In fact, talk around this book is reminding me of another HUGE release from a few years ago (another book that I desperately had to get my hands on when it was released): Elizabeth Kostova's highly anticipated debut, The Historian.
I remember that Mike's folks were visiting when The Historian hit shelves in 2005. I dragged that doorstopper around with me the whole time we were doing the hosting siteseeing gig (came in handy driving up the mountains since I get seriously skeeged out with heights).
And you know, it's appropriate, I think, that Angelology is reminding of The Historian. I mean, angels are supposed to be the next big thing to follow the vampire craze and The Historian was about Dracula. I got a big kick out of the fact that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was snatching up a book about vampires.
I lurved it. The Historian is definitely on my favorites list. I love the gothic tone and the way the book unfolds. It's a book that I wanted to savor but found myself zipping through so that I could see what would happen next.
If you haven't read it, The Historian concerns a girl who discovers a strange book in her father's collection. When her father disappears, she follows him on a journey that leads her to Eastern Europe and the legend of Dracula himself. Here's the starred review from PW since I don't trust myself to do it justice after this long:
Considering the recent rush of door-stopping historical novels, first-timer Kostova is getting a big launch—fortunately, a lot here lives up to the hype. In 1972, a 16-year-old American living in Amsterdam finds a mysterious book in her diplomat father's library. The book is ancient, blank except for a sinister woodcut of a dragon and the word "Drakulya," but it's the letters tucked inside, dated 1930 and addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," that really pique her curiosity. Her widowed father, Paul, reluctantly provides pieces of a chilling story; it seems this ominous little book has a way of forcing itself on its owners, with terrifying results. Paul's former adviser at Oxford, Professor Rossi, became obsessed with researching Dracula and was convinced that he remained alive. When Rossi disappeared, Paul continued his quest with the help of another scholar, Helen, who had her own reasons for seeking the truth. As Paul relates these stories to his daughter, she secretly begins her own research. Kostova builds suspense by revealing the threads of her story as the narrator discovers them: what she's told, what she reads in old letters and, of course, what she discovers directly when the legendary threat of Dracula looms. Along with all the fascinating historical information, there's also a mounting casualty count, and the big showdown amps up the drama by pulling at the heartstrings at the same time it revels in the gruesome. Exotic locales, tantalizing history, a family legacy and a love of the bloodthirsty: it's hard to imagine that readers won't be bitten, too.
I definitely highly recommend The Historian to anyone who hasn't read it. Be warned, however, this one builds gradually. If you don't like gothic tales, you probably won't enjoy this one, But, if you are a reader who does like a slower pace and a deliciously satisfying long read, then you'll love this book as much as I did. I'll keep you posted on Angelology, but I suspect it's going to live up to expectations very nicely indeed.