A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink is a very well-plotted historical paranormal novel. Really: I was impressed with the plot. Unfortunately – the characters? Not so much.

So, Helen Cartwright’s world is turned upside down when her parents are brutally killed and her house burned down. Her mother managed to hide her right before losing her life, so Helen takes refuge with two mysterious brothers she’d never met previously. When she discovers that her family’s deaths are part of a larger plot involving the balance of good and evil – she realizes she has been training for this her entire life.

Of course, that still doesn’t mean she is ready.

So – like I said, the plot is very well done. It is intricate, balanced and well thought out. If you like angel novels, A Temptation of Angels is definitely a book that should go on your to-read list.

Unfortunately, the plot is basically this book’s only strength. The characters and setting both leave something to be desired.

Since everything is revolving around the danger these characters are in, I feel like they weren’t developed properly. Everything they did fed into the plot, which left the characterization really weak.

Also, Helen was so stubborn about being involved in everything, even when it meant resources had to be used worrying about her instead of furthering the mission. I feel like there is a fine line between strength and stupidity that Helen might have been on the wrong side of. I feel weird saying that since I’m all about tough female characters, but Helen just rubbed me the wrong way all-around.

Also, I felt like the historical setting was incidental. It just as easily could have been set in the present-day (or heck, the future) without any important changes to the story. That was a huge disappointment for me, because historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres. I wish Michelle Zink had weaved in more historical detail.

So, I would mainly recommend A Temptation of Angels for readers who prefer plot driven novels over stories with more character development. Since I didn’t connect with Helen, this is probably not a series I’ll be continuing.

Check out A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink on Goodreads / Amazon

Other Reviews:
Bookalicious
Bewitched Bookworms
YA Book Nerd

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Sandy March 14, 2012, 8:55 am

    Oh this makes me sad. I like angel books but haven’t read an angel book that I LOVE except for Clockwork Angel (which was awesome) and I was hoping this one would one of the few that I would really enjoy but what I prefer in a story is great characters and if the characterization in this one were weak I might just skip this one. Thanks for the review!

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  • Andrea March 14, 2012, 12:12 pm

    OH, this makes me so disappointed! I like a book with a good plot but I need some character development in it! I’ve heard the same thing from a few other people who’ve read this book. I was really excited for it too. Thanks for the honest review!
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  • Heidi March 14, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Hrm, I’m sad to hear the historical elements were really lacking, that is disappointing. I’m occasionally fine with a lack of character development if there is a strong enough plot, but we’ll see. I’m over angels, but still interested enough to maybe check this one out. Thanks for the review!
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  • Melanie March 15, 2012, 10:29 am

    I love historical paranormal books, which is why this one caught my eye. I really liked Zink’s Prophecy of the Sisters, though I’ve only read the first book, so far.

    This doesn’t sound like my type of book though. I hate reading books where I feel like screaming at the character, “Don’t be an idiot.” Such a fine line.
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  • Sara (The Hiding Spot) March 15, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Interesting. I’d been curious about this one. I didn’t love Zink’s first books as much as I thought I would and your review makes me think I should check this one out from the library before sinking any $ into it.

    Thanks for stopping by The Hiding Spot earlier… I wish we’d both enjoyed Dreamland Social Club more!
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  • A. Knight March 15, 2012, 10:02 pm

    I just couldn’t get into Michelle’s Prophecy of the Sisters series, which is why I’m reluctant to even THINK about giving this new series a shot. There’s just never enough of what I want in her books, and I don’t like the idea of not liking or enjoying the characters 🙁

    Asher
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