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.

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