Thursday, June 20, 2013


Pages: 528
Date: 19/06/2013
Grade: 5+
Details: No. 2 The Angelus Trilogy
               Received from Penguin Group/
               Blue Rider Press through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The Blurb:

“Two years after the battle at Lausanne Cathedral, the War of Shadows goes on...

Jay Harper, one of the last ‘angels’ on Planet Earth, is still hunting down the half-breeds and goons who infected Paradise with evil. Intercepting a plot to turn half of Paris into a dead zone, Harper ends up on the wrong side of the law and finds himself a wanted man. That doesn’t stop his commander, Inspector Gobet of the Swiss Police, from sending him back to Paris on a recon mission... a mission that uncovers the mystery of an ancient gift to mankind, born of angels at Montségur, the last fortress of the Cathars.

Katherine Taylor and her two year old son Max are living in a small town in the American Northwest. It’s a quiet life. She runs a candle shop and spends her afternoons drinking herbal teas, imagining the crooked little man in the belfry of Lausanne Cathedral, the man who believed Lausanne was a hideout for lost angels. And there was someone else, someone she can’t quite remember... as if he was there, and not there at the same time.

A man with a disfigured face emerges from the shadows.  His name is Astruc, a defrocked priest wanted for murder; he's obsessed with the immortal souls of men.  Like a voice crying in the wilderness, he warns the time of The Prophecy is at hand...a prophecy that calls for sacrifice of a child born of light...”

“The religions and flags of men mean nothing to me, or those like me. Religions and flags come under the heading of free will. We can’t make those sorts of choices for men. It’s a certain breed of evil hiding behind the religions and flags, the ones who sow fear and greed among men, that we’re interested in.”

WOW! What a book! What an imagination and what a story!

When I read The Watchers almost a year ago I was blown away by the book. The idea behind the story was original, well thought out and brilliantly delivered. When I discovered that the book was the first part of a trilogy I was both delighted and a little bit afraid; would the author be able to live up to the expectations he had created in book one? And, before I go on, if you haven’t read The Watchers yet, please do so before starting this book. You will probably enjoy this book without having read the first book but not nearly as much as you will if you know the back-story.

I shouldn’t have worried. Angel City is at least as good as The Watchers and pushes the story forward in a manner that makes perfect sense and yet is full of surprises and unexpected twists. Two and a half years after the battle in Lausanne Cathedral, Jay Harper is still his old unpredictable and hard to control self. Although some of his memories of what happened in Lausanne have been erased – as most of the memories from his past have been – he remembers enough to realize that he escaped from a great danger and that the battle was only started at the Cathedral. And although there is something wrong with Jay Harper, something that may well end his existence once and for all, he is still on a quest to defeat the forces of evil, although he doesn’t know who or what exactly he is looking for and what exactly those forces are after.

Katherine Taylor is living in the United States, protected by forces from the Swiss Guards with her son Max, who was born after she narrowly escaped with her life in Lausanne. Since Katherine’s memories are also being controlled she is not exactly sure what happened in that city or even who Max’ father might be. And although she does realize that she is in danger, she has no idea how big the danger actually is and what form it might take should it ever find her.

Astruc is a priest on a mission. Convinced that he and his assistant Goose are the only forces for good left, he sets out on a quest to warn the world about the Prophecy that is about to be fulfilled; a war between the forces of good and evil that is about to reach its climax and the future of the world and humanity appears to depend – some would say once again – on an innocent baby boy.

Like I said, this is an amazing book. Taking the reader from Montségur in the 13th century, to Paris in the very near future, from Switzerland to the USA this is a story that begins at full blast and doesn’t let up until the very last page.

Historical facts, conspiracy theories and biblical stories are faultlessly brought together to create a plausible and fascinating plot. So plausible, in fact, that it is almost possible to believe that this could actually happen. In Jay Harper’s words:

“Trust me mate, spend enough time watching the world go by and you learn just because something isn’t possible doesn’t mean it can’t happen.”

And it is Jay Harper’s cynical view of the world and the situations he finds himself in, as well as his dead-pan way of dealing with, and commenting on, what is happening with and around him that stops this from being an incredibly dark story. In fact, one of the strengths of this book is that the author manages to combine drama, tension, action, humour, descriptions, relationships and love without ever slowing down the plot. No matter how pleasant a scene in this book may be, there is always that undercurrent of danger that keeps on pushing the story and the reader forwards.

I like that our heroes are as flawed as they come. Jay Harper may be an angel but you’d be hard pressed to call him Angelic. And while Katherine Taylor may be a former hooker she proves herself the most loving mother and loyal friend imaginable. It is impossible not to like these two characters and become engrossed in their adventures. These are two anti-heroes and yet the future of the world and humanity depends on their actions.

And then there’s the cliff-hanger. Did the first book end in such a way that the story could have stopped there, this book ends at such a heart-stopping moment that there is no room for doubt that a sequel is coming. And I have absolutely no objection to another book by this author. set in this world with these characters. What I do have a problem with is that I haven’t been able to find out when this third book might be coming. I really do NOT want to wait another year before I find out how all of this is going to play out.

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