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.
I am a huge fan of Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters, and have to admit that I let out a little squee of joy when A Temptation of Angels showed up in my mailbox. When I realized it was a standalone I got even more excited - finally I'd be able to read a good story without a cliffhanger ending!
And a good story it was! I have to say that the setting reminded me somewhat of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, the same dark, dirty London streets, and I absolutely loved it. There's just something about this period in time, the role women had in society, the way everything was supposed to be so "proper", that makes it even more fun to read about a character like Helen.
Helen has been raised without any awareness of her powers, but her parents made sure she has the skills necessary for her future. "Find the exit" might not be a common game, and most girls Helen's age would be taking needlework and piano lesson over fencing, but she has never thought of her education as weird. Not until the day when her parents are murdered, and she finds herself needing everything they've taught her. I really, really liked Helen. She is so determined to get revenge for her parents, to do whatever it takes to catch the bad guy, and yet she's insecure, she's lost in this world where her parents can no longer protect her, and she is confused, trying to decide who she can trust. I loved how she knew absolutely nothing about her powers, yet was determined to learn, to do her share in the battle against the Dictata.
There is a bit of a love triangle, but even as Helen is trying to make up her mind about both guys and what they mean to her, there is never much doubt about who she truly wants, and by the end she makes a final decision. It was very refreshing with an ending with no lose ends. I would love to read more about Helen and her future adventures, but for now her story is settled.
In A Temptation of Angels Michelle Zink has once again created something completely original. I loved the idea of angels protecting the world, and it is very much a classical tale of good vs evil, of friendship and romance, of loss and sorrow, and most of all of a young girl coming into her own. If this is not on your to-read list already, add it now!
Dark, dreamy and mysterious - I love it!
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ARC received from publisher
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