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Jovah's Angel (Samaria, Book 2) by…
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Jovah's Angel (Samaria, Book 2) (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Sharon Shinn

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1,0471711,622 (3.93)56
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Title:Jovah's Angel (Samaria, Book 2)
Authors:Sharon Shinn
Info:Ace (1998), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
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Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn (1997)

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» See also 56 mentions

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Samaria Series

If all romance books were like these, I might consider myself to be a fan of romance novels in general.
The 'Samaria' series is primarily romance - but it's balanced with enough other plot elements that it doesn't get too tedious. They're even frequently... romantic!... in a way that doesn't (usually) make me want to strangle the characters! (They're never explicit/erotic, though.)
I did read all five books back-to-back, which meant that some of the elements did get a little repetitive. Obviously, to a certain degree, Shinn found a formula and stuck with it. It wouldn't have bothered me at all if I hadn't been doing a Samaria marathon, though.
They are undeniably wish-fulfillment-based books. These are designed for women who think that having a drop-dead-gorgeous, preternaturally strong, winged lover who can pick you up and fly you through the sky is a super-sexy idea.
In tone and feel, I thought these were actually very similar to Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. They've got the nominally sci-fi setting, the fantasy 'feel,' and the character-based plot elements, with a similar mix of action, politics and personal drama.
All of the books are fully stand-alone stories.

Archangel
The angel Gabriel is set to become the next Archangel, as decreed by the voice of Jovah. However, before he ascends to his position of leadership, he must find the wife determined for him by his god - a woman named Rachel. Without an Angelica (the female counterpart to the Archangel), the complex acappella musical concert known as the Gloria cannot occur, and Jovah will rain destruction upon the land.
Being named Angelica is an honor that all girls dream of - so what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, if your destined bride belongs to a persecuted ethnic group, and has been sold into slavery - and bears no love toward angels.

Jovah's Angel
Set around 100 years after the first book. In a dramatic beginning, the well-respected Archangel Delilah is crippled in a storm, her consort killed, and Jovah names a most unlikely successor to replace her: a shy, studious angel named Alleluia (or, informally, Alleya). Like in the previous book, Alleya must find her predestined mate - but Jehovah does not know his name, identifying him only as "son of Jeremiah." Things are further complicated by Alleya's growing feelings for the inventor Caleb (who makes a bunch of steampunk-y stuff). But Caleb cannot be her destined mate... can he?
Meanwhile, Delila must deal with her feelings of resentment, and learn to live without flying. But of course, she'll find someone too - a man of the Edori (an ethnic group that resemble Jewish gypsies.)
Meanwhile - a big issue is going on. When the angels sing the songs that control the weather, often nothing happens. Climate change is leading to disaster.
I didn't like this one quite as much as the first in the series, mainly because I wasn't thrilled by the theme of industrialization going on in Samaria. Also, all the technological/sci-fi elements that were alluded to in the first book are made very clear in this story, and some of the mystery is lost. It won me over, after a while, though.

The Alleluia Files
A few hundred years have passed... The Archangel at this time, Bael, is cruel and harsh. He rules with a strong hand, and is secretly committing genocide against the Jacobites, claiming their heresies threaten the land. But - does he secretly know that their heretical stances regarding the god Jovah are true?
Far more than the other books, this one has a clear villain (Bael). However, the clear hero, the upstanding and just Jared, will make things right, if he can ever stop being too lazy to bother. He'll be helped out by the angel Lucinda, who has grown up on an isolated island, far from the politics of the angel's Aerie, and the strong-willed Tamar, a member of the heretic Jacobites.

Angelica
The Archangel Gaaron has his life mate picked out for him by Jovah. Never before has an Edori woman been picked to be Angelica - but although Susannah has the implant that allows Jovah to track the people of Samaria, unlike the Edori, she has been raised by the Edori and identifies with them. She's also only just broken up with her long term lover. (He was a big jerk though, so the reader is sure she will get over him.) She's not at all sure she wants to be Angelica. (Sound familiar? Yeah.) This one is set far before all the other books. Like in the other books, there's also a social problem to address while the romance is given time to develop: mysterious, disappearing invaders are attacking and burning the caravans of both Edori and Jansai, as well as isolated villages.
The day will be saved, and love will triumph.

Angel-Seeker
After finishing the previous book in the series, I was thinking: "Hey, are we ever going to get to see the point of view of one of the oppressed Jansai women? Pretty much all the other ethnic groups in Samaria have been covcered by POV characters." And, ta-da, here we are. Rebekah's charcter is very well done, actually. She's a rebellious girl in a repressive culture, but even after she falls in love with an angel, her ties to family and tradition hold her in a frighteningly realistic way. She also horribly underestimates her fate, if she's caught...
Meanwhile, the title character, Elizabeth, becomes an angel-seeker - a woman who desires more than anything, to bear an angel child, and will do pretty much anything to further that goal. Again, the motivations here were really well portrayed.
Both women grow as individuals over the course of the book - and, of course, find love.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Excellent second outing. I'm glad that several questions raised in the first book were answered. The continuing chronicles of this world are an intriguing lesson in world-building. ( )
  Curiosity64 | Feb 25, 2015 |
The premise: ganked from BN.com: One hundred and fifty years have passed since the tenure of the Archangel Gabriel and his angelica Rachel, a time of peace and stability. But now, great storms are sweeping the lands, the deserts flood, and the skies rain down death and destruction. Then the proud and beautiful Archangel Delilah falls victim to the rage of wind, as she is torn from the sky, her wing broken. She can no longer soar in the heavens, guiding and guarding those below. She can no longer be first among the angels. Never before have the oracles had to choose a new Archangel while one still lived. And though Jovah's anger blows all about them, still they must consult him. His choice - the angel Alleluia, a solitary scholar of undistinguished lineage. Now the fate of the planet rests with the reluctant Archangel Alleluia, who believes in her duty and her god. And her fate in turn, may well depend on the mortal Caleb, a man who believes only in science - and himself.

My Rating: Excellent

I took my time with this book. I really wanted to absorb and admire all of the world-building details, as well as really get a solid sense of the story where where it would go and how it could end. While the book didn't hold any major surprises for me, it was a delight to learn how right my own predictions were, and it was a delight to see how the characters responded to various challenges that faced them. Shinn writes in a way that immediately absorbs you in the world she's created, and I have to laugh, since this was written long before the YA angel-craze took over, and it shows: the angels in this series have more gravitas, something more to say about their world and their god, and they're just so much more interesting that the over-dramatic romances I've seen grace the YA shelves. For those tired of the angel craze, I've said it before and I'll say it again: consider Sharon Shinn's Samaria books an exception to the rule. Jovah's Angel took the transition from science fantasy directly into science fiction by the end, but yet there's a sense of wonder to the story and the world that doesn't go away, even when you know what's behind the curtain. The great thing about this series is that it's one you can relish, and I'll slowly be savoring these books for years to come.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Yay. If you've not read this book, or if you're not familiar with the series, do not read the full review, which may be found at my blog. If you are caught up, though, or don't care about spoilers, comments and discussion are always welcome. You can access the full review by clicking the link below:

REVIEW: Sharon Shinn's JOVAH'S ANGEL

Happy Reading! ( )
  devilwrites | Aug 27, 2012 |
Not a series where one book picks up right after the next, which is a bit disconcerting at first. However, as different as the story is from the first, it's just as well told, and just as hard to put down. Shinn is one of my favourite authors. ( )
  love2laf | Aug 26, 2010 |
The second in the Samaria series turns more directly toward the SF aspect, as Sharon Shinn continues building this fascinating world. Her characters are as well drawn as ever, and are in fact easier people to like than in Archangel. A great next entry in the series. ( )
1 vote Unreachableshelf | Feb 22, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sharon Shinnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Ray, who taught me the meaning of deus ex machina (and taught me how to pronounce it).
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Everyone had said it was a bad idea to fly back that night.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441005195, Mass Market Paperback)

This is a standalone sequel to Archangel, set 150 years later in proverbially interesting times. Samaria is industrialized; the Manadavvi and Jansai are wealthier; the Edori are marginalized, their roaming lifestyle disrupted; and Jovah seems to be turning a deaf ear to his angels' prayers for abatement of increasingly destructive storms. In the midst of all this, Archangel Delilah is incapacitated and replaced by shy, unworldly Alleluia. Alleya must pacify the tribes, calm the weather, make Jovah hear her, forge a reconciliation with Delilah, and find her angelico in order to get married--there's a Gloria due in four months. Unfortunately, the tribes don't want to be pacified, the weather is uncooperative, Jovah is remote, crippled Delilah wants nothing to do with angels, and Alleya's mate is identified only as a "son of Jeremiah.&qupt; If you're stockpiling vacation reading and love a bit of romance (or Anne McCaffrey's writing!), pop Shinn's work in the pile.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:27 -0400)

Injured, Jovah, the reigning archangel, chooses Alleluia to be her sucessor, but her fate and the fate of the planet may depend on a mortal man who believes only in science

(summary from another edition)

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