Friday, June 15, 2012

The Black Angel, by John Connolly

I managed to get out of order in my Charlie Parker series books.  Consequently, reading this book helped fill in some gaps in my knowledge. This book is more supernatural than most of the other books in the Parker series. In some ways the role of the angels and demons in the book remind me of some of Anne Rice's novels.

The book introduced me to be Sedlec monastery and Ossuary. It prompted me to do some research about the Cistercian order and this monastery in the Czech Republic. I am traveling to Paris later this summer and need to see if I can talk my friend into visiting the catacombs (including some ossuaries) which have played it important role in the plot of the Michael Scott books (The Immortal Nicholas Flamel series-for younger adolescent readers) and some of the Anne Rice's novels. An ossuary is connected to the storage or display of skeletal remains. The church at the center of this book is famous for having most of the interior decorated an ornament in with human skeleton parts. Connolly weaves this historical, religious, and artistic information throughout the book.

In The Black Angel, Connolly explorers the fallen angels and their agents on earth. Consequently, readers of James Lee Burke and Anne Rice will feel a resonance with the works of these authors. They are among the few authors, exploring the concept of evil and its work in the world, who end up simultaneously having to explore religion, angels, and demons.

As always, Connolly writes in a literary style and as a result can be challenging to readers.  Taking the time to do the background research on topics introduced and the geographical connections will enrich the reading. The book is also accompanied by a CD of music either mentioned in the book or connected to the plot and characters.  This is the first time I have played an accompanying soundtrack. It was an interesting and enjoyable collection of works.  As our writers become more technologically engaged I anticipate more media connections and additions to their works.

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