With Angelopolis, Danielle Trussoni returns to the setting of 2010's Angelology--and though the new novel, like its predecessor, has major flaws, its strengths will redeem it in the eyes of many readers. Angelology fans will no doubt be eager to learn the fates of the story's protagonists after its cliffhanger ending, but those new to the series should not find it difficult to jump in without prior knowledge.

Trussoni's fiction has been compared to Dan Brown's, and justifiably so; her metaphysical action premise shares a sensibility with The Da Vinci Code, and there's a familiar air to academic turned angel-hunter V.A. Verlaine as he struggles with his romantic feelings toward a woman whose genetic legacy holds profound religious significance.

Angelopolis moves at a blink-and-you'll-miss-it pace, and Trussoni has a knack for creating wonderfully immediate images, as in this description of the Rhodope Mountains of southeastern Europe: "He saw gorges and valleys falling away in tiers, each new depth like a sheet of linen absorbing the inky night." Her heroes, despite their outlandish backstories, are genuine and sympathetic. Yet the novel's many enjoyable attributes are marred by occasionally clumsy dialogue and too much exposition--the tradeoffs of a complex plot and a breakneck pace. There's often so much going on that it's difficult to get invested in the scene or even the characters. The denouement in particular feels rushed, and readers should steel themselves for another cliffhanger ending. In spite of these drawbacks, readers willing to work a bit may find Angelopolis rewarding. --Katie Montgomery, book nerd

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