Jovah’s Angel is the second book to the Samaria series and the sequel to Archangel, which I read and loved last April. This book is set one hundred and fifty years after the Archangel Gabriel’s time. Thanks to Celina for picking up this book for me when she went to a sale in Fully Booked. I know of a couple of book bloggers (namely Charlotte, Angie and Michelle) who love this series based on their comments in my review of Archangel.
Here’s the summary from Sharon Shinn’s website:
More than a hundred years after the time of Rachel and Gabriel, Samaria is in deep turmoil. Charismatic Archangel Delilah has been injured and forced to give up her position, and she has been replaced by shy, uncertain Alleluia. What’s worse, ungovernable storms are sweeping across the country, and the god never seems to hear the angels’ pleas to abate the bad weather. Unless those prayers are offered by the new Archangel…
And she also posted an interesting tidbit as well:
What I find intriguing about this book is that there’s no villain. There’s no power struggle between ambitious individuals. It’s all about man vs. the environment, with a healthy dose of man vs. faith.
Yay, I noticed this tidbit while reading the novel too! I kept thinking to myself that it was very interesting that there was no villain to this story. The novel revolves around complex characters, their beliefs, how their lives are all intertwined and how they deal with a world that is rapidly changing. I liked the contrast between the deposed Archangel Delilah: dark, vibrant, and outgoing and her replacement Alleluia (nicknamed Alleya): blonde, reserved and not much of a people person. Delilah has a striking and lovely voice and she has the kind of personality that naturally draws people to her. Alleya, on the other hand, is shy and quiet. The whole land was surprised when the god chose her to replace Delilah and she struggles to give her best in her role as Archangel even though she never wanted to be one. Alleya would much rather have her nose buried inside a book than have political dealings with the influential people of Samaria.
Also included in the fascinating mix of characters are best friends and scientists Caleb and Noah. Although it is set in the same world as Archangel, Samaria is now on the brink of an industrial revolution. Both Caleb and Noah are inventors with their own specializations. It was interesting to note that in a land full of believers, Caleb is a self-proclaimed atheist. He thinks that science has more power over faith and there isn’t enough proof in the world for religion. Like Archangel, there’s a lot of theology thrown in this book but it never becomes overwhelming. I liked Caleb and his insatiable thirst for knowledge and how he can focus on one problem until he arrives at a solution. I know it’s not obvious based on my blog but I was an electronics engineering major back in college (I never practiced and now know next to nothing about the field) so I can somewhat relate to Caleb’s interest in science. I really enjoyed reading about this world and this set of characters and I can just imagine that the rest of the books in the series will be just as wonderful. I wasn’t expecting what happened in the ending but I loved how it all worked out. I think it was just perfect.
Just for fun, I like picking out quotes from books that I read and I note down the ones that resonate with me. This is one taken from one of Alleya and Caleb’s conversation somewhere in the middle of the book:
“If love makes you sad, you acquire a little depth, a little compassion. If it makes you happy, you learn how to be joyous. Every relationship should color your soul to a certain degree, don’t you think? Every friendship, every love affair – each one should build up the chambers of your heart the way a sea creature builds the chamber of his shell.”
And this one is part of one of the final scenes and I’m not going to say any more than that to avoid spoilers:
“Yet the world is the same as it always was. It is merely that you see it with new eyes.”
This can be a standalone novel but I would recommend that the entire series be read because why miss the awesomeness? I, myself, am looking forward to what’s in store in the rest of the series. Here is Sharon Shinn’s suggestion on what order the Samaria books should be read:
The book of mine that is the clear favorite among readers is Archangel, so it’s not a bad idea to start with the Samaria series. I always think they should be read in the order in which they were published: Archangel, Jovah’s Angel, The Alleluia Files, Angelica, and Angel-Seeker. I know some people have read them chronologically, which would change the order to: Angelica, Archangel, Angel-Seeker, Jovah’s Angel, The Alleluia Files.