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Conspiracy of Angels: Novels of the Shadowside 1 Mass Market Paperback – October 27, 2015
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“Lovers of urban fantasy, biblical mythology, and mystery enthusiasts will find plenty to like in Conspiracy of Angels.” - Open Book Society
"Belanger’s writing shows real grit and Conspiracy of Angels doesn’t shy away from delving into horrors that will send a chill up the your spine." - The Absolute
“A very well-written book” - Love Jessica
"This story is a fast-paced, roller coaster through a fascinating world...truly entertaining." - Impedimenta magazine
“The greatest strength of the novel is Belanger’s excellent characterisation, particularly of her female characters. I especially loved Saliriel. Firstly, because she is so wonderfully Machiavellian and you are never quite certain as to where her true allegiances lie...Secondly, because Belanger has taken the bold decision to include a transgender woman as a main character and to make her scheming and manipulations a more prominent feature of her character than her gender identity.” - Mugglenet
“This is an urban fantasy that slides right into your head and doesn’t let go.” - Bookie Monster
About the Author
Michelle Belanger is a nonfiction author, a member of the vampire community, and a psychic seen regularly on the television series Paranormal State. She’s been featured on programs on HBO, the History Channel, and CNN Headline News, and teaches classes around the country on dreamwalking, energy exchange, and spirit communication.
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Better known as a nonfiction author, Michelle Belanger makes a smashing debut into fiction with Conspiracy of Angels. In the first chapter, A drowning man fights for life, hallucinating as he struggles to get to shore. He has no idea who he is or what the hell happened to him. The “waking up with amnesia” trope is on one of those aforementioned lists, but Belanger pulls it off with style and makes it utterly riveting.
When the man finally opens his wallet and reads his driver’s license, Zachary Westland realizes his only clue is the business card to a nightclub. He hitchhikes to a roadhouse and tries to get his act together. Random visions of death and violence, and a police bulletin showing a man that looks like him doesn’t help him at all.
It seems a lot of people know Zack, but he doesn’t know himself. At the club, he meets Saliriel, an imposing transwoman who is not at all happy to see him, and Remy, who is honor-bound to help him. He doesn’t trust either one of them, and his allegiances get even murkier when he encounters Lilianna, a petite redheaded bombshell whose instinct is to kill first and sort things out later.
Lil and Zack discover that an eons-old peace accord between ancient Angelic tribes is wearing thin. Zack may have known to the hows and whys, but whatever he knew is long gone, replaced by cryptic ciphers. With Remy and Lil’s help, Zack sorts through the wreckage of his life, his memory and his skills to solve the riddle of who he is and what he needs to do.
This is an urban fantasy that slides right into your head and doesn’t let go. This is not a romance novel dressed up in the latest paranormal fashion. It’s an adventure through blood-drenched horror and action, interspersed with magical realism so convincing that I would not be surprised if some of the esoteric sources cited in the text actually exist. Belanger has published several books on paranormal subjects, so I’m reasonably sure the research is solid.
The one thing that stuck out as odd to me was the setting. I’ve read plenty of other urban fantasy tales set in Chicago, New York, Tokyo, London and St. Louis, but can this kind of story work in Cleveland? It’s kind of off the beaten track for name recognition. As I kept reading, I realized that the characters and the story fit the setting just fine. The city becomes a minor character as the author weaves the city’s locations and history into the story. So yeah. Cleveland. Gritty, tough, and banged up a bit, just like the rest of the characters. Zack strikes me as kind of a jerk with a new-found heart of gold and I can’t quite figure out Remy’s connection to him, but I’m working on it. I have a soft spot for take-no-bull women and I can’t decide if my favorite character is Saliriel or Lil.
When I finished reading Conspiracy of Angels, I had a book hangover. I didn’t want to admit that the book was finished and flipped back through the chapters trying to piece together my own theories of what might happen in book 2.
I highly recommend this for fans of urban fantasy, horror, and action. If you like to take romps through territory where demons twist in the shadows and you aren’t afraid to get a little blood spatter on your shoes, you need to read this.
I personally found that the writing style of the author did not immediately draw me into the book and I felt like it was slow going for perhaps the first quarter until I got used to the style and could focus more on the story and the characters. If you do find that you struggle with the style then I would recommend that you keep pushing on as once you get used to the style you will really enjoy the characters and the plot