I think I'd give this 3.5 stars. It's well-written, but not quite as well done as The Siren. I think this may be because the author focused much more on Michael in this book, and he just isn't that convincing a character to me. The emotional struggles of Nora, Soren, Wes and others feel more vividly real than much of what happens with Michael, and when I read about him, I feel like I get to know other people around him more than I do Michael himself. Seeing another side of a character such as Griffin or Soren is not necessarily a bad thing; it's just that when I read scene after scene with Michael in it and he isn't coming to life for me, things can drag a little.For those not familiar with the series, I'd say definitely read The Siren before tackling this one. Otherwise, a lot of the plot is not going to make sense. There are constant references back to action in the previous book, but more importantly, if you start here, you will be catching arcs of character development midstream. As with The Siren, The Angel is an uncompromising journey into a world of characters whose beliefs and lifestyle will probably make a lot of readers uncomfortable. There's some graphic and deeply unsettling stuff going on in this book, and while I encountered much here with which I did not agree, I have to say it makes me think. Reisz doesn't just tell a story; she creates characters who openly live their beliefs on love and on God and faith, and there's something about reading her work that engages the mind even if I don't accept all the ideas presented.