A Temptation of Angels
Published March 20th 2012
by Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN 0803737262 (ISBN13: 9780803737266)
Reviewed by: Lindsay – The Violet Hour
“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.”
The Challenge in Understanding the Characters of Temptation of Angels
Although I am not a huge fan of Michelle Zink’s work, I’m always on the lookout for new angel books. Ever since I read Cynthia Hand’s series, Unearthly, I’ve been hooked. The title, A TEMPTATIONS OF ANGELS, is very alluring, so I grabbed it. Sad to say, I was not super impressed. There is very little personal description of any character. That made it hard for me to visualize and connect with them. Turns out Helen has violet eyes, but I didn’t find that out until halfway through. The only thing I learned about Darius’s and Griffin’s looks were that they had yellow-green eyes and tawny hair. Zink also did not develop their characters very much. Helen a bit more than the brothers, but they all just fell a bit flat for me. Griffin was the only character that even remotely had any intriguing qualities, with his mysterious lines of protectiveness and hints at his feelings for Helen.Being ‘angelic descendants’, I was expecting the remaining three Keepers to be…well, more angelic. Mostly they are just Keepers of ‘the records’ that can ‘light jump’ and have a group of protectors and informants that help them out. They did have some sweet sickle skills, though. I was just expecting…angels. A very dear blogger friend tried to explain this to me and likened them to Shadowhunters (of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments fame). That comparison helped somewhat, but these Keepers just didn’t do ‘it’ for me.
A Confusing Setting
Also, I’m confused as to what time period this book takes place in. Helen wears dresses made by an honest-to-God seamstress and washes her face with water in a basin (very ‘Right-o, old chap!), yet Galizur has a computer-like device that pulls up information in the blink of an eye. I understand that with his being connected with the Dictata there would be perks and things like that, but it just seemed inconsistent and odd. The same blogger friend brought up that Zink was trying to go for a steampunk feel, and I admit that I’ve not read much of that, but still I think there should have been more of that throughout the story to tie it in.
I almost never tell anyone to not read a book, and A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS will be no different. Just like with the Prophecy of the Sisters series, some people absolutely loved it. I did not. So if this book sounds appealing to you, give it a shot. Maybe you will catch things that I didn’t and end up liking it. If you’re looking for an actual book about angels, I suggest the series I mentioned at the beginning of my review.