The city of New Orleans has this reputation for a strange mix of the sacred and profane.
I mean just look at the French Quarter where stands the beautiful and spiritual St. Louis Cathedral only steps away from the debauchery and excesses of Bourbon Street.
Seems like it would be a perfect place to set a book about skirmishes between fictional angels and demons.
Aimee Agresti has created just such a novel, second part of Gilded Wings angel series for young readers, the first, Illuminate, taking place in Chicago that ended not well for several of the characters.
I did not read this first installment but I found it was not necessary since the author does a good job of having the characters refer to the incidents in the first book which helps to set up the action in this next in the series.
Infatuate: Angels and Demons in New Orleans – book review
Infatuate picks up with the series’ main character Haven, her cohort Dante (who we later find out to be gay) and her beau Lance. All three are in the throes of teenage-hood, one of their many concerns being where to attend college in the coming year along with fighting with actual demons and friends who’ve been snatched over to the dark side.
They’ve come to New Orleans as they’ve been invited to help rebuild the city unaware they are a part of a gathering of angels summoned to help fight the evil ones who come and take the souls of the unsuspecting, unleashing rampant murders on the city, brutally killing their victims and taking body parts to use in their demonic rituals.
All this sounds a might gruesome but it’s surrounded with a love story involving these young angels who are just trying to figure out who they are in the world and wondering if they’ll survive without their souls being taken to the underworld.
The author is pretty faithful to the ambience of the city although at one point she mentions sailboats in the Mississippi River and truth be told I’ve never seen a sailboat in the river, except maybe in ancient photos. You’d have to be nuts sailing with all the massive ships rolling by. I’ve been sailing in the Columbia River in Portland and that was pretty crazy even though there weren’t a lot of big ships. But I digress.
Told in the first person our heroin discovers that she is one of the most powerful angels in the group if not the most powerful. She’s surrounded by characters who you’re never quite sure of their allegiance: are they devils in disguise, angels that have fallen or a demon who’s repented and trying to help.
The author manages to hold all these elements together with clearly defined characters that you really care about. She has an especially lively writing style that’s unpretentious and suits the material well. Although I’m well above the age group to which this novel aims I found myself enjoying the story and the scenes of New Orleans in which it is all set.
The book ends with a cliff hanger to be resolved in the next book. Will we be seeing a movie series a la the successful vampire-laden Eclipse books? If so it would be another coup for Hollywood South.
You can purchase Infatuate here.
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