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Book Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

A Temptation of Angels was not at all what I thought it was going to be, which ended up to be a really good thing!

Book Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

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a temptation of angels by michelle zink

Title & Author: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Genre: YA – Fantasy

Release Date: March 20, 2012

Series: Standalone (?)

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin)

How I Got the Book: ARC via NetGalley


“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.”

A Great Standalone that Avoids Cliches

A Temptation of Angels surprised me for a few reasons, one of the biggest being that it’s not about angels. It instead talked about wraiths and their desire to eliminate people known as Keepers because the Keepers hold the key to records of the past, present and future.

While I was reading this novel, I kept thinking how different it was from its YA counterparts. It handled instalove very well (i.e. by avoiding it) and dealt with a potential love triangle in a very original way, which I loved! Not to mention, I’m fairly certain it’s a standalone book. That is SUPER rare!

Even with all its differences, I did find A Temptation of Angels a bit difficult to get into. I think because there’s a bunch of action right at the beginning, then for a few chapters, there’s background info, which is definitely key to the novel but it dragged a bit for me.

Speaking of the background info – I found myself getting confused about who organization was bad and what one was good and who worked for whom. I think part of it was that I read this book in short bursts (because I could only read it on my laptop at home). I think this might have just been me, though, and I have full confidence others can keep things straight better than I did.

Another FANTASTIC thing about this book: people’s powers and abilities MAKE SENSE. As in, we had the skills all along but didn’t realize it because we didn’t know we were (secretly) being trained. I loved it. As someone who reads a ton of fantasy, I loved the logic and reason behind how Helen is thrown into crazy situations and knows how to handle them instinctively.

My last thought about A Temptation of Angels – I just adored Helen. She’s strong but she admits her weaknesses. She’s a fast-learner who doesn’t want to be taken care of; she wants to take care of herself. Plus, she makes tough decisions that the reader can really see she’s struggling with but doesn’t come off as a martyr or as a dumb girl who flounders between two guys over the span of 2 or 3 books…*end rant*


In a sea of sequels, instalove and crazy love trinagles, A Temptation of Angels is a breath of fresh air. It’s got it all – action, romance and mystery. Even though I found myself getting a little lost in the details at times (my own fault, I think), I definitely recommend A Temptation of Angels and hope others will enjoy the book’s novelty.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.