Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Publication Date: March 20th, 2012
Dial Books
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
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’m a little tired.

I wouldn’t say that this book had so much promise that it didn’t deliver. It’s just…I’m a little tired of the angel lore, that’s all. This book also had a love triangle, ergo, the chances of me gushing over it was on the unlikely side.

A Temptation of Angels had Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices air to it, so the steampunk element has that going for it, at least. However, one of the problems that I encounter with steampunk is, the period tends to squander my interest quite easily. The book would have to do a lot to keep my attention, meaning, the book had to be steep with action and, or romance. Well, this book faltered on both.

The main character, Helen showed very little emotions. The deaths of her parents didn’t seem to affect her one bit.  She seemed intent on replacing her grief with vengeance, which to a certain point, I truly got. But the absence of tears as she learned that her parents perished in a deliberate house fire didn’t help with my ability to connect with her.

The romance between her and Griffin seemed forced and awkward. I couldn’t see him as worthy love interest, to be honest. But this might have something to do with personal preference (I’m into misunderstood bad boys). It didn’t take long for Helen to develop some feelings for him – which I found odd considering she couldn’t even garner enough emotions in her to shed a tear or two for her parents. I was excited to read about Raum and the circumstances with which they were connected. I decided to read the next book to the series just because I want to see how far – if in fact, it would – the relationship would go. Unfortunately, she also admitted to loving him. Some could argue that Helen have loved Raum longer than that but I don’t really think it counts – especially if Helen had always thought he was an ‘imaginary friend’ growing up.

The action was few and far between. The author didn’t really show any of Helen’s training as a Keeper. Instead, she wrote that the she was already trained. It’s a bit hard to see her as someone who could defend herself from wraiths and murderous, vindictive defectors of the good angels, simply because I didn’t really have an insight to her strengths. All I know was that she was incredibly good at holding back her tears.

Over all, I think that Ms. Zink did a fantastic job in re-writing the tiresome angel lore by giving it a more-developed myth. I just can’t get into it any longer.

I wish there’s a big ol’ suggestion box somewhere in Good Reads for authors about what can no longer be exploited when writing stories. L O V E   T R I A N G L E would be written on mine in big, black, bold letters. Seriously. I’m just tired of it.

  • sad i know
    still i'm hoping the next 1 will be gr8

  • Thanks, Maja.

    I just have to be more particular about my reads from now on. Love triangle and angels have kind of lost their charms.

  • I feel bad as well because when I tweeted about this book, she tweeted back with well wishes that I'd enjoy the book. She's a nice lady.

  • Gosh, I do despise love triangles and the chances of me actually enjoying a book with one are slim to none. Besides, I'm an emotional reader, so a heroine that shows very little emotional depth is hard for me to connect with. To be honest. I was never drawn to this book and I'm not even sure why, but now I'm pretty sure that I need to stay away.
    Thanks so much, Joy!
    Maja @ The Nocturnal Library

  • Totally agree with you. Although I love paranormal, angel books just don't usually do it for me. I felt terrible writing a bad review about this book as the author seems so nice via Twitter and other social media — but.. as bloggers, we must do the negative reviews!
    I too was surprised with Helen's lack of character and emotions. I felt like she acted much younger than her age — as though she didn't understand what was happening.
    Great review =).