Angels have not been my favorite subset of paranormal fiction by any means. Too often they serve as a platform by which the author can serve up their religious viewpoints to unsuspecting young readers. Thankfully, A Temptation of Angels ranks with the grouping of angel fiction that makes no attempt to say anything whatever about religion, along with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I read earlier this week.
Though I obviously liked her omission of any real look into where the angels precisely came from or who they were working for, I would have appreciated a bit more elucidation into how the Keepers function on earth. Having finished the book, I'm not entirely certain what normal operations as a Keeper entail. What really boggles my mind, though, is how they come into being. I really couldn't get a handle on any of this from the few mentions they got. For once, I would have liked more infodumping.
What I really appreciated about A Temptation of Angels was Helen, and the way the boys treated her. Though I didn't initially think too much of her, she grew on me. She refused to let herself be left behind or ignored. The boys bossed her around much of the time, but only because she really didn't know what she was doing. If she picked up a needed skill, she would be accorded respect for that. When she had a better idea, they listened to her. Unlike so many YA boys, they did not view her as lesser solely for being a woman. Though she does spend a lot of time being lifted and caught, I suspect that, down the road, she would build up her strength and no longer require or accept that help. As a heroine, Helen was constantly growing, unwilling to be anyone's dependent, which is a wonderful message for teenage girls.
Yes, there is a love triangle, but I do need to give Michelle Zink props for not adding Darius into the mix. Things would have been so much worse had she been torn between Darius and Griffin as I initially feared. The triangle between Griffin and Raum made more sense, given that she had feelings of slightly different natures for the two, which could be complicated and nigh indecipherable to an innocent sixteen year old, new to the world of romance. In fact, were it not for the instalove, which grows naturally enough but in too short a time span (just a couple of days), I would probably be pretty okay with how all of this went down, especially since Helen was in control of herself throughout and making her own thoughtful decisions.
Zink's writes well, so far as sentence structure goes, which was another plus. I didn't however get a sense of the time period, and was surprised to note that it was a historical several chapters in. Perhaps that's my own failing, but, even once I knew, something about the book read as modern for me, though I really could not say why. The story does have the slower pace of most historicals, so beware of that.
For those who dearly love paranormal romances and can bear another instalove love triangle, Michelle Zink's novel will likely not disappoint. Even I, tired as I am of instalove, thought Zink's novel was quite enjoyable.