02/16/2003 Entry: "Sharon Shinn's ANGELICA"
ANGELICA is a prequel to Sharon Shinn's science-fiction-that-reads-like-fantasy Samaria Trilogy. It's quite good--I read it in one long sitting--even though it isn't in the league of ARCHANGEL. You know, I'm as taken aback as when I read the earlier books at how strong a role the love story plays in Shinn's book. And there're two sets of romances in ANGELICA.
There are three characters to follow in this book. Susannah is a woman of the gypsy-like Edori tribe... Gaaron, the Archangel-elect, is basically a rock-solid guy... Gaaron's rebellious young sister Miriam was not born an angel, and is trying to find her place in this world...
While I liked the story very much, a weakness in the story to me was that Susannah didn't exactly move the plot along. Things kind of happened to her and she was just there. The dynamic (chaotic?) Miriam took center stage by the latter half of the story, almost completely overshadowing the main couple (although Shinn did a bit of rescue with the poetry of Susannah and Gaaron's lovers declaration at the end.)
Overall, though, I can definitely recommend ANGELICA. Samaria is such a fascinating science fiction world, with its winged angels and oracles and gypsies and traders and the love of music...--Preeti