by Michelle Zink
Pub. Date: March 20, 2012
Book received from: Publisher
A Temptation of Angels gives us the familiar story of good versus evil, angels versus demons, with the sixteen year-old Helen Cartwright suddenly thrown into the middle of the battle when her parents are murdered. Unaware that she has been trained to step into her role as a Keeper (one that helps to maintain the balance), she learns quickly that her parents were preparing her for everything that lies ahead. Helen must learn how to survive in a world that she did not even know existed until now, with the help of two brothers, Darius and Griffin, who are also Keepers. While the other Keepers are being taken out one by one, they must race to find out who is behind it all- and why.
There is, of course, a love triangle, complete with the good-boy/bad-boy dichotomy, as is so popular with the YA scene today. However, Helen is a very independent and strong character and is conscious of not relying on either of the guys. Regardless, it is the one part of the story that could have been approached in a different way and not detracted from the core of the storyline. It would have been quite refreshing if she had not let herself get distracted at all from the mission at hand.
Michelle Zink has an incredibly fluid, straight-forward writing style. Without being overly descriptive at all, one is easily transported into the world late 19th-century London. Although the time is never explicitly given, the clues she slips in make it apparent. While most authors tend to take entire paragraphs, and sometimes pages, describing every feature of the characters, clothing, and scene, Zink has a way of fitting it all in as part of the flow of the story.
A Temptation of Angels is a story that has been told many ways before, with a typical love-triangle, coming-of-age twist. One of the things that makes this book different is that there is no reference to a god being a central element in the angels/demons battle, which really causes the reader to explore and understand the moral implications surrounding all the choices the characters make. The characters are all easily given depth, and the combination of the flowing writing style and old-style setting make it nearly impossible to put down. There is something special that will cause this book to be an instant YA favorite for the year that would not be present if it were not written by Zink. With a story and ending easily lending itself to a complete series, we are left in impatient anticipation.
This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Michelle Zink, go to her website here.