I bought this book on Amazon because of the good reviews, but couldn't help feeling that this would turn out to be some religious work. I could not have been more wrong. Shinn's created a new and intriguing way to think of angels in a more human sense. In her world, they interact with the mortals and directly respond to requests for, say, rain to help the crops, and the only real religious references are some familiar Biblical names and vague references to a higher being. This is non-denominational, and thought-provoking to think of angels as, well, people. Highly recommended.
I absolutely loved this book - it was so different from things I've read before - as far as the world building was concerned. What a unique, wonderful world. And it had a love story to make me both frustrated and satisfied. What more could I ask for?
Readers of Archangel who are familiar with the Bible will see plenty of names which have Old Testament meaning and importance. Nearly all of the important angels during the past six hundred years and the humans who worked with the angels are biblically based and some of their actions reflect those of their Old Testament counterparts, but this is not a biblical retelling in a fantasy setting. How Sharon Shinn mixes the biblical into a believable fantasy setting is impressive. She builds a real story for Gabriel and Rachel and their relationship. It is something of a love story, but it is completely dysfunctional and it is very well written. Shinn's descriptions of the angels and their lives and how they pray for intercession from Jovah is more than overt Christianity. It fits into the context of the world and is more storytelling than preaching. This isn't a Christian novel and I do not believe it is intended to be. It's a well told story. Period
Despite being called sci-fi, it absolutely is not -- perhaps the later books explore that angle, but this book lacks any sci-fi elements. Absolutely worth reading if you like music, angels, politics, sweet love stories, or fantasy world-building with an interesting twist. The few references to sex are oblique and demure.
All in all a good story. Classic romance in that Rachel and Gabriel are in conflict until the end when their love for each other is finally openly admitted to each other. I did grow a bit weary of Rachel and actually did not feel much sympathy for her. Characters who insist on making themselves unhappy do not appeal to me. I related more to Gabriel and his struggles not only with himself but also with his position.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and was a very fast read! I am anxious to read the remaining books in the trilogy, as Sharon Shinn's writing style is captivating and engaging. I felt transported to the world which she has created and long for another visit.
I really loved this book. I thought the religious overtones were great and found myself very interested in the mythology of the story. I loved Gabriel. I thought he was such a wonderful man, full of honest purpose. I liked Rachel but thought that she was sometimes too hard on Gabriel. He was working so hard to help so many people in his important role and sometimes I felt that he did not have time for her games. I think he was thoroughly humbled by her and I wished that she was little more humbled to realize how great he is. I am just in love with him myself so I think I might be biased. Anyway, it was a great read, full of adventure, romance, and thoughtful religious discussion.
This wasn't bad, except for it's another example of ridiculous ideals of romance. I'm getting sick of the whole The-woman-mistreats-the-guy-completely-but-it's-all-ok-because-they-love-each-other-nonsense.
However, the world is very well imagined, and most of the story is pretty good.
I started this yesterday afternoon, right before we went to the movies. we got back late, and i stayed up until 3 this morning reading it and finally finished it this afternoon. it is a very engrossing and wonderful story. i love books like this--something that takes a religion and tweaks it just enough for it to not be our world, but still believeable enough to keep me interested.
this kind of reminded me of the kushiel series by jacqueline carey, minus all the sexual stuff.
shinn describes the music and singing very well, all the while never actually telling you what they are singing. i quite like her style of writing--i've already ordered the second book in the series, though i am disappointed that it does continue gabriel and rachel's stories or any of the other characters in this book.
Very good book. This one has been placed on my favorites bookshelf, but it is not the BEST I've read. Definitely worth the time though.
The pace of the book is well kept, right until the end, and you fall in the love with the characters. I've heard there's a sequel, but I haven't read it yet.
If you're looking for a good read definitely pick this one up.
I continue to be surprised by the power of Sharon Shinn's words and stories. When I picked up this book I was dubious at best about it. It just didn't seem like a book for me. I tend to go for the more jaded of heroines or heroes. I like the cynical storyline.
Ms. Shinn is going to make me reconsider my taste in books I think. I carried this book around with me all over the house hoping to snatch reading as much as possible whenever possible. She writes such great characters that I was powerfully motivated to stay with the story and find out what was going to happen next.
If you are on the fence and wondering if you should try this book then you absolutely should. I can't even say why it is such a great book, it just is.
In a world where angels and humans coexist, angels channel the power of Jovah for an entire world. When Gabriel is chosen as the senior, ruling angel, he finds that he must choose a human woman as his future mate, his Angelica. He is even told her name. However, he isn't told that she is not only a slave in the house of a powerful family, she is also uninterested in marriage to an angel!
First book in the series, great place to start, highly recommended.
Don't let the cover put you off, she is singing. The story takes place on the planet Samaria, settled by folks from Earth in the future. Their ship 'Jehovah' now orbits the planet, and needed people who could communicate the people's needs, so bioengineered "Angels" people with wings and higher body temp & strength to be able to withstand the pressures & problems of flying. When the story begins, the people of Samaria have forgotten the ship, and instead believe that 'Jovah" is their god who meets their needs. (be sure to read the small "blurp" on the back cover, that's the only background you get.)
powerful story of slavery, freedom, traditions, belief, music & people like you and me having to deal with a crisis. Enjoyable and powerful story, that happens to have a romance involved too.
This was one of my favorite books in the series. I did so enjoy the plot twist at the end of the entire series. The book is very well done, and does a fantastic job of combining fantasy with science fiction. It's so subtle too ... I loved it.
I love all Sharon Shinn books. She has a way of writing that gets me there,that make me care about these fictional character.
"Archangel" was the first of her books I read, after discovering her novella "Fallen Angel" in "To Weave a Web of Magic" anthology.
Miss Shinn built a world and its people,with different traditions,beliefs,lifestyles. Samaria and its inhabitant slowly come to life in your mind,in all its colors and flavors.
Yes there is romance,but Miss Shinn is very skilled at integrating it in her stories,so it doesn't become the only focus.
I believe that is almost inevitable when reading the stories on this series, to wonder about what is god,and to think about the power of harmony.
Next in line to become archangel in the angel-led dominion of Samaria, Gabriel must lead the next chorale praising the god Jovah, which means he needs a wife--fast--to sing beside him. Guided by the local oracle and the light emanating from the Kiss of the Gods (a homing device in his wrist), he finds his Jovah-selected fiancee in a common Edori slave girl named Rachel. The marriage proves, however, anything but romantic. Far from rejoicing in the sudden freedom that her marriage brings, Rachel quickly becomes a thorn in Gabriel's side, using her newfound influence to help her downtrodden Edori brethren. Displaying sure command of characterization and vividly imagined settings, Shinn absorbs us in the story of how Rachel and Gabriel eventually unite in true love and respect. With place-names such as Gaza and Jordana, she tantalizingly hints at her Samaria's connection to an ancient Israeli past, and she tempers the angelic milieu with talk of her angels' technological heritage in an entertaining sf-fantasy blend that should please fans of both genres.
Well written and a decent plot, in my opinion. It's just hard for me to read a story about a girl forced to do something she doesn't want to. It's one of my pet peeves. ;-)