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A Temptation of Angels

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Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

435 pages, Hardcover

First published March 20, 2012

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About the author

Michelle Zink

30 books1,470 followers
Michelle Zink is author of the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy, A Temptation of Angels, and This Wicked Game. Her next book, Lies I Told, releases Spring 2015.

Learn more on Michelle's blog at www.michellezink.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 468 reviews
Profile Image for Vanessa *Bluest Ribbon*.
37 reviews42 followers
April 5, 2012
Disclaimer: This is purely a result of having no life. If you have any complaints or violent reactions, then I suggest that you go amuse yourself. Thank you.

I'm amused at how much publicity "A Temptation of Angels" is getting. Zink's team knows their shit. And really, I'm not being sarcastic. I'm just plain amused.

I'm amused that everybody seemed to LURV this oh-so-good-novel.

I'm amused that I didn't. It made me completely lethargic and apathetic.

I'm amused that it promised me a "page-turning epic romance experience".

I'm amused that I have to contradict that. If there's anything epic about this novel... well, there is nothing really epic about this. Otherwise, I have to say some very bad words next to epic. So let's drop it, ok?

I'm amused that it made the "Amazing Covers of 2012" list. There is nothing amazing about a girl looking fascinated with smoke or fog or whatever that thing is.

I'm amused that Zink's amazing team managed to miss - not one, not two, not even three - but FOUR  FREAKIN' books with the exact same cover (minus the smoke or fog or whatever that thing is) .

I'm amused that this book lacks originality. This is your TYPICAL YA. This book is both meh on the inside and outside.

I'm amused that the story happened in London yet it never really showed me London. A tourist's map is by far more descriptive and exciting than this book.

I'm amused that I wasn't enlightened at all. It left me in a very dark place, with my very dark thoughts.

I'm amused that this had been a complete waste of time, effort, and more effort. Because I needed to put a lot of effort into finishing this book. Wait, sorry, I take that back. I DID NOT finish this book. I ran out of Advils, you see.

Michelle Zink, congratulations on amusing me and making me brain dead with every horrifying page turn!
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,122 followers
July 28, 2012
0.5 stars - Spoilers: read at own risk.

Sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright is awoken in the middle of then night by her mother who orders her to flee after informing her that she is in grave danger. Helen is reluctant to leave her parents, however she is forced to go when her family home is set on fire. With her parents dead and her house destroyed, all Helen is left with is a note given to her by her mother with two names and an address. Helen is offered help in the form of two brothers - Griffin and Darius. She soon finds out that she is part of an ancient legacy and is thrust into a world of demons, angels, keepers, wraiths and crappy love triangles.
Naturally, Helen gets over her parents death in a day or two..The author simply writes off Helen's lack of 'mourning' as her being unable to grieve properly.. her lack of grief is never explained or explored more than this. It's hard to buy her lack of feeling since she's emotional about everything else..it just felt like lazy writing, there was no effort put into writing a heroine who's managing to carry on with her life whilst still being able to grieve for her parents in a realisitic way. Even when she's 'mourning' them, she spends more time perving on her two love interests.
Ah, her two guys..there's good guy Griffin who's defining characteristic is that he's good aka bland. Griffin and Helen ..insta-love each other, for no other reason other than the fact that they do. The other guy is Raum..he's a bad boy and not just any bad boy he's the bad boy that murdered Helen's parents. Helen being the dumb cow she is tries to rationlize his actions..'oh but he didn't actually murder my parents..he just ordered someone to murder them and me in cold blood and then he set my house on fire..so it's obviously not his fault. He's just lost and lonely, all he needs is the love of a good woman. Of course I don't mean me..that would just be wrong. But then again it wouldn't be so bad since he's soo hawt and hawt people in YA romancelandia can get away with anything.' Helen the Idiot is initally upset that her parent's murderer makes her her nether regions tingel..but she gets over that very quickly because what does it matter if he killed her parents when OMG he's so good at making her nether regions tingle. It's true a lot of girls do like bad boys but not effing cold blooded killers! I guess some girls will love Raum even though he's a killer..because he regrets it and oh *fans self* he has feelings..real people feelings..OMG..all is forgiven.
Raum goes around killing keeper families because he wants to find the keeper with the the key to go back in time, so he can save his own parents who killed themselves..WTF?! So knowing how it is to lose parents he happily goes around ridding other keepers of their parents..Hello Raum, I'd like to introduce you to a little thing called empathy! Oh but it's ok he's handsome, tortured and lonely that alone excuses behaviour which in a fat, old, ugly person would be inexcusable! It's beyond ridiculous that Helen falls for him just because she had some vague memories of having a tea-party with him as a four yr old. Honestly who falls for this crap..No-one in their right mind would love someone who killed their parents and tried to kill them just because they played together as children!!
Moving on, Helen you'll be glad to know is a complete twit, I couldn't stand her. Helen stupidly thinks that if Darius and Griffin can do something so can she..even though they've had years of practice, fighting and learning and she's had zero practice. Helen's all like 'I am woman, hear me ROAR'.
Helen spent a lot of time stomping, pouting and complaining that she couldn't join in the fight with the bad guys because apparently in fiction that's the only way to convey that a heroine is 'strong, independant and fierce', when in actual fact it just makes the heroine seem immature, stupid and annoying.
I hated most of the trope-y, lifeless characters. The worldbuilding was messy..there was something about keepers being descendants of angels, dicata dictating something and the legion and alliance doing something or other in regards to some person or other.
The storyline was boring..stupid girl is speshul..girl thinks she's badass..girl proves she's the opposite of badass..for some unknown reason everyone still thinks she's a badass..two guys love stupid girl..bad guys are bad..stupid girl stupidly fights bad guys..TSTL girl inexplicably saves the day..the end.
The saving grace for the book is Darius and Anna..who were actually interesting. The writing was quite good but it was hard to notice because everything else was so bad. I do think this book has an audience that will enjoy it but unfortunately it wasn't to my liking. I have to say that I wouldn't mind continuing with the series if it was from Anna or Darius's perspective.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,207 followers
April 28, 2018
I once thought if nothing else, the cover of A Temptation of Angels is very pretty, but then I read this review and learnt how unoriginal it really is.


Note: It's more like a summary of my thoughts about this novel than an actual review:

Warning: F-words here and there, don't like don't read.

(1)The heroine is a useless dead-weight. She needs the guys to save her all the time, she can't do anything but somehow still manages to save the day, she is beautiful but doesn't know it. In short, she's a big fat fucking Mary Sue. She is also Too Stupid To Live, refusing to listen to warnings and choosing to be stubborn when it can cost her and her friends their lives.

(2) Four novels into her career as a professional author, Michelle Zink shows barely any sign of improvement in writing skill, world building, research and characters' development.

(3) All of the characters are cardboard cutouts.

(4) Zink can't write any descent combat scene to save her life.

(5) The love triangle is fucking ridiculous:

(6) The story supposedly takes place in the Victorian London, but Zink did an absolutely shit job to describe this 'Victorian London'. In fact she didn't even bother to throw in much historical details to make her story a bit more believable.

(7) The writing is slightly better than Twilight, but it still doesn't say much.

(8) The story as a whole is one hell of an unconvincing make-believe.

(9) Lots and lots of Fuck-ery, for example:

(10) The mythology is a total mess.

(11) The good guys, the villains, the world, the mythology, the tone, the atmosphere, the action scenes are all painfully flat, bland and underdeveloped.

(12) Last but not least, the heroine reacts quite coolly when an old man who had selflessly helped her, is found murdered by the bad guys.

Fuck. This. Shit.

I'm so done.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,192 reviews2,901 followers
June 5, 2015
oh my god that was INCREDIBLE! there is more right?!? i mean there HAS to be more! I need more! oh my! sooo good!

Michelle Zink continues to leave me spellbound! A Temptation of Angels the perfect blend of historical fiction & romance with a supernatural twist! I loved the characters, I loved the story.... I loved it all!


Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night by a frantic mother and then being thrust into a secret passage in your bedroom wall…. with the instructions to find an address. That’s what happens to Helen.

Not only does she loose her parents and everything she know, she is thrust into this world that she never knew she belonged to. And if you are anything like me, you won’t be able to flip the pages fast enough to discover this world (and the boys in it!) along with her.

Michelle Zink continues to leave me spellbound! A Temptation of Angels the perfect blend of historical fiction & romance with a supernatural twist! I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved it all!

Michelle Zink is such a talented writer. I remember when I started reading A Temptation of Angels and being reminded of that talent! Wondering how I could forget something like that. Michelle is one of those writers that can easily transport you to a different world or a different time. It doesn’t feel forceful as it can in some novels.

I was intrigued by the first chapter. Who is this girl and who is trying to kill her?! I know you will be flipping the pages just as fast as I was.

Helen is a strong female protagonist. She’s stubborn, smart, fearless & fearful at the same time. Everything that I as a reader enjoy in a character and more. It’s not only Helen who makes such a lasting impression. All the characters in A Temptation of Angels are realistically portrayed. No matter if we were only introduced to them for a short time.

There is also a bit of a love triangle, as you know I’m a sucker for those! I am still undecided whom is the better choice for Helen. As I feel most readers will be too!

An absolutely beautiful story! I only hope there is more to come! There is more, right?
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,042 followers
March 11, 2012
I am just gonna go and be mean. I don't care because this book is beyond any stupidity I have ever read before.

Did you read the blurb? I certainly did and was mesmerized with it because let's be frank who doesn't like angels,love triangles and long dresses? But,all I got is a Damsel in distress,one overly nice gentleman,one grumpy gentleman and one dude who killed Damsel's parents but still gets the said Damsel to fall in love with him.

I can't even

Overall,this book was a great frustration. I don't get how someone could give this book 4 or 5 stars. I mean seriously...Did you read the same book I did?
September 30, 2015
Warning: This review contains spoilers, sarcasm, and swear words.

The Title: Temptation of Angels
- Please, anyone tell me what it's got to do with the story.

The Blurb:
-Disregard it.It was just created by a promotional team to lead us into believing that we're in for a great story.

The Characters:

-Helen Cartwright:
She's special.She's beautiful,although she doesn't know this,never EVER thought of this in her own entire life-so what if they have mirrors at home? You shouldn't be able to accuse Helen of being conceited. And by the way,she's very special. She's also very intelligent. Have I mentioned she's special? Do not ask why though. I had no idea. I was just lead to believe that she is, in fact,she's so damned special the world can't literally revolve without her.Michelle Zink wanted me to believe this even as the love of Helen's life admitted that the most amazing thing the girl has done is pretending to be a kitchen staff.

The love of Helen's life number 1. He's the usual goody-goody good boy suffering from white knight syndrome stage four.

The required older, darker, etc. version of Griffin. As you might have already guessed he alternates between being bored or being snarky.Yes,he is also sarcastic. Yes, he spends his time lurking in the dark or leaning against walls with his arms crossed...and*gasps*yes!he has a scar running down on one face.He's also accidentally psychic.The first time he laid eyes on Helen he declared she'd be a dead weight.Talking about spot-on prediction.

The angst-filled, emo-loner love of Helen's life number 2 with trust issues due to some dark past involving his parents{it's always about the parents}.By the way,he murdered Helen's family. But so what?He's hot and lonely so Helen must feel sorry for him and nurture warm,fuzzy feelings towards him instead of,you know, clawing his eyes out with her bare fingers.

The rich bad guy who turned out to be a bad ass demon who could summon wraiths.And hold your breath!he is not really Alsorta but*ohmygosh*Alastor.I know.I wanted to bang my head in the wall too.

The Setting:
-In some alternate London,or so I'm told.There's no way to be sure as there's no description or indication that would distinguish the place.It could very well be any other fictional place which only happens to have the exact same name as that beautiful,old city we know.

The Writing:
-Is good. Thank you,Dear Lord!The words flow easily and naturally so that even when you're pretty certain you're reading some really serious shit,you still keep on reading because at least they're well written shit.

The Story:
-Helen was awoken in the midst of the night by her mother because the bad guys have come to kill her.Helen hid in a secret door in her room right behind her mirror(obviously bad guys would never suspect a hidden door behind mirrors.obviously they do not read cliched y.a.,cliched thrillers,and cliched murder mysteries).So Helen hid there with her pendant and a piece of paper containing an address and an instruction to escape.The bad guys killed her parents,Helen stayed where she is.The bad guys started to burn the house down,still Helen didn't move.I thought that this is due to shock,why she didn't bolt right away.Later on I'd learn that this bright girl has double masters degree in late reactions.Finally she escaped,found the house of love of her life number 1 and love of her life's older brother.From here she's taken to another dwelling place in where she was told her parents are dead,she's one of the keepers(lesser angels appointed to watch over earth to keep it turning on its axis)and that she might be the one holding the key to the past,present,and future,and that when she reaches the age of 17 she'll no longer age and can only be killed through specific and "extreme" means. After this considerable info dump Helen only made a half-hearted"This is ridiculous,you guys!"She did not ask how she happened to be an angel nor how come The Dictata, supposedly protectors of the keepers did absolutely nothing to protect her and her family, have not taken any steps to protect the keepers.She did not even ask how she could have possibly aid the planet on its turning.I mean its not like she's spinning the orb in her very palms.Here,reading became a definite struggle.Zink is more concerned about describing how warm Helen feels while this or that character back and pressed her against walls other than illuminating her readers about the nature of the Dictata or the Alliance or The syndicate.The story is told through third person's POV but we might as well been stuck inside Helen's head(oh,wait.we are)since all we ever read about is her her her.A glimpse within the mysterious Dictata and how they operate would have been very welcome.The next day after her parent's death is confirmed Helen rushed into what she thought an immediate and very important task.In her hurry I thought she's found a way to avenge her parents' demise or maybe she'll at least inquire after their bodies but no,our heroine whom her parents died to protect goes shopping!No,I'm not kidding.Her lack of remorse for being the reason why they died and her disability to grieve appalled me.She sounded even more sorry that their house have burned.And when caught on her way to the shops and warned of the dangers she'll be putting herself into,Helen couldn't help the disbelieving smile that rose on her lips and asked"You're telling me they know enough about me to know where I have my dresses made?"Gawd!They know know enough about you to know where you sleep,idiot!
Mishaps in which Helen willingly walked herself into followed.She also learned how to jump(meaning traveling from one streetlight lamp to another),told this is the safest mode of travel for them keepers though one can't help wondering why when they can travel through lights they didn't jump through light sources in their own rooms.That sounded safer and more convenient,didn't it?
Helen also met the man responsible for her parents' death.But don't get your hopes high because she fell in love with him.Because,really,he didn't kill them himself.He just ordered his men to do so.Besides Helen vaguely remembers playing tea parties with him in the garden back when she was four.That changes everything,right?That fucking justifies his being a coldblooded murderer?
Anyways they accidentally discovered who is hunting the keepers to near extinction.Because the dictata didn't care to learn of the identity of the person to whom they should protect the keepers from.At this point I'm starting to wonder if the dictata cared about anything at all and also, more importantly WHY I am still reading this!?
Anyways it turned out the Dictata would not be able to lift a finger against Alastor because there's not enough time{three days}for due processes that they follow at all times.The world's fate hanging on the balance is not even enough for them to break protocol.With this kind of organization responsible for their safety it's unbelievable the keepers were not gone with the dinosaurs.And here I tried to give up.But I have this affliction called YOU CAN'TSLEEPATNIGHTNORREADANEWONEIFYOUHAVETHISUNFINISHEDBOOKWHICHYOUTRIEDTOSHOVEUNDERYOURBED.So I push through.I've come this far.And if I can only get through this I know there would be nothing else I wont be able to survive in my life later on. So....
Helen and the gang decided to take matters on their own hands. They would take Alsorta before he could get them. FINALLY. The dictata provides schematics of Alsorta's estate. But apparently they thought to exclude Alsorta's guard dogs from mention because hey!the plans focus on the layout of the house and grounds and the more obvious guards. If huge dogs aren't obvious guards,I don't know what would be.
But worry not because Raum warned Helen of this and so our heroine is provided with tranquilizer darts. At first she couldn't understand how TRANQUILIZER darts which ends are COVERED WITH SLEEP-INDUCING TOXIN could possibly help with the dogs but then it was explained to her how and because SHE'S BORDERING TO GENIUS SMART she's finally figured it out.
They proceeded with their plan. Helen insisted on going with them all the while complaining all the way. They reached Alsorta's by walking through an underground tunnel. Their archnemesis lives only a few miles from them which made me ask IF THIS VILLAIN IS SO INTENT ON KILLING ALL THE KEEPERS WHAT WAS KEEPING HIM FROM GOING INSIDE THE CHANNING'S UNGUARDED HOUSE AND SLITTING THEIR THROATS IN THEIR SLEEP?THEY WERE PRACTICALLY NEIGHBORS!Well, we'll never know. Nyways.
They managed to infiltrate the house, discovered they're up against not just evil but bad ass evil and decided to retreat. Helen dealt with the dogs and saved the day. After deliberation they all agreed to attack with a Plan B also known as LET'S ENLIST OUR PARENT'S KILLER'S HELP TO KILL ALASTOR. Raum said he'd help because of course he's oh-so-in-lurrvvee with Helen. He provided the magical sword which could kill the enemy and the plan which involved him extinguishing all light sources in Alsorta's house because Alsorta can summon hundreds of wraiths through lights. And here Helen suffered another bewilderment because What's the purpose of killing the lights?Here we have to wait for her brain to catch up and process the info and such...She's getting it...She almost got it..She finally got it! Guys,we have a genius here. Seriously this kind of intelligence is unattainable to mere humans like us. This is of angelic caliber. As you could imagine while reading all these I'm getting close erasing my face with my own palms.
As expected all went well in the end (or not so well considering Zink's pathetic attempt to write action).Helen killed Alsorta,found out she's the keeper of the keys to future,past,present,embraced the keeperness and this book finally ended in as crapworthy way as it has began.
Seriously this has been an all too painful read.It's like torturing meself. I wont recommend this book to anyone,not even to my worst enemies.
Profile Image for Faye.
116 reviews133 followers
April 24, 2012
Michelle Zink (Prophecy of the Sisters Series) continues to write beautiful, tantalizing novels. Her latest; A Temptation of Angels is a wicked combination of Angels, a Strong female protag, and Historical Fiction that you won't be able to put it down. You'll love Helen Cartwright!

Helen has good head on her shoulders, she doesn’t fall head over heels for a guy or let it clutter up her thoughts. She’s a girl on a mission. I’m just gonna say it, she is AWESOME! Loved her bravery and tenacity. She’s up there with the other fierce leading ladies. There is a guy...well three! Griffin and his brother Darius. Think of them as Sam and Dean from The TV show Supernatural.They’re just as clever and tough as them. But then we have Raum, who I’m kind of on the fence about, his intentions aren’t clear but actions speak louder then words and he’s is good in my book(for now.) I really liked Zink’s secondary characters as well, Anna. Which I’m sure there’s something going on between her and Darius. There’s more to their story and I dying to know!

I’ve always loved Zink’s writing and story telling. She never disappoints, with A Temptation of Angels I was totally surprised and blown away. The plot is exhilarating, fulled with dynamic characters and an intriguing new world. The awesome-ness will appeal to teens across the board, I’m sure of it. The 1st book in a riveting new series, introducing the strong heroine Helen Cartwright, which will satisfy teens looking for action, romance and adventure. It's addicting!
Profile Image for Victoria.
328 reviews112 followers
August 7, 2013
I've had high expectations after reading the blurb of this book and glancing at the beautiful cover. I was eagerly anticipated for this book. And now after reading this book, I have to say this book was very disappointing to me. I was so looking forward to reading a book about a kick-ass heroine, swoon-worthy love interests, and brilliant pages of action that kept me well focused into the story.

But sadly, none of it happened in this book.

After seeing her parents brutally murdered by fire in her home, the main character, Helen, who is given an address quickly runs to a hidden, safe underground in London where a secret organization called the Dictata controls the balance of evil and good. Helen quickly adjusts to her life in the Channings's house where the her protectors and people tell her that she's one of the angelic descendants and has a responsiblity to be train to conquer and slay the evil that will come to haunt them all.

The main character, Helen, is dull, flat, and one of the most boring heroines I've ever come to read about. Most of times in the book, she's constantly need saving from her heroic protectors and when her protectors tell her to stay out of the trouble, she does the complete opposite, ignoring their words and get into situations she doesn't know how to get out of. Let me get to those protectors in a moment. I'm kinda tired of reading heroines who are damsels in distress and must be save by everyone! Come on! Pick yourself up! Don't rely on the guys to save you! Save yourself! I wish Zink wrote a more stronger and kick-ass heroine. We do not need to be reminded that girls are weak and can't pick theirselves up because not every heroine is like that!

Moving on to the heroic protectors...The brothers who happened to be her protectors (Darius and Griffin) are both boring and dull like Helen. They're always saving the girl and treating her like she's the queen and that they need to save her. I'm really tired of the same YA books I've been reading. It's the same stories I have been reading. Come on! Can authors start inventing stories that have some originality?

Griffin who happened to be the love interest is brooding, tortured, and really boring. Throughout the book, he constantly keeps saying "I will always protect you" or "Trust me, I will never let anything hurt you!". I lost count on how many times he keeps saying that. Please stop saying that! It's annoying! Helen can protect herself. Of course, he just had to be the protector.*rolls eyes*

Same goes for the 2nd love interest (Raum) who happened to be responsible for the death of her parents. Both love interests are the same-- gorgeous, boring, brooding, and flat. I don't understand how Helen can grow to develop romantic feelings for the guy who happened to be responsible for the murder of her parents. Of course, he's your childhood friend who spent a lot of times with you and makes you happy, but come on! I don't think anyone in their right mind could fall for the person who is the main cause of your parent's murders.

The positive thing about this book is--the writing and the storyline that Zink crafted together. The writing can easily flowed on the page and kept me reading until the end. It's not poorly written, but not the best writing that I've seen. The writing is simply fine. The storyline was intriguing to me and had a bit of a light potential in here, but not nearly enough for me to continue this series. Not a lot of action has happened in this book. It was more of a-training-and-sneaking- up- to-face-the-enemy-and-trying-to-find-methods-to-find-him-book.

I have a good feeling that there might be a series in this book after the ending I've read. I'm not sure if Zink will continue this series because she has left a lot out and there's not a single sequel she's currently working on right now. But I'm sure about one thing. I'm not going to continue this series at all. Enough is enough!

If you're looking for a kick-ass, strong heroine and plenty of action, you will definitely not find it in here.

If you are however looking for the same, superficial YA books (insta-love, damsels in distress, boring and brooding love interests, unnecessary love triangles) that authors repeatedly keep writing, then look no further. You have found the right book to read.

Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,060 reviews16 followers
October 19, 2012
To see full review click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/201...

It's not horrible. I mean, the writing was easy to get through and none of the characters were terribly offensive, I just couldn't connect to this book and I think that was it's main problem. Well, that and the info dumping.

Seriously, I think more than anything else the info dumping confused me. I sort of got what was going on, but at the same time I didn't. It was really weird.

Another problem I had with the book were the characters. I didn't feel like they were fully develop. I wanted to like Helen, but I couldn't. I just didn't really know much about her other than her parents are dead and that she's suppose to be one out of three special snowflakes left in the world. Oh, and there was something about her imaginary friend two and she's sort of kissing one of the other special snowflakes for some reason?
People often ask why I review things that I did not finish. Well, I think the review is justified with the fact that I'm reviewing the reasons why I didn't finish the book in question. Plus, I don't review things that I haven't read most of. In the case of A Temptation of Angels, I made my way through about two-thirds of the book before I called it a day.

Yeah...I was confused.

The other characters didn't help much either. Once again, it was like I was an outsider trying to look in.

The storyline was also confusing. I get that Helen and her friends were suppose to be these powerful beings, but if someone's trying to kill you shouldn't you try to hide and protect yourself rather than solve the mystery?

Yeah, plot holes. There were lots of them.

With the addition of info dumping, I really wasn't a fan.

Also, despite the fact that this book was suppose to be taking place in Victorian England, I really didn't feel the period or location. The only time I really knew it was a historical was when Helen went on about adjusting her clothes to fight. Look, this is a pet peeve of my own but if you're going to do a historical don't alter the clothes. Make the character learn how to fight with her usual garb on. The Victorian period was all about manners, having the character in altered dress in going to make them suspicious. Also, some of the choices of names made me a little skeptical. Raum as a name for someone who lives in Victorian England? Galizur? I'm no expert, but those don't sound like the typical Victorian names to me. If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me on this because this is the sort of thing I'm interested in.

Best Feature: Intriguing Premises: The premises looks really intriguing and the way the novel was set up, I thought this was going to be an interesting read. So, I will give Zink the benefit of knowing how to pull a reader into her stories.

Worst Feature: WTF is going on? Seriously, despite reading almost 300 pages of this book I really couldn't get what was going on and that's despite the horrid world building that was going on through dialogue info dumps. Let's just put it this way, when reading this book I felt like I missed something. You know like when you turn a movie on TV and missed the thirty minutes and spend the rest of the show trying to figure out what's going on. That's how I felt when I read this book. And from what I could make sense of it felt really cliche like one of those National Treasure movies (which I love, but that's besides the point).

Appropriateness: There's some violence. I mean, people are getting killed right and left. The language was pretty clean for the most part and so far (up to page 300) there was just one chaste kiss.
Profile Image for Danny.
598 reviews160 followers
March 7, 2012
First posted at Bewitched Bookworms

I admit, I never read a book from Michelle Zink before but I heard good things about her Prophecy of Sisters series. Being a sucker for Angel stories I knew I had to read this one! Add in the beautiful mysterious cover and I was sold!

World full of Angels, Hero’s, Heroine’s, Secrets and Love!
There is no mistaken here that this book focuses on the world building and setting the odds for what is to come in the next books. We discover together with Helen that Angels indeed exists and at the same time of course also their evil counterpart (demons). Moreover, Helen is no ordinary Angel, she’s one of very few Keeper of the World who are bound to protect the world and something very important… (Nope, not going to spill anything!)
I was fascinated with the lore Michelle Zink used and created here. We have a beautiful and wonderful mix of historian (story is set in London in the early 1900s), angelic lore, a little steampunk (very little but I found it cute) and I was very fast drawn into this world and desperately wanted to know more about the basics, rules and secrets!

Helen – wonderful strong protagonist!
Helen really had no easy time before she meets the Brothers (we talk about those hotties later) yet she stays incredible strong and never was on the edge to break. I found her a wonderful person yet I know giving the circumstances I wouldn’t have been so strong! It was admirable! At the same time she’s determined and focused to avenge what she has lost and does not let The Brothers tell her what to do! I believe she’s not the typical woman living in this time – but I liked her even more because of this! sometimes however, she overestimated herself a little and did some stupid things that she could have definitely avoided!

The Brothers! Oh my!
What is a good story without some hot boys? Well, nothing which is why we gat not one but two brothers here which are so different from each other, yet I fell in love with both of them! Darius is the older brother and bound to protect his little brother and standing rightful against everything evil – he’s also not very nice to Helen at some points, but what can I say I often have a soft spot for the bad boys! He’s a very closed character and no one apart from his brother can get near to him, which made him even more fascinating!
The other boy is the boy Helen falls for: Griffin – younger brother, strong, loyal and sweet! Yet, of course deadly when he has to fight some evil demons! He’s exactly what Helen needs in her situation right now, a broad should to lean one, someone who would protect her against everything and who simply loves her!

Unnecessary Love Triangle..
Yes there is one, but… I didn’t see this Triangle coming until the very end and it might be slightly spoilerish but this was one of the reasons why it was only a 4 star instead of a 5 for me. It was unnecessary and it felt forced for me. Also the BOI (Boy of Interest) didn’t do anything for me and I still have no clue why Helen has feelings for him!!!

Bottom Line
Fantastic introduction into a new world of Angels secrets, love and friendship. Wonderful heroine, smart and hot boys and so much more!!I’m eager to get back into this wold!
Profile Image for Mia Searles (The Muses Circle).
315 reviews50 followers
December 6, 2011
I won an early reviewer's copy of this book from Library Things, so I was obligated to write a review once I was finished. The book is not due to be published until early next year, March 2012. There is another person who reviewed this book on Library Things under the name MargK that I completely agreed with. A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink was nothing like I expected and I don't mean that in a good way. The list of positive things about this book is very short.

Read the full review here or on my blog (The Muses Circle): http://themusescircle.blogspot.com/20...

Here are a few of the positives:

1) Like MargK mentioned in her earlier review, the author has a certain simple elegance to her writing, therefore it was easy to read.

2) I liked that the story took place in London (Despite this, I had major issues with the setting—or lack thereof which I will get to shortly).

3) Even though I agree that the author doesn’t really give us any new dimensions to her characters or the love triangle (we’ve read it all before), I will say that she did a good job at building the sexual tension and romantic moments between Helen and Griffin.

Sadly, this is where the positives end. I don’t want to make this a long, drawn out review nor do I want to repeat the negatives that other reviewers have pointed out, so I am going to stick to my 3 main issues with this book.

1) The setting. Like I said above, I was looking forward to reading this book partly because it was supposed to take place in London. The reason I enjoy reading books with settings around the globe should be obvious—it’s a way to learn about a country or time period without having to do extensive research (unless you want to). I think that is one of the important jobs an author has to do—transport you to that time and place, make you feel like you are there. Unfortunately, this does not happen in A Temptation of Angels. The author does not give us any specific dates (not always necessary) or landmarks, or historical references. Helen and the Channing brothers seem to walk everywhere—there is no mention of horses or cars—nothing that could help me get a better sense of what type of London the story takes place in. The only thing that finally gave me an idea where to place the story is when it is revealed that Helen wears corsets and that it is not proper etiquette for a young lady to be walking the streets alone, or to be living with young bachelors that are not her family. This of course is a big contradiction in the book. I’m not even going to go there since MargK’s review gets into detail the major contradictions of the mysterious and supposedly powerful organization called the Dictata.

2) My other major problem with this book is this: the book is supposed to be about angels. Other then Helen and the Channing brothers being able to “jump” through light (as in being able to dissolve their bodies into tiny molecules through light in order to transport to other places), nothing else is explored as far as their abilities. What else can they do? Hell, if they are angels, aren’t they supposed to have wings? Not once are wings mentioned.

3) Lastly, this book is riddled with parts that are unbelievable, unnecessary, or just plain didn’t make sense. The author spends too much time on parts that could be simplified in a page or two while she does not give enough attention to things such as the term “Enlightenment” for example. What does it mean when one reaches “Enlightenment”? This term was mentioned several times in the beginning of the book but was never explored. What happened to Darius’ face? How did he get the scar? I also think that her reaction AND the outcome of the whole dart/dog situation was completely ridiculous. I don’t want to give it away since it would be a major spoiler, but it was a very poor plot device.

To sum it up, the book had an interesting premise but the execution fell flat. For lack of a better way to say this, I was bored. Unless the finished product differs greatly from the ARC I just read, I don’t see Michelle Zink's A Temptation of Angels making any great waves in the YA literature world.

Profile Image for Liwy.
140 reviews28 followers
July 26, 2016
De verdad que empecé a leerlo con toda la buena fe del mundo, pero... Dios, no. NO.
Durante el 90% del tiempo mientras lo leía estaba así:

El libro ya empieza un poco confuso, ya que la autora te mete en medio de una situación que ni conoces, y que ni te explica. Después de unos capítulos te enteras qué está sucediendo juntamente con la protagonista, pero aún así, sigues cabreado por estar durante tantas páginas sin entender nada.

Los personajes no me parecieron gran cosa, Helen puede llegar a ser un poco cansina intentando meterse en TODO a TODO RATO. Griffin en algunos momentos me llegó a la patata por ser tan dulce y protector, pero en otros me sacaba de quicio por ser tan pesado. De Darius no sé que decir, durante la mayoría del libro está cabreado y amargado así que es lógico que no me cayera demasiado bien, ¿no?

El tema del amor... Vamo' a ver... ¿Amor prohibido? ¿Dónde? ¿En qué momento del libro se dice que Helen y Griffin no pueden estar juntos? ¡¿EN QUÉ MOMENTO?!
Bueno, a pesar de ese pequeño malentendido, su relación me gustó bastante, es muy dulce y bonica, pero demasiado precipitada.

El final es bastante predecible y precipitado, sinceramente me esperaba alguna bomba en esas últimas páginas pero no me encontré nada de eso.
El último capítulo no me gustó nada, esa fue mi cara al leerlo:

Así que no, el libro no me gustó demasiado. Y si me recordaré de él será solo por ser el primer libro leído en mi Kindle.
Profile Image for Jess Weis.
55 reviews8 followers
March 5, 2019
Lo siento pero no. Me ha costado horrores leerlo y aún así me he quedado en el 85%. No me he terminado meter en la historia, el insta love es demasiado descarado y los personajes me resultan unos extraños a pesar del capítulo por el que he abandonado el libro.
A pesar del título bien podrían haber sido hadas, demonios o gatos persa los protagonistas porque de ángeles no tienen nada. No sé, será que me estoy volviendo muy tiquismiquis, pero con la cantidad de libros que tengo pendientes no me apetece seguir con uno que no me atrae. Así que nada, dos estrellas porque está bien escrito, y a otra cosa mariposa.
Profile Image for Aerona.
Author 1 book5 followers
August 19, 2012
This book was terrible. I couldn't even finish it. I read about the first hundred pages and skimmed the rest. Clockwork Angel/Prince was much better than this garbage.

I get that vampires are out, angels are in.
Some books that feature these other creatures are good.
This was garbage.

The main character was atrociously flat. I want to say that I hated her but she had barely a personality. She was supposed to come across as strong-willed and sassy but she was just a whiny stupid child. Everything had to be repeated.
Did you miss that, Reader? Let me say it one more time.
And I understand, Helen (the main character, if one can call her a character), that your parents are dead. REALLY. I get it. You don't have to say it every 3 pages. And then act all shocked and surprised when someone else says it aloud. After the first 10 mentions I was glad your parents were dead. I just wish they had died sooner before you were ever born.
And this love triangle thing is really starting to irritate me. If used well, it can stir up crazy emotions- usually me feeling sad for the guy left out- but this one was just absurd. The first guy brought into the story, Griffin, is automatically in love with her and wants to protect her from the minute he lays eyes on her. There is absolutely no real bond formed over anything stronger than she has a pulse. Supposedly.
Griffin embodies the everything wonderful about the world guy. He is kind to a fault, and seems to live to make sure that she is comfortable. I can only assume then that Raum, yeah, that's the other guy's name, is the stereotypical bad boy. I skimmed a few pages that included his name and that seems to be his deal. These characters are so underdeveloped that I couldn't tell them from strangers in a bar.
And the bar people are bound to be infinitely more interesting.

In conclusion, don't waste your precious time. Spend it on something more interesting, like watching a cat sleep, or watching grass grow.
The writing, especially the dialog, was painstakingly horrible. Like, Lifetime movie, Days of Our Lives BAD. A floating log could have written a better book.
Everything one character said was "sarcastic" when it clearly wasn't.
Also, you can't just have something explained as science when that is clearly bullshit and when you can't offer any other explanation. That's like me saying that the third Wednesday of every month is when unicorns appear out of cotton candy factories and fly into the dreams of children, allowing them to teleport at will, and when asked how this is so saying, "Science" and leaving it at that and hoping the audience feels stupid for not realizing it sooner. That's basically what she did with the whole light travel thing. I meant OBVIOUSLY we can all break down our molecules while illuminated by a streetlamp, combine with light particles, and essentially apparate somewhere else by thinking about it. I mean, DUH who doesn't understand that. After all, it's SCIENCE. That should be all the explanation necessary.
But why doesn't it work under the biggest streetlamp of all, THE SUN.
This is a fantasy book, just use the m-word.
Don't be so desperate for a steampunk/clockwork sticker that you do this.

Profile Image for Emily Coleman.
201 reviews255 followers
March 16, 2012
Ever since meeting Michelle Zink at BEA and determining her to be one of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege of meeting, I've been chomping at the bit to get a copy of one of her books. So, when I received a copy of this title on Netgalley, I immediately started into it.

Helen and I didn't really connect from the very beginning. I first realized that I was in trouble when Helen shows almost no remorse for the loss of her parents after they are murdered in a house fire. Then, she proceeded to get herself into incredibly dangerous situations, even though she KNEW she couldn't defend herself if she got in trouble. This kind of culminated into a rather funny encounter at the end where she It is unclear why Helen's parents didn't tell her who she was or what powers that she had, except for some thing about not yet reaching Enlightenment. But, that seems like a shoddy excuse for not really teaching your child how to defend herself when you know that she's in mortal peril. And, Helen, if you don't know how to use a sword, don't put yourself in a situation where you'll die if you don't have one. That doesn't make you strong, it makes you stupid.

Then there is the issue of Helen and Griffin's relationship. I am definitely a fan of the slow burn relationship. I like my characters to prove that they should be together before they actually get together. The first kiss came way too soon. There seemed to be no other attraction between the two of them except that he has muscular shoulders, and she has violet eyes. And, he calls her pretty. (She's never considered herself to be pretty before, of course). And, then there's a love triangle. Which doesn't work for me, except for a few exceptions.

I also found the world building to be extremely confusing. It's unclear what time period the book takes place in. They have gas lamps, and Helen wears a corset. (The clothing was another really weird thing in the book. Helen takes real pride in designing some weird clothing with short skirts, but ends up wearing a full-length skirt to the final battle?) But, there is also talk of screens, and nobs and other gadgets that seem like they would take electricity. The background of their race and their enemies is also unclear and very confusing. The Dictata knows that the Keepers are being systematically assassinated, and yet they can't get their act together fast enough and allow 4 teenagers to fight a demon?

Anyway, this book left me with feelings very similar to those I had when I read Clockwork Angel. But, it definitely didn't work for me.
Profile Image for Caz.
1,107 reviews24 followers
March 1, 2012
I must disagree with the blurb. A Temptation of Angels is not a page-turning epic romance.
The concept of the story is interesting and had great potential yet it was ruined by cringe worthy romance and an uninteresting characters.

Zink's characters lacked the spark of originality that is needed to have a character stand out in YA fiction.

You have Helen, the over-zealous and in my opinion dim, girl who thinks she is indestructible. She is the bold and beautiful girl who boys like yet she does not see why. Although, she has been trained and insists on joining the boys she is dead weight that just needs saving. She is stubborn and not in the respectable way. The only aspect of Helen I liked is her retorts to Darius.

Then you have the boys, grumpy Darius, the golden boy Griffin and of course, the mysterious Raum. Again, the lack any real originality.

My real problem with the book is the pacing. It was terrible. With the terrible comes the insta-love romance and by speedy romance I mean, they knew each other days and he (I shall not say which one) was confessing his undying love to Helen. Damn boy, I am not sure who is dimmer you or Helen? She just lost her home, her parents, her world has been turned upside down and she is worrying about boys.

With all that negativity right there, Zink got one thing right and that is the writing. A Temptation is well written. It was fluid and elegant and that deserves recognition.
Profile Image for Brenna.
334 reviews115 followers
March 22, 2012
There's no shortage of angel paranormal books in YA right now, but there's something special about A Temptation of Angels; it's an addictive, fascinating, page-turner that's remarkably refreshing for its genre.

I haven't read Michelle Zink's first series, Prophecy of the Sisters, yet but this reading her newest release has made me immensely curious to pick up those books!

A Victorian setting:
I LOVE Victorian settings and books that can take that a step further by incorporating a paranormal twist are even better! A Temptation of Angels isn't the only book to do this (it's in good company with excellent books like Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series and Lia Habel's Dearly, Departed among others) but this is the first one I've read about angels.

A fast-paced story:
As far as I'm aware, this book's a stand alone and one that moves along rather quickly. With only one book to develop characters and a story, it can be very tricky to create such a detailed idea with only so many pages. But I was immediately drawn into the world, and I had a hard time putting this book aside for anything! The first few pages are in your face, bringing with them all sorts of excitement and riveting twists. And it just doesn't stop until it's over!

Cute romance with a sweet boy:
A Temptation of Angels is very clearly a YA paranormal romance - if you aren't interested in a romantic relationship developing and being a fairly key part of the plot, then I wouldn't recommend you try this one. But if you're like me, and you always enjoy a good romance then I think you'll truly appreciate the one that Helen finds in A Temptation of Angels... or at least partially.

It isn't a heavy paranormal:
I was expecting the paranormal aspect to be the driving force behind the story, so imagine my surprise when it really didn't strike me that way. Instead, the story focuses much more on a mystery aspect

Now all that being said... I also felt that too much was squeezed into this one book. It easily could have been spread out over two or three books and I think it would have been better if the story had been spread out that way. But it wasn't, yet it still featured just about all familiar aspects of a YA paranormal romance but all in one book. That led to some characters being less developed, and some relationships came off as unconvincing as well. I was especially expecting more from Raum, but easily felt that the story would have been better without him. He just came across as somewhat forced, and I don't think he was actually as important to the plot as the reader is led to believe.

And the book was so rich in details and history (which I loved) except for how confusing it came across at times; I would LOVE more explanation and a better look into the world that Michelle so creatively imagined and wrote about here. I just had so many questions and not enough answers to feel fully satisfied.

ARC received from Penguin Canada
Profile Image for Charlotte.
214 reviews
March 31, 2012

First I have to express my love for this cover. It's just so beautiful! The synopsis pulled me in as well and I was even more excited. What's not to love? A historical fiction filled with tension and formality, gentleman with honor and ladies with grace and dignity, add in some angels and a possible love triangle? I was hooked!

Michelle Zink's gifts as a visual writer immersed me in the story from the very beginning. What Helen, the main character, experiences in the first few pages is steeped in imagery and emotion and had me hooked and kept me turning the pages, not wanting to put the book down.

Most of this book I would say definitely earned this 4 star rating. I enjoyed Helen as the main character and I felt that her struggles, emotions or lack there of at times, were very real and touching to me. The Cartwright brothers were very much the same and I found myself anxiously waiting for the scenes they were in. Especially Griffin. I loved the way Zink described him, portrayed him. He was good and kind and oh so honorable, yet fallible too. In a modern romance, Griffin's behavior would be viewed as chauvinistic or overpowering, but in this historical (era undefined) setting you can truly believe his devotion to Helen so soon after they meet.

Raum is part of my waiver on 4 stars. I liked him. A lot. I believed him. But I think the reader needs more from him. This was one area I wish Zink would have explored his actions and intentions a bit more. We are left to infer quite a bit regarding Raum that I think I would have liked to have explained in better detail and given the opportunity to have Helen's feelings connected better to those explainations. Their chemistry was undeniable for sure, but that might just be because Zink can definitely write you into a tension and desire filled moment!

Zink definitely delivers a different kind of angel story here. Something fresh and promising if she decides to continue with a series. If not, I can say that I'm pretty satisfied with how she ended the story. The main reason I would want her to continue on would be so I could just get more of these main characters. I can honestly say that I am no where near done reading about Helen and

If you like a different take on your angel story or historical romances where the actions of the men and women express the era, yet those stolen moments where they are clearly misbehaving and the sexual tension could be cut with a knife are for you...I can wholeheartedly recommend this story.

An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher through Net Galley.
Profile Image for Chrissy.
61 reviews16 followers
December 1, 2011
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink is an interesting book. With all the angel books out there lately, I found this one to be quite different. Between the time period, setting, and unusual mythology, A Temptation of Angels is not your average angel book.

I can't recall a specific time period being mentioned, but the overall feel and references used point to a historical setting. This book definitely has a historical feel to it, but is not encumbered with long descriptions or details of the setting like many historical books are. The historical feel comes more from the settings, actions of the characters, and the pacing. I found the pacing to be a little slower than other books, but it was very steady. Usually a slow pace bothers me, but it didn't bother me with this book, particularly after the first fifty pages or so.

The mythology of the angels was interesting, but I'm not sure I completely understood all of it. There is the Dictata, the Keepers, the Alliance, the Legion, etc., and I couldn't keep it all straight as I read. It wasn't overly complicated; instead, I felt as if each faction was barely touched upon. A sentence each to explain the groupings, then they were referenced without further information. Now, I'll fully admit I was sick when I read this, so maybe my brain was a little too cloudy to put it all together.

My favorite aspect of the book was the relationships (surprised?). There are some complex relationships and there is also a little romance. In a world where the bad guy always gets the girl and the good guy is left out, I was pleased to read that Helen was attracted to the nice Channing brother, Griffin. In fact, Darius was never even considered. (Yay!) Don't get me wrong, I like Darius as a character and readers will come to see that there's more to him than initially meets the eye, but I liked that the nice guy was the only brother vying for Helen's attention. Now, that's not to say there isn't any other romantic interest...it just doesn't come from Darius Channing.

I'm not entirely certain A Temptation of Angels will have sequels, but it seems appropriate for there to be more books. I'd definitely be interested in reading them, but there was no major cliffhanger ending (thank goodness!).

Final thoughts: Borrow.
177 reviews32 followers
December 24, 2012
See the BOOK REPORT CARD at The Fairytale Nerd.

3.5 stars!

It only took ONE chapter. ONE. And it all came back to me just how beautiful Michelle Zink writes. Flowing and smooth, I easily got lost in the story. The language used merges perfectly with the setting. While there could have been more fighting scenes and less sneaking around, I found the story addicting and enjoyable. The characters are likable, and there’s no one that I didn’t love. Love triangle? Hmmm. There were teeny tiny hints, but if it was pursued early in the story, it would have been one amazing love triangle.

There is no instalove here, but there is instant attraction. The couple gradually acted on it as the story progressed. And once they kissed, wow! Hot and sweet and tender. And I love that there is something scandalous about their little touches. Improper, but thrilling.

Zink’s Prophecy is one of my favorites. I loved the eerie and creepy atmosphere that was present in the Prophecy series. But I didn’t find it here. This is more of a mystery and clue-finding book – jumping from one clue to another to lead them to the killer. Nevertheless, Temptation of Angels was still enjoyable.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 1 book46 followers
November 5, 2011
It's no secret that I'm a Michelle Zink fan, but I have to say I may like this story more than Prophecy of the Sisters. Shocking, I know. She has such a way with words, I feel like I'm reading a story and not a book. Does that make sense? Also, she is one of the best third-person writers I think I know, I am jealous of her skill!
Profile Image for Jesten.
362 reviews
May 4, 2015
3.5. Which means it definitely wasn't a favorite, but the author put in their all and deserves recognition.
Profile Image for Niah Bevolo.
11 reviews
June 30, 2023
While I LIVE for the religious fantasy books. This one was really boring. Quick read and could be exciting at some points. But the plot was so dull.

Points I liked: the main character had courage but still had fear like a normal human being. Made her likable.

Points I didn’t like:

-Raum x Helen love plot???? I know you’re lying.
-Griffin x Helen love plot?? You’ve known each other for three days. But I guess that dead parent trauma bonds you.
-Literally 1% action in the whole book.
-I found a typo and squealed like a little girl. It was epic but also like… miss girl? A TYPO?
- Darius being the only character I liked.
-When the hell did anyone sleep, there was no concept of day or night.
- I wish Helen would’ve touch one of the sleepy darts and got captured like that’s peak funny and peak plot.
- Helen had too much plot armor
- I wish Helen would’ve gone through enlightenment like some ritual or something.
- Raum being a stalker and just… showing up?
- you’re telling me a demon like Alastor got nerfed by three dudes and girl with literally NO SKILLS?
- The ending was “I need to make peace with myself” ending and I just hated it honestly.
- why did the author care so much about Helen being dressed or undressed like she put out so much detail just for this book to be beyond boring. Literally a snooze fest.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews547 followers
March 3, 2012
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: The plot of this stand-alone starts out fast on the first page and keeps moving quickly; tensions build around the secret descendants of angels and the stakes are high to the very end. Zink builds a convincing and mysterious world around historical London that will keep you turning the pages!

Opening Sentence: Though it was late, it was not the sound of arguing that woke Helen in the dead of night.

The Review:

Within the first few pages, we’re thrust into a whole new world along with Helen Cartwright. Quickly it’s made clear that everything Helen knows, everything her parents taught her, was for a reason. For this moment when she’d be on her own, running from her parent’s murderer. Historical London is painted vividly before us as Helen runs away from the home she can never go back to, clutching a piece of paper from her mother telling her where to go. When Helen learns of the Dictata, a mysterious organization that has controlled the balance of good and evil since the beginning of the world, we find out about the world of Keepers–the descendants of angels and guardians of the world. So what about the Legion–to keep it simple they’re demons, and they have a plot from hell to kill all the Keepers.

The Keepers have always been in danger from the demons of the underworld, so why is it alarming that they’re being hunted now? Because the demons are succeeding. Because of the twenty Keepers the Dictata has appointed Helen, Darius and Griffin are all that’s left. They’re being killed off too fast for the Dictata to risk appointing new ones. This time they’re after a key that will unlock the Keeper’s library with information on the past, present, and future. Whoever gets into the room can change the past and control the future–or in the case of the demons, take over the mortal world.

Helen is a strong, smart heroine who’s thrown head first into a confusing world of magic and murder. Anyone who picks up this book will also find something special about Helen. Unlike so many heroines we read about, Helen has common sense, she is practical. These are ever elusive qualities in young adult heroines. She’s a really great narrator; her perspective on the demons-versus-angels world she’s living in really helps the plot’s momentum.

Now let’s talk about Griffin and Raum. No, not a love triangle per say, though both are set up as love interests (kinda, sorta, not really). Griffin is one of the three remaining Keepers. He and his brother Darius find themselves responsible for Helen when she shows up, scared and filthy, at their front door. He takes her in, he trains her to fight with a sickle, and of course he’s totally gorgeous. Griffin fights to protect her, he worries about her, but more than that he’s incredibly well developed as a male lead. He has his own story, which happened before this story and is independent of Helen’s. Their parents were murdered too. Darius and Griffin live in their parents’ house, waiting for a time when they can get revenge on the Legion. Raum was once Helen’s friend. He suffered nobly through her tea parties when she was little, but she grew up without him as a friend. Her parents stopped being friends with his parents, and eventually she forgot about him. But now Raum is back, and Helen is torn between the Channing brothers and the memory of the boy who played with her in her mother’s garden.

Zink explains Griffin’s love for his brother, as well as his behavior around Helen and exactly what kind of man he is. Though charming and sweet, Zink doesn’t try to make him perfect–and flawed characters are so much better. Darius is not like his brother. He’s surly and hard to please. But he puts family first, and you can tell he takes the responsibilities his parents left him seriously. One of my favorite things about this book is that it doesn’t lay everything out in front of you. It’s not like “Hey, here’s the mystery and here are some clues!” but takes the reader on a journey with the characters to find out what’s going on. Despite the fantasy elements of the story; that makes it seem so much more realistic.

I found this book incredibly engaging. I sat down and read it in a few hours–it’s not short but the story is a quick read because Helen’s narrative voice is so easy to follow. Right now the story functions as a stand-alone, though ideally Zink will turn it into a series! There are a few questions left open by the end, but nothing that prevents A Temptation of Angels from being on its own. This mystery is engaging because the stakes are set so high and the characters are so deep and unique you wonder how it’ll all end happily.

Notable Scene:

“I…It…What is this?” She did not even have the presence of mind to worry about sounding like an idiot in front of Darius.

Griffin led her gently by the arm. “Galizur will explain.”

She stumbled forward, even as she wanted to shrink in fear. In the end, her hesitation had no hope against the part of her that was drawn to the object as clearly as if it were calling her name.

It was beautiful, the azure oceans seeping into the green and gold landmasses that morphed slowly into ridged mountains. As the globe turned, the water seemed to undulate, the sand of the Sahara sifting from one side to the other. She caught the scent of salt water, wet earth, wind, and rain. “It’s the Terrenious Orb.” Galizur’s voice broke through the trance brought on by the object in front of her. “It’s a measure of our world and how secure we are in it.” He gestured at it with one hand. “And as you can see, things aren’t going very well at the moment.”

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Dial provided me with a copy of A Temptation of Angels. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for Keren Hughes.
Author 21 books211 followers
March 26, 2012
I was first drawn to this book by the stunning cover. I was on the authors blog when I noticed it and had to know what it was about. So I looked it up in Goodreads and knew I had to read it. I love to read new things involving angels. I like to read how different authors have a different take, a different concept of how things work.

I will admit, I have not read anything by Michelle Zink before. However, now I will look to rectify that. I really want to read her Prophecy of the Sisters series.

Being new to Michelle's writing, I wasn't sure what to expect. I can honestly tell you, I was really impressed by what I found. Michelle has a beautiful, fluid way of writing. She manages to explain things to the reader without 'information overload'. I really liked the natural flow of discovering things as I went along. Some authors can spend too much time on world building and not actually having much happen. But Michelle's world didn't really need building - it was simple, elegant and easy to understand.

There was only one thing I didn't like about this book and that was the fact that it had to end! The last page came up on me all too fast. I don't know whether there will be several more books after this one but I really, truly hope so. I loved how I got so wrapped up in the story, I honestly felt like I lost huge chunks of time whenever I picked it up. I stayed up late into the night just to finish it off - leaving me tired the next morning because I simply HAD to know what was happening.

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS is a story about sixteen year old Helen Cartwright. A girl whose parents are murdered, leaving her an orphan at such a tender age. But her parents had planned for what would happen in such an event. Shortly before they died, Helen's mother made her take a slip of paper, telling her where to go and who to look for.

Upon escaping from her childhood home before it was engulfed in flames, Helen must find her way to the home of Darius and Griffin Channing. She doesn't know the Channings and doesn't understand what will happen once she gets there but the fact is, she has nowhere else to go, no-one else to turn to in her time of need.

Helen finds herself launched head first into an underground London where an organisation called the 'Dictata' control the balance of good and evil. Helen discovers that she is one of 3 surviving angelic descendants who are charged with the protection of the world's past, present and future.

Unbeknownst to Helen, she has been trained for this her whole life. Her mother and father played games with her as a child in preparation. Now she must accept the responsibility that comes with such a task. Her life depends on it. The fate of the world depends on it.

Torn between the handsome, charming Griffin Channing and her childhood friend who could destroy her, Helen has to find a way to do what is best. But is what's best for her the same thing as what's best for the rest of the world? It's true that temptation comes in many guises and she finds that it can be hard to resist.

But Helen must be strong in the face of adversity. She must prepare to be hunted by those that wish her harm and to do the very best that she can do because at the end of the day, that is all anyone can really ask of her.

I admit I fell totally in love with Griffin. But then I had affection for all the male characters. Griffin was the one who was sweet, polite, handsome. 'The good guy'.
*Swoons...Mmm Griffin*
Darius was the kind of guy that everything he said was intoned with sarcasm. I know people say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit - but being a sarcastic sort of person myself, I found Darius funny even when Helen did not.
As for Raum, he was the ultimate bad boy. Without ruining the story for you, I can't tell you how or why. All I can say is, knowing what he has done, it is hard to understand why Helen would feel anything toward him. But in the end, even if you don't feel anything for him yourself, you come to know why Helen does. It's hard, some people will be totally against him whilst others will be for him - whilst me personally, I spent most of my time in the undecided camp. I sort of wanted to forgive him but also didn't know whether he earned the forgiveness. [I won't tell you whether I forgave him or not in the end - I will leave you to figure that out once you've read it]

There were a couple of other characters whom I held affection for. Galizur and his daughter Anna. You will meet them along the way and see just why they also have places in my heart.

I must say that few books end with me in tears with a pile of tissues beside me. Even fewer books still that start with tears and end with a wry kind of smile. A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS was one of the latter. So I warn you now, if you are an emotional sort, have tissues at the ready before you begin.

If like me you like to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book, then I suggest you make a flask of tea and find a quiet room where you can hang a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door - I warn you, you won't want to come out until you reach the last page.

My final thought? This book was epic. It left me all at once sated yet hungry for more.

Thank you Michelle for introducing us to fantastic new characters to love and a world in which to get completely lost.
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1,249 reviews206 followers
March 23, 2012
So, I was a little torn about this but after a little time to let it sink in, I decided that I did like A Temptation of Angels. There are definitely some negative aspects to it, but they end up overshadowed by the positives.

Let's get the bad out of the way, shall we?
In the first portion of the book, maybe the first third or so, I felt really confused. I didn't understand what was going on. I didn't get the mythology of the angels. It was kind of frustrating.

What's worse is that the mythology is never fully explained. I don't know if there is going to be a sequel, I haven't heard anything about it yet, but if that's all that's going to be explained, then I didn't fully grasp the mythology. Only the basics were explained; it never elaborated. By the end I had begun to piece together the whole thing, but I still didn't understand the full picture.

Also, angels didn't feature all to prominently. That's somewhat justified because Keepers are meant to stay earthbound but they didn't even have special powers other than light jumping and quasi-immortality. Otherwise, they didn't show angelic qualities, which I though was a little strange.

Finally,there's Raum. I didn't quite know what to make of him. I get that he had his reasons that somewhat justified his actions but I didn't think that they got him off the hook. He might be tall, dark, and handsome as well as the bad boy but I still didn't get why Helen loved him. Yeah, he was that little boy you had tea parties with but he was also responsible for the death of your parents. If I was her, I could never find it in me to forgive him. I may cooperate with him, but I could never forgive him. It's a little difficult for me. On one hand, Raum is guilty of murder, on the other, I pitied him. At least Helen didn't just fall into his arms; she was reasonable about it, other than loving him. He really falls into both positive and negative. I didn't like that Helen forgave him but I loved his character and the dynamic conundrum it created.

That brings us to the positives.

I really liked Helen's character. She was strong, clever, and determined. She did't let the brothers take care of her; she was insistent on taking care of herself. It was really nice to see a heroine that strong; they don't come up all that often. She is definitely not the stereotypical, whiny, weak female lead that we have all come to know and hate. She's tough and she's not afraid to prove it.

Griffin and Darius were lovely. While they are brothers, they are polar opposites of each other. Griffin is calm, kind, and gentle. Darius is sarcastic, volatile, and harsh. Even though Griffin is content to let Darius lead, he's not afraid to take him on when their view clash. On more than one occasion, Griffin makes it clear that he won't let Darius have free reign if he can help it. Despite their difference and Darius' determination to antagonize Helen, both were committed to protecting her and finding the person killing all the Keepers. I adored them both.They're both awesome in their own way. Griffin is sweet and adorable; Darius is dynamic and interesting. I definitely understood why Helen fell in love with Griffin, he was sooo cute.

Once I understood the mythology, the last 2/3 of the book were excellent. I was on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen. The ending left a lot open so I'm wondering if there will be a sequel because it feels like a few loose ends could be tied. Hopefully there will be, because I'm incredibly curious to know more about the mythology and to find out what happens to the characters.

Overall, I'm not sure A Temptation of Angels is for everyone. If you have the patience to read through the confusing first section, you will definitely be rewarded with a fabulous rest of the book. If you don't have the patience to wait through that part, then I would say to proceed with caution.

I definitely liked this book. It had it's flaws but it redeemed itself. Here's hoping there's a sequel.

After much deliberation, 4/5
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