This chapter is actually relatively long compared to the chapters that came before. No smashing chapters together, no skipping around: I actually have to sit down and tell you guys what’s going on, because there are details that are important to the story. Right. Guess I should get to it.

So how do we open this chapter?

Verlaine felt a cold presence deep in the shadows of the passage and knew that Evangeline was there, standing in the darkness, so close he could feel the icy chill of her breath against his neck.

Um… how are they standing, exactly? She’s not facing away from him, because then he wouldn’t feel her breath. She seems to be standing in front of him from the next paragraph, but why are they standing this close? Other than to make it really awkward?

Verlaine is very conflicted about this meeting. There’s a lot he wants to talk about, a lot he wants to ask, and he’s practiced saying it all at one point or another, but the fact is that he can’t spit it out. So he just stands there awkwardly for God knows how long and then hands Evangeline her driver’s license.

She met his eye and slowly took the card in her hand. “You believed it was me back there.

“All evidence pointed in that direction,” Verlaine said, feeling his stomach turn at the thought of the bloody mess at the Eiffel Tower.

“There was no other way.” Her voice was no more than a whisper. “They were going to kill me.”

“Who was going to kill you?”

“But they made a mistake,” she said, her eyes wide. “I led them in the wrong direction. I let them kill someone else.”

You know, we’re all surprisingly chill about the fact that Evangeline let someone else die in her place. I mean, I get it, under the circumstances she did what she had to, but when Verlaine met her she never would have done something like that.

I’m still a bit unclear as to how Evangeline evaded assassination though. The only indicator that the corpse was Evangeline was the ID. So did Evangeline plant her driver’s license on a random woman angel hybrid that happened to look a bit like her and that was enough? Or was this woman also named Evangeline? Because if Eno’s been following her target for weeks, you think she’d notice when she wasn’t referred to by the correct name. Or did Evangeline throw Eno off her trail at the last minute? Because if that was the case, how would that even work?

However, none of this is ever explained. Given what we’ve seen of Eno, I just imagine she found someone fitting the description, asked for an ID, and then dropped her off the Eiffel Tower.

Dear God, Eno’s an awful assassin.

Evangeline hands Verlaine the MacGuffin, while insisting that she’s not like the Grigoris. This item is, of course, a Fabergé Egg like on the cover, but because Verlaine’s an idiot he doesn’t realize it.

“So tell me,” Verlaine said. “What brings you back now?” Verlaine tossed the jeweled egg in the air and caught it in his hand. “The Easter Bunny?”

May I remind you that in the last book this guy was a student of art history? So as someone who has any sort of passing knowledge of art history, even if he didn’t know what it was at first, why would he be so incredibly stupid as to toss the thing around as if it were a bloody rubber ball??

And yeah, I think that Easter Bunny comment is the only type of thing to pass for humor in this book.

But it turns out the egg is not from the Easter Bunny! It’s from—

“Xenia Ivanova.”

“Vladimir’s daughter?” Verlaine asked, turning serious. The death of Vladimir Ivanov had been just one of many fatalities of their failed mission in New York.

Translation: Remember Vladimir, that Russian guy from the last book? No (I didn’t mention him in my review because he was so unimportant)? Well he died and his daughter passed this artifact to Evangeline.

Vladimir was friends with Evangeline’s father, and so when everything went down last book Evangeline went to Xenia to stay and work in her shop (this has nothing to do with the concept of xenia , I’m sure). Evangeline figured Xenia didn’t know about all this angel business, but it turns out she had a bunch of her father’s possessions and records, along with the egg. Seeing no use for it, she tried to sell it, but then Nephilim started following her and finally tried to take it. So Evangeline was hoping to find someone in Paris (where Vladimir may have found the egg) to explain what the hell it was and why it was so valuable.

I… guess we have a plot then! I mean, it’s fairly standard, but it’s not bad. I would have liked to have seen the whole thing instead of having Evangeline telling it all to us. She mentions having to fight off two Gibborim, which are like the enforcer/thug angel hybrids, and that sounds awesome. But whatever. I’ll take what I can get, even if we don’t have an explanation as to how Evangeline managed to—

“If I hadn’t intervened, Xenia would be dead.”

“Was that her body at the Eiffel Tower?”

“No.” Evangeline shook her head, her expression serious. “That was just some random Nephil who looked a bit like me. I planted my ID on her and led the Emim to believe she was me.”




I’d forget about this if it weren’t for the fact that they keep bringing it up.

Let’s imagine then, that Eno stalked this woman fitting the description of her target, picked her pocket, found the ID and put it back. Then stalked this woman for weeks. Now Evangeline could be using a fake name, so maybe Eno figures that’s why nobody calls this woman she’s stalking by that name. But… does that woman have no other ID on her? Nothing that refers to her by her actual name? Has she been walking around with another woman’s ID on her for weeks? Did she never look in her pockets and throw away the weird New York driver’s license?

Or did Evangeline just stick in a woman’s pocket after she found Eno watching her? In which case, wouldn’t Eno know that the woman wasn’t the one she’d be tracking for weeks?

And hang on—if Xenia was the daughter of a prominent angelologist, who was friends with Evangeline’s dad, who was also a major angelologist, why did the angelologists not keep tabs on Xenia? Did they seriously not know that Vladimir kept records and important objects somewhere and that Xenia might know something about them? After Vladimir died, that’s one of the first things they should have done!

It’s like my Shakespeare professor’s paper on how Portia in Merchant of Venice actually represents Jesus. Yeah, maybe you can go along with it while you’re reading, but the second you start asking questions about how any of it makes sense, it falls apart.

Verlaine considered this, realizing how far Evangeline had gone in her efforts to survive.

Just NOW, you’ve realized? The woman you’re supposedly in love with tells you she let someone else die in her place to buy time, and you don’t think about it until five minutes later when she repeats it?

…Verlaine, you’re kind of an idiot.

The two bond over having matching pendants from Evangeline’s grandmother and her best friend. Evangeline also tells Verlaine that she found him because she’s hoping that he would find out why the egg is important. When asked why she doesn’t go to anyone else, she doesn’t say anything at first. She does, however, open her wings.

She opened her wings, extending first one and then the other, rotating them until they stretched to the walls of the passage. They were immense and luminous, the layered feathers deep purple shot through with veins of silver—and yet they were transparent, ephemeral, so light he could see the texture of the brick wall behind them. He watched them vibrate with energy. They pulsed with the slow rhythm of her breathing, brushing her shoulders and sending shivers through her hair.

…I guess this isn’t bad. Honestly, I think it’d be cooler if the wings were different somehow, like the wings of the angels in Diablo, where they’re made of energy tendrils.

Or like the wings of the silver warrior in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow:

Personally, in my own writing, I’ve been experimenting with different kinds of angels having different kinds of wings. Like, angels of death having silent owl-like wings, while warrior angels have hawk-like wings, and messenger angels having wings like an albatross or something.

Here it’s just, “It’s made of light and it sparkles!” Like I said, it’s not bad, but it doesn’t do much with that hasn’t been done before.

Verlaine’s mighty impressed, though, and the audience has to know it.

He realized now that she was more special than he could have every guessed. He could hardly breathe. Evangeline was a thing of wonder, a miracle playing itself out before his eyes.

Hey kids! Here’s a fun thing to do: remember this quote! I’ll try to bring it up later when it becomes ironic.

The point Evangeline makes is that as an angel-person, she doesn’t trust the other angelologists not to strap her to a slab and dissect her. Which is… interesting, considering they’re supposed to be the good guys, I think.

Verlaine’s lovestruck as a YA protagonist, because he “wanted, suddenly, to bring his lips to her skin” but instead decides to take her pulse and ask her about her physiology. Her blood is red, unlike the usual angelic blue, her eyesight is amazing, and her average body temperature is thirty-three degrees Fahrenheit. For the record, that’s about a third of the average human body temperature.

“Have you killed many creatures like me?”

“I have never in my life encountered a creature like you, Evangeline.”

…you didn’t answer the question. I mean, you didn’t deny killing anyone or anything. If you want to reassure someone to trust you, you can start by making sure she knows you’re not going to kill her.

Evangeline asks “What am I?” to which Verlaine replies:

It is clear from your wings—their color and size and strength—that you are one of the elite angels. You are a Grigori, a descendant of the great Semyaza, granddaughter of Percival, great-grandaughter of Sneja. Bu you are human too. You are incredible, a kind of miracle.”

Microsoft Word informs me that Trussoni’s spelling of ‘great-granddaughter’ is incorrect. It’s missing a ‘d.’

Also, Sneja’s mentioned a few times in this book, and she even appears later, and Percival III (Percy from the last book) is talked about a lot but… her Percival II isn’t… I mean, why would they make a big deal about Evangeline being descended from Sneja but not her husband?

Oh, and the Semyaza bit—Semyaza is traditionally the leader of the Watchers (the angels who had children with humans) and the one who taught sorcery to humanity. There’s some argument over whether or not Semyaza is Satan, but for the purpose of this book I think we can say he’s not.

How does he know that the Grigoris are descended from Semyaza? Well according to the last book, the angelologists have family trees dating back to before Noah on the Nephilim.

But they don’t keep track of what’s going on with Xenia, the daughter of one of their senior members.

Anyway, Evangeline has some clichéd dialogue about how wonderful flight is, then out of nowhere Verlaine randomly says that Nephilim “have no soul and so they feed on the souls of human beings.”

Er… what? Since when? This is… a bit weird to saying in normal conversation…

Souls haven’t been brought up in the story thus far. It’s not going to be brought up again. It’s not like they actually eat souls in this book. So why would Verlaine just say something so out there as that? That sounds like something from a B-movie.

“Do I frighten you?”

Verlaine shook his head. “I have to trust my instincts.”

Sorry, I just… people relying on instincts alone really bugs me. It doesn’t really have reference for things like this. Instincts are very basic urges, built on very simple understanding of concepts. Complexities like this don’t factor in.

They have a moment where they hold each other and look at each other, but everything changes when a wild Eno appears!

Suddenly a car pulled into the passage, its headlights breaking through the darkness. The door opened and an Emim angel leaped from the car. Before he could move, Evangeline ran through the passage and, with a speed and grace that he recognized as belonging to the most adept creatures, she lifted into the air, alanding on the rooftop above. The Emim angel opened her wings—large, black wings, immense and powerful—and flew after her.

You know what that means, right?

We’re in for a good old-fashioned one-on-one ANGEL FIGHT! Hellz yes, I’m excited for this!

Tagged as: , ,


  1. The Smith of Lie on 15 August 2014, 13:20 said:

    Ok, this is highly irrelevant to sporking, but relevant to my interests – what is the source of girl in yellow doing explosions?

  2. swenson on 15 August 2014, 14:19 said:

    That would be Yang Xiao Long, one of the protagonists of RWBY, who has epic hair, a sweet motorcycle, and likes to punch things. She’s kinda my fave. (the gif actually comes from one of the trailers, but she’s cool in-series too)

  3. Apep on 15 August 2014, 22:00 said:

    I’m thinking that Trussoni didn’t really think this whole assassin thing through. Honestly, it would have worked much better if the whole bit with not-Evangeline were cut, and just have Verlaine stumble on her.

    But I guess that wouldn’t be “exciting” enough.

    her average body temperature is thirty-three degrees Fahrenheit. For the record, that’s about a third of the average human body temperature.

    And one degree above freezing. And assuming that’s normal for angels/nephelim, I have to wonder how they haven’t been exposed yet – she’s a friggin’ heat sink. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t kiss her – his lips might get stuck to her skin.

  4. Juracan on 16 August 2014, 07:49 said:

    The girl is indeed Yang, during the “Yellow” trailer of RWBY that was released before the series premiered.

    I’m thinking that Trussoni didn’t really think this whole assassin thing through. Honestly, it would have worked much better if the whole bit with not-Evangeline were cut, and just have Verlaine stumble on her.

    Everything about the opening of this book could have been done better. I’ll get a bit more into it in the next chapter, but the way it is right now just doesn’t add up in terms of actions, characterization or logic.

    And one degree above freezing. And assuming that’s normal for angels/nephelim, I have to wonder how they haven’t been exposed yet – she’s a friggin’ heat sink. It’s probably a good thing he didn’t kiss her – his lips might get stuck to her skin.

    Angel body temperature is supposed to be lower than human. Which is odd, considering that they’re often compared to birds, and birds actually tend to have higher body temperatures than humans.

    That being said, I don’t think it’s bad for body temperature to be lower, but why that much lower? I can’t figure out any reason for it. Is almost-freezing sexy now?