of one young woman caught in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.”
“Set in the secluded world of cloistered abbeys, long-lost secrets and angelic humans, Angelology has all the makings of a blockbuster hit, combining elements of The Da Vinci Code and Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth
First of all, this cover just blew me away, it’s so gorgeous! I was looking forward to reading Angelology because it seemed to be written in a way that is similar to Anne Rice’s Vampires, only with Angels and Nephelim. I was not disappointed. Danielle Trussoni has truly written a unique and memorable story that will stick with you and have you wondering if maybe there really are Nephilim out there among us.
This tale is richly detailed and a wonderfully complex world in which past and present are mixed with truly believable characters, involving an enticing mystery, ancient myths and interesting theories regarding fallen angels and nephilim. The ongoing conflict between Angelologists and Nephilim had me captivated and I was pulled into the story completely! Trussoni’s writing oozes atmosphere, and the intricate plotting and pace were fascinating. Definitely a “must read” in my opinion.
Buy Angelology at:
Find out more about Danielle Trussoni and her novels at her website.
Read my interview with Danielle. (The contest portion is closed)
Sorry I’m late posting this. Packing & moving all my belongings next door one box at a time is killing me! (Keep in mind that I have Fibromyalgia and own about 3000 books. Pain has been my mistress for it seems like forever. )
My thanks to everyone who entered and to generosity of the awesome people at Viking/Penguin for supplying the copy of Angelology. We had 18 commentors with 53 entries. Randon.org gave me #6, so Van P, Congratulations!! 🙂 Please email me at sidhevicious(at)shaw(dot)ca with your snail mail info so I can pass it on to the publicist and they’ll get your book out to you.
If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new name will be drawn from all eligible entrants.
Sidhe Vicious welcomes author Danielle Trussoni! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and all about your novel ANGELOLOGY.
Thank you! I’m really glad to be here.
Your novel, ANGELOLOGY will be released on March 9th, 2010 by Viking Penguin Group. Can you tell us about it and a bit about the main characters?
Angelology is a novel that follows a group of angelologists—scholars who track and study various kinds of angels—as they work to contain the machinations of the Nephilim, half-human, half-angel creatures who are first mentioned in Genesis: 6 of the Bible. The story moves through various times and settings, going from contemporary New York, to 1940s Paris to ancient Bulgaria. The heroine is a young woman named Evangeline who becomes enmeshed in this struggle. There is also a young man named Verlaine who begins to uncover the central mystery of the novel.
What about Angels inspired you to write about them?
Actually, I didn’t set out to write about angels at all. I knew that I wanted to set some of the story in a convent and so I went to stay in one to do research. While there, I happened upon a reading room with books about angels. I knew then that angels would be an ideal centerpiece for the novel.
You’re currently living in the south of France doing research for the sequel to Angelology. Can you tell us about the new book?
Angelopolis is a love story between Evangeline and Verlaine set in Paris. There are forays to the south of France, especially the Bay of Angels in Nice.
How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?
I’ve been writing regularly since high school, when I kept very meticulous journals. I knew I wanted to write from a very young age, however, and so I have no real idea what inspired me to want to write. I think that it was something I was born to do.
Worldwide, there is a Twilight craze, and your book features a love affair between a Nephilim and a human. What do you think it is about fantastical fiction that appeals to readers so much? Where do you think ANGELOLOGY fits in with this trend?
I think the invitation to imagine a new world is irresistible for many readers and when this is combined with romance—which is a complete construction of our desire anyway—it can be even more seductive. ANGELOLOGY is (in my opinion) really different from Twilight, but there is still the obsession with otherness and desire in ANGELOLOGY, and there is definitely the element of fantasy mixed into a seemingly ‘normal’ world.
As research for this novel, you stayed in the convent of Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, WI where your great aunt is a nun. What was that experience like?
It was a wonderful, completely educational experience. The Sisters at St. Rose in La Crosse were generous with their time and allowed me to interview them. I was there before I had any real notion of what I would write, and yet they very openly allowed me to visit.
What supernatural power or creature would you most like to have or be?
I would love to be immortal and without physical substance, sort of like an angel, I suppose.
If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?
Orlando. Or Heathcliff. I can’t decide.
How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?
I think the books that influenced me the most were 19th century novels and, when I start to pull apart the structure of ANGELOLOGY, I can see that I was very much influenced by them. I love descriptive writing and larger than life characters, all of which are hallmarks of the 19th century novel.
What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?
I force myself to sit in front of my computer until I actually write something. Usually I end up throwing this out, but it will get me started. Or I eat a lot of chocolate.
ANGELOLOGY visits many different locations: a picturesque convent on the Hudson River Valley, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the streets of Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria. What was your favourite location and did you visit them to write about them?
Yes, I did visit them all, even the cave in Bulgaria. It is strange, because I love all three of these locations for different reasons. I can’t decide which is my favourite. I guess it would depend upon my mood.
How much of the book is rooted in fact and where did you let your imagination take flight?
I very purposely blurred the lines between fiction and fantasy in ANGELOLOGY. I chose characters such as Abigail Rockefeller and settings which many people are familiar with. I also have tried to create the sense that Angelology is a living breathing practice. Medieval theologians actually created angelologies–or systems of classification for angels– and were genuinely practicing the study of angels, but in our day and age it is difficult to imagine such a thing happening. In reality, it isn’t. But by creating a structure and an academy of angelology, and placing my angelologists in real settings, I hoped to draw readers into belief. One example of this is a website I’ve created: www.angelologist.com. You can learn a lot about the world of angelology on this site.
Here is an easy checklist of fact/ fiction:
ANGELOLOGY–Real although I changed its meaning and made it an on-going practice
DEVIL’S THROAT–Real. One can visit it in Bulgaria. The legends about Orpheus are also really in circulation.
ABIGAIL ROCKEFELLER–Real, although I’ve re-imagined her and made her an angelologist.
ATHENEAUM, ACADEMY OF ANGELOLOGY, PARIS—False. Fiction
NEPHILIM–Real in the Bible, so it depends upon whether one thinks the bible is fictional or not.
Saint Rose Convent–False, but modeled on a real Saint Rose Convent in La Crosse, WI
Are any of your characters particularly fun or easy for you to write? Any that are more difficult?
I loved writing from the perspective of Brother Clematis, a 10th century Thracian monk. I also loved writing from the point of view of Gabriella, one of the toughest angelologists around.
Do you have any tips for aspiring speculative fiction writers?
Make your alternate world or reality as strong as possible.
Thank you for giving me this great interview Danielle. It was a pleasure getting to know about you and your novel, Angelology!
The wonderful publicity people at Viking/Penguin have generously offered one reader a signed copy of Angelology! Giveaway is open to USA & Canada only.
Question: Do you believe in Angels? Have you ever had an experience? Do tell.
For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question. (+1 entry)
For extra entries:
- Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
- If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)
- Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. (+? entries, insert however many links you’ve done)
- Contest is open to USA & Canada and will run through March 17thth until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on March 18th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone!
(I should also mention that if you’re leaving me a bunch of links in your comment, do not panic if it doesn’t show up right away. It just automatically gets held for me to moderate, which I will as soon as I’m online. )
I’m currently reading this amazing book, Angelology! I’m supposed to have the review up today along with my interview with the author, Danielle Trussoni, but an unexpected move along with putting my back out have led to my being a bit behind with my reading. I should have my review up in a day or two, but in the mean time I’ll whet your appetites with an excerpt from the book and then the interview / giveaway post. 🙂 (I am so blown away by this awesome cover, I am actually contemplating framing it so I can gaze at it always!)
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. Copyright © 2010 by Danielle Trussoni
“Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, New York City
Percival Grigori tapped the tip of his cane as he waited for the elevator, a rhythm of sharp metallic clicks pounding out the seconds. The oak-paneled lobby of his building—an exclusive prewar with views of Central Park—was so familiar that he hardly noticed it any longer. The Grigori family had occupied the penthouse for over half a century. Once he might have registered the deference of the doorman, the opulent arrangement of orchids in the foyer, the polished ebony and mother-of-pearl elevator casement, the fire sending a spray of light and warmth across the marble floor. But Percival Grigori noticed nothing at all except the pain crackling through his joints, the popping of his knees with each step. As the doors of the elevator slid open and he hobbled inside, he regarded his stooped image in the polished brass of the elevator car and looked quickly away.
At the thirteenth floor, he stepped into a marble vestibule and unlocked the door to the Grigori apartment. Instantly the soothing elements of his private life—part antique, part modern, part gleaming wood, part sparkling glass—filled his senses, relaxing the tension in his shoulders. He threw his keys onto a silk pillow at the bottom of a Chinese porcelain bowl, shrugged his heavy cashmere overcoat into the lap of an upholstered banister-back chair, and walked through the travertine gallery. Vast rooms opened before him—a sitting room, a library, a dining hall with a four-tiered Venetian chandelier suspended overhead. An expanse of picture windows staged the chaotic ballet of a snowstorm.
At the far end of the apartment, the curve of a grand staircase led to his mother’s suite of rooms. Peering up, Percival discerned a party of her friends gathered in the formal sitting room. Guests came to the apartment for lunch or dinner nearly every day, impromptu gatherings that allowed his mother to hold court for her favorite friends from the neighborhood. It was a ritual she had grown more and more accustomed to, primarily because of the power it gave her: She selected those people she wished to see, enclosed them in the dark-paneled lair of her private quarters, and let the rest of the world go on with its tedium and misery. For years she had left her suite only on rare occasions, when accompanied by Percival or his sister, and only at night. His mother had grown so comfortable with the arrangement, and her circle had become so regular, that she rarely complained of her confinement.
Quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, Percival ducked into a bathroom at the end of the hallway, shut the door softly behind him, and locked it. In a succession of quick movements, he discarded a tailored wool jacket and a silk tie, dropping each piece of clothing onto the ceramic tiles. Fingers trembling, he unbuttoned six pearlescent buttons, working upward to his throat. He peeled away his shirt and stood to full height before a large mirror hung upon the wall.
Running his fingers over his chest, he felt a mélange of leather strips weaving one over the other. The device wrapped about him like an elaborate harness, creating a system of stays that, when fully fastened, had the overall appearance of a black corset. The straps were so taut they cut into his skin. Somehow, no matter how he fastened it, the leather cinched too tightly. Struggling for air, Percival loosened one strap, then the next, working the leather through small silver buckles with deliberation until, with a final tug, the device fell to the floor, the leather slapping the tiles.
His bare chest was smooth, without navel or nipples, the skin so white as to appear cut from wax. Swiveling his shoulder blades, he could see the reflection of his body in the mirror—his shoulders, his long thin arms, and the sculpted curve of his torso. Mounted at the center of his spine, matted by sweat, deformed by the severe pressure of the harness, were two tender nubs of bone. With a mixture of wonder and pain, he noted that his wings—once full and strong and bowed like golden scimitars—had all but disintegrated. The remnants of his wings were black with disease, the feathers withered, the bones atrophied. In the middle of his back, two open wounds, blue and raw from chafing, fixed the blackened bones in a gelatinous pool of congealed blood. Bandages, repeated cleanings—no amount of care helped to heal the wounds or relieve his pain. Yet he understood that the true agony would come when there was nothing left of his wings. All that had distinguished him, all that the others had envied, would be gone.
The first symptoms of the disorder had appeared ten years before, when fine tracks of mildew materialized along the inner shafts and vanes of the feathers, a phosphorescent green fungus that grew like patina on copper. He had thought it a mere infection. He’d had his wings cleaned and groomed, specifying that each feather be brushed with oils, and yet the pestilence remained. Within months his wingspan had decreased by half. The dusty golden shimmer of healthy wings faded. Once, he had been able to compress his wings with ease, folding his majestic plumage smoothly against his back. The airy mass of golden feathers had tucked into the arched grooves along his spine, a maneuver that rendered the wings completely undetectable.
Although physical in substance, the structure of healthy wings gave them the visual properties of a hologram. Like the bodies of the angels themselves, his wings had been substantial objects utterly unimpaired by the laws of matter. Percival had been able to lift his wings through thick layers of clothing as easily as if he had moved them through air.
Now he found that he could no longer retract them at all, and so they were a perpetual presence, a reminder of his diminishment. Pain overwhelmed him; he lost all capability for flight. Alarmed, his family had brought in specialists, who confirmed what the Grigori family most feared: Percival had contracted a degenerative disorder that had been spreading through their community. Doctors predicted that his wings would die, then his muscles. He would be confined to a wheelchair, and then, when his wings had withered completely and their roots had melted away, Percival would die. Years of treatments had slowed the progression of the disease but had not stopped it.
Percival turned on the faucet and splashed cool water over his face, trying to dissipate the fever that had overtaken him. The harness helped him to keep his spine erect, an increasingly difficult task as his muscles grew weak. In the months since it had become necessary to wear the harness, the pain had only grown more acute. He never quite got used to the bite of leather on his skin, the buckles as sharp as pins against his body, the burning sensation of ripped flesh. Many of their kind chose to live away from the world when they became ill. This was a fate Percival could not begin to accept.”
And there you have a sneak peek at Angelology which will be out on shelves tomorrow ( March 9th). 🙂