Danielle Trussoni | Angelopolis (Viking)

Of the multitude of divergent subplots, very few reached completion, and at times the information they introduced was muddled and contradictory.

 

 

320 pages, $27.95 hardcover

Sequels are never easy. Whether it’s in the form of a book, a movie, or a graphic novel, sequels are a place where all expectations and theories are put to the test. However, the one trick that every reader should keep in mind is that it’s not about what the sequel’s story should be, but what the story is. In both cases, Danielle Trussoni’s Angelopolis fell short of its promising beginning.
 
Angelopolis is the sequel to Trussoni’s best-seller, Angelology, a supernatural adventure that combined the historical treasure hunting elements from the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure with the most brutal elements of The Old Testament. It was a story about rebellious angels, bastard celestial offspring, and a struggle between the exiles of heaven and humanity that dates back to before Noah built his arc.
 
Angelology was the kind of story that kept you awake at night, wondering if you should read another chapter, even if it meant risking being stuck at an even greater cliff hanger than before. And then, when you finally reached the end, you just had to sit back for a minute in awe.
 
By contrast, Angelopolis was a tale which, while having many of the attributes that made Angelology great, had a distinct lack of focus. Instead of being a grand historical mystery adventure like its predecessor, it was written more like a straight action thriller, removing the historical puzzles and mysteries that made Angelology so engaging and turning into what could best be described as a fractured spinoff of the television series Supernatural: all angel hunters, all the time.
 
Told from many perspectives and a few different locations, Angelopolis gave the impression of going everywhere and nowhere. With her new action-oriented story, Trussoni also introduced a new host of characters to go with it. Every character was given a narrative and plot points to introduce, but the stories they told, while related, were too disparate to truly synch up by the novel’s end. Among these tales were an Ahab’s hunt for his Moby Dick, a lover’s search for a true love he never truly knew, a widowed husband’s quest for vengeance, and the long-lost story of a mad monk intertwined with Russian royalty.
 
Of the multitude of divergent subplots, very few reached completion, and at times the information they introduced was muddled and contradictory. Few of these characters were given the space they needed to develop, leading the reader to question what true significance they truly held. The end result was a story with a lot of build up and forward momentum, but little to no resolution by the time the book ended.
 
What was perhaps the most disappointing part of Trussoni’s tale, however, was the lack of overall plot development. While some major external events did take place, as far as the main characters were concerned little changed in regard to the status quo. It’s as if, right before the curtain fell, an invisible hand forced all the characters back to their starting positions until the next act begins.
 
One of the greatest joys to be found in reading a sequel is getting to see how the characters you’ve known and loved have changed. What have they seen? What have they learned? What new obstacles will they face and how will their trials affect them? By the end of Angelopolis many of these questions were left without answers. | Brent Mueller

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