[review] ANGEL’S BLOOD by Nalini Singh

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ANGEL’S BLOOD
Guild Hunter Series, Book 1
Nalini Singh
Berkley  – March, 2009

Plot Summary: Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it’s not a wayward vamp she has to track. It’s an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other—and pull her to the razor’s edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn’t destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.  [Amazon]

Creature Feature:  Angels, archangels, vampires, human vampire hunters and humans.

Worldbuilding:  Vampires, angels and vampire hunters are not unique to the Urban Fantasy genre.  But the way the angel/vampire hierarchy is set up, the inhuman way the angels are portrayed and the sheer brutality both of these races exhibit is unique and believable.

Originality:  I think the concept of angels creating vampires and why they are created is very original.  Vampires are “Made” by the angels and the candidates go through a screening process.  If they are accepted they are contracted to the angel who Made them for 100 years.  It is those who decide they don’t want to be contracted any more who usually go rogue and that Elena needs to find.

Characterization: The characterization in this book was outstanding.  The book is written in third person so you get to see things through the eyes of primarily Elena but also Raphael and the villain.  Elena is a little something different.  She isn’t cocky or a stone-cold bitch.  She is a complex character who is flawed and also knows her limits.  Raphael is inhuman, cold and calculating.  He has a track record of torturing or killing those who either need to be killed or cross him.  Never does Ms. Singh try to make him more human in any way.  He is what he is, there is no big revelation or change.  He is an inhuman angel who finds himself in love with a human.  Raphael is a true anti hero and one of my favorite characters to date.

The secondary characters are just as compelling as Elena and Raphael.  Dimitri-Raphael’s second in command, Illium-one of Raphael’s angel guards and any of the archangels in the Cadre of Ten all left me wanting to know more about them.

Storytelling:  Gripping and compelling from start to finish, the story never sags nor did it lose my attention.  It left me wanting more and when I was finished with the book, I was elated that I had read something special and sad that it was over.  So eager was I to have more that I went and bought the ebook novella set in the same world:   Angel’s Pawn.

Badass Factor:  The angels and vampires are extremely badass and ruthless.  They are thoroughly compelling and scary at the same time which makes them very dangerous.  Elena’s sheer strength of will and need to be true to herself even to the death make her a force to be reckoned with even amongst the vampires and angels.

Too Stupid To Live Moments:  Elena knows herself and her limits.  She has no illusions about what she can and cannot do but will  do whatever it takes to get the job done.  She just wouldn’t let herself go there.

Notable Quotes:  This is an exchange between Raphael and Dmitri.  I think it shows the lengths Elena will go to, the ruthlessness of Raphael and Dmitri’s curiosity in regard to Elena.

“How did you lose her?”  Raphael stared at Dmitri impassive.

“She cut my throat.”

Raphael looked at the vampire’s clean shirt, his damp hair.  “It occured soon after she left if you’ve had time to clean up.”

“Yes.  She didn’t want an escort home”

“Did you provoke the attack?” he asked calmly, because the answer meant nothing to him, except as a test of Dmitri’s loyalty.

“I wanted to taste her.”

Raphael struck out without warning, slamming Dmitri to the floor with a broken jaw.  “I told you she was off-limits.  Are you challenging my authority?”

The vampire stood, waiting for his jaw to heal enough so he could speak.  “You fought”.

“Yes, but I didn’t rescind my order.”

Buy/Borrow/Bypass:  Definitely a buy.  There was already some very glowing buzz for this book circulating before I had the chance to read it and it really made me kind of apprehensive.  “Can it really be *that* good”, I wondered?  It is.  This book lived up to the hype.  Kmont of Lurv a la Mode schooled me and she was absolutely correct.  Angel’s Blood will likely be in my top 10 for 2009 and that is saying a heap since it’s only March.

Nalini Singh’s Website

Nalini Singh’s Blog

Lisa Trevethan

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Cover Art for Nalini Singh’s Angel’s Blood

Angels’ Blood, the first book in the Guild Hunter series, is about a vampire hunter who bags, tags and returns escapee vampires to their masters…the angels.

Coming to a bookshelf near you: March 3, 2009

Notable Winners of the Romantic Times Awards

Romantic Times 2007 Reviewers Choice Awards of note to urban fantasy lovers, as announced at the recent RT Convention:

BEST CONTEMPORARY & PARANORMAL
CONTEMPORARY PARANORMAL ROMANCE
TOUCH OF MADNESS by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp –TOR Paranormal Romance (June 2007)

 

FUTURISTIC/FANTASY ROMANCE
DRIVEN by Eve Kenin — Shomi (September 2007)

PARANORMAL ACTION-ADVENTURE ROMANCE
CARESSED BY ICE by Nalini Singh — Berkley Sensation (September 2007)

SHAPESHIFTER ROMANCE
HOLY SMOKES by Katie MacAlister — Signet (November 2007)

VAMPIRE ROMANCE
LOVER UNBOUND by J.R. Ward — Signet (October 2007)

BEST EROTIC ROMANCE & EROTICA
PARANORMAL/FANTASY/SCI-FI EROTIC ROMANCE
DAMNATION by Nathalie Gray — EllorasCave.com (July 2007)

BEST MAINSTREAM & CHICK LIT FICTION
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
MARKED by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast — St. Martin’s Griffin (May 2007)

BEST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/INTRIGUE NOVELS
PARANORMAL ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
THE SURVIVORS by Dinah McCall — Mira (March 2007)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY NOVELS
URBAN FANTASY NOVEL
HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost — Avon (November 2007)

URBAN FANTASY PROTAGONIST
Rachel Morgan — FOR A FEW DEMONS MORE by Kim Harrison — EOS (March 2007)

Romantic Times 2007 Career Achievement Award Winners:

CONTEMPORARY
PARANORMAL ROMANCE Angela Knight
URBAN FANTASY Jim Butcher