cover image A Temptation of Angels

A Temptation of Angels

Michelle Zink. Dial, $17.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3726-6

Touched by steampunk and Harry Potter, Zink’s (the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy) paranormal romance about angels is an enjoyable if by-the-numbers read. Ostensibly set in late-Victorian London, the action has little sense of place, and the history is so “alternate” that, in effect, it is pure fantasy. The eternal struggle between light and dark is staged between the angelic Keepers and the demonic Legion, with two corresponding sets of human proxies—the Dictata, who oversee the angels, and the Syndicate, who collaborate with the Legion and monopolize the world’s economy. Sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright knows nothing of this when her home is invaded and burned, leaving Helen the only survivor. All she has is a paper her mother shoved into her hand, which leads her to the Channing brothers, Darius and Griffin. It is up to these strangers—especially attractive, sympathetic Griffin—to keep Helen alive long enough to enter into her angelic destiny. The pacing and drama are slightly lacking, so while events abound, the narrative never achieves a memorable level of tension. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)