Wow. This book is movie-worthy. What a story. It is a story about loss, guilt, fear and hope. Their fates collided one day leading them together to an orchard. That one memory, that one encounter, changes their lives forever. Soul mates. His in his memory she was a mirage, an angle sent to heal and comfort. In her memory he was her missing half and, I think, subconsciously she looked for him, or that feeling, every moment since that night. I am not a mystery reader. But the beautiful mystery that unfolds in this novel is so special. Both, having lost pieces of their hearts to circumstance and consequences, they find solace and peace from each other. She comes to him at points in his life where he is in need of love. Contradictory to the original story of Beatrice and Gabriel the Angel, she leads him to paradise in a way. But I suppose Gabriel is actually Dante, so that analogy is a little off. See what I mean? It’s captivating. There are so many different ways to read into it.
I can not speak well enough of the plot of this book and the sequel. I feel smarter having read it. Isn’t that a gift? While reading this book I Googled and Wikipedia’d constantly. What an education I received. It opened up a whole world of literature to me, and for that I am also thankful. It also made the references have more weight and brought new light to quotes, music, art and so many other facets included in the pages. Many readers will probably take the Dante and Beatrice story at face value, but curious readers will not be able to get enough. If you read this book I suggest letting yourself look things up, research the things you don’t know about and it will add much to your experience. Whatever you do read this book.
Main Characters – 5¢
Great characters! There are so many levels and complexities to this pair. Ms. Julia, or Julianne, Mitchell and Prof. Gabriel O. Emerson are well thought out. It was a dual lead, I thought. The story line had just as much to do with Gabriel as it did Julia. Their lives intertwined in the most magical way. Both characters grow and change as the story unfolds.
Julia is a student. Gabriel is a professor. Or is it the other way around? She is warm and kind, forgiving to a fault and so gentle. He is protective and generous and so devoted. However, they are both wounded so deeply that they lose hope. Ga! I don’t want to tell anything about this book. Reviewing it is difficult! I would be robbing you! But rest assured…they are interesting, different and I couldn’t help but love them both.
Secondary Characters – 5¢
Every single person in this book was key to the story. Alive or dead. I so loved Rachel and Aaron. Paul, or Virgil as I think of him, was so inviting and gentle and friendly. I loved him, but I wasn’t IN love with him. He was such a giving, supportive friend. Rachel added humor and wit. Even the villainous characters were really well written. Again, home run for this book.
Setting – 5¢
Awesome. The author was capable of creating this world that they lived in (even though, it does exist in reality) somewhere between historical and contemporary, age-old and modern, it was fascinating. It was like watching a movie in my mind. I knew my way around her apartment, his house, and the orchard. It was written so well I didn’t just see it, but felt it. The drafts of cold air in her small bathroom, the chill on the rock in the orchard. Beautiful. So complete. The settings were laid out with masterpieces of art and music and ahh…it was flawless. Did I mention Italy, yet? Sylvain Reynard could write travel guides.
Humor – 3¢
This wasn’t a funny book. But I did have a few laughs. I laughed mostly at Gabriel. He was neurotic to the bone. “Angelfucker” got me every time. Was it classically funny? No, but funny to me. I’m giving these three cents because of how happy it made me. Of course, there were inside-type jokes and a few light-hearted moments, but I traded laughter for smiles and I’m quite all right with it.
A/R – 5¢
Couldn’t put it down. The first time I read it I was reading about it’s subject matter and researching it every chance I got. So, yeah. I’d say it kept my attention. Then I read it again, and it gets better the second time around. Hmmm…I wonder about a third? Writing this review has reminded me… ok, back on the TBR for you, Professor.
Vocab – 5¢
Intelligent. Precise. Sharp. I didn’t encounter errors or imperfections. Literature quality. Like real literature…not just greasy sex book quality. The use of words wasn’t over done. I was never annoyed with the writing. It was a non-issue. The only time it was a burden was when I, myself, wasn’t educated enough on the subject. I loved the added game of having the Italian quotes translated to find out what they said. This book isn’t for lazy readers.
Steam – 5¢
So romantic. Of course, she was a virgin. That usually strikes me as generic and tell-tale. It genuinely seemed true to her character. Knowing about her history and her desire for this man almost her whole life. It fit. She worshiped him to an extent. And during their more intimate moments it was the same for him.
Never in an erotic novel have I felt less sleazy. The way the author gives power to sex, through the dialog and teachings of Dante in the story, lets you know how precious and sacred it is to both Julia and Gabriel…when they are together. Not lustful. Even though lust was part of it. It was more like worshiping. It had almost a biblical or religious feel to it. Like Heaven, or home or Paradise.
So, was it sordid and naughty?…mm hmm. But I was so captivated by their love that it didn’t seem dirty. That was their reward for patience. And mine too! It was very sexy.
Value – 5¢
I paid $5.99 for this book. I think it was a great value. I have already read it twice and will probably read it a few more times. The culture and education of this story was so worth the six bucks. The price has went up since I read the book, as it so deserves. Even a frugal book reader would agree, this book is worth much, much more.
Ending – 4¢
Yeah, it was great too. It wasn’t really an end for me, as I bought and began the second book within mere minutes. However, if the other book wouldn’t have been available at the touch of a button, I would have felt satisfied waiting. But, Man, it would have sucked to wait. (I know, I’m the Hemingway of book reviews..but it would have sucked actual balls to wait.) It was a wonderfully timed pause to their story. They resolved some of their conflicts and others magnified as the book came to it’s individual end.
In closing, this is one of my favorite books and series. If I could change one thing it would be the damn name and cover. Sure for a romance novel it sounds great, but this was so much more than mom porn- for me. It deserves more. I don’t know what…just something with a little less implication that it is only smut. It was such a quality read. It was smart, calculated, well-edited, romantic, worth the dough, and timeless. The whole package. Speaking of whole package…Professor. Wow. His body was hot, but his mind…sigh.
I’m so happy there will be a third. EEEEE
All believers are hypocrites because none of us live up to our beliefs.
I’m going to be thrown out of Paradise tomorrow, Beatrice. Our only hope is that you find me afterward. Look for me in Hell.
Scars might heal and we might forget about them in time, but they’re permanent. Not even Jesus lost his scars.
No more weeping. I’ve seen enough tears from you to last a lifetime. And I’m not worth a single one.
He brushed his thumb agains her naked flesh and gently transferred his attention to her swollen lower lip.
“I did this to you. Does it hurt?” he whispered.
“It only aches in your absence.”
- Gabriel’s Inferno & Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard (authorcgrey.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Gabriel’s Inferno (selfpubadvocate.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Gabriel’s Inferno (cbwentworth.wordpress.com)
- Author D.E. Phoenix New Book Makes an Interesting Depiction of the Blasphemy of a Fallen Angel Who Will Surprise Everyone with Thought-Provoking Revelations (prweb.com)
- Gabriel’s Inferno. Beauty and the Book