There are a few things I want in an urban fantasy.
1. An awesome plot. 2. Some kickass characters. 3. A well built world 4. Not shitty romance if the bookThere are a few things I want in an urban fantasy.
1. An awesome plot. 2. Some kickass characters. 3. A well built world 4. Not shitty romance if the book happens to have it
I feel like these are the basic points for ANY book, but for some reason Angels' Blood managed to not satisfy me in any of those areas. The only reason this has two stars (more like a one point five) instead of one is because I didn't have very high expectations going into reading it.
It's sad when you've reached the point in a genre where you just expect the books to be unsatisfying and it's a surprise when it actually DOES turn out to be awesome... but that's a totally different subject from this review. BACK TO THE POINTS.
Let's start with point 3 - a well built world - because it's the only one not affected by point 4. The world in Angels' Blood is certainly interesting: Arch Angels ruling over territories, people queuing up in hopes of becoming a vampire, vampire hunters (more like bounty hunters) bringing vampires in that broke their contracts... some pretty cool stuff.
Either I was really tired when I read this and just didn't understand the intricacies of the world, or they just were not fleshed out very well. It's not that it wasn't explained, I just felt like the explanations didn't hold any real meaning. What do I mean by that? I mean that nothing actually existed for a REASON, and if a reason was given it was incredibly basic so that it didn't require an in depth explanation.
The only thing I can really use as an example without giving away spoilers are the guild hunters/vampire hunters themselves. Their job is to go out, find vampire's who have broken their contracts, and bring them back in to the angel who ordered them to. Apparently, when vampires break their contracts, they start deforming into throat ripping out monsters out to get your blood.... but there's no reason why this happens. There isn't an explanation to WHY they degenerate, just that they do. I assumed, at first, that it was because they needed something they could only get from the angels, and when they tried to leave the thing that kept them sane vanished. This was later contradicted though when the book explains why the angels need the vampires (view spoiler)[They have a sort of toxin in their blood that they have to put into humans to keep from going crazy. BUT if the vampires continuously needed this toxin from the angels, than the angels wouldn't need to create more vampires... and if they don't need the toxin from the angels, then why do they degenerate? (hide spoiler)] so the whole reason for vampires existing kind of just seemed like a a half-assed reason to be able to include vampires that were loyal to angels without giving an explanation.
Actually, there is another thing about this world that bugs me that I can talk about. WHERE THE HELL DID THE ANGELS COME FROM?! First off, these angels have evil in them, and apparently a lot of it. They are the gods of the mortal realm, ruling purely out of entertainment. They torture mortals. They're all powerful. They're inhumane. Doesn't sound much like these are the messengers of heaven to me. It's not even like they're doing tasks for God, they're literally just ruling because they like meddling with humans. So, since God doesn't actually have anything to do with the angels and the angels are more like gods themselves... these clearly are not the angels form the bible,right? Well, that'd be fine, but then God comes up... which implies The Bible is a source of religion in this world... which implies that these are the angels FROM The Bible... which means the angels completely don't make sense... at all. SO, we're just going to assume that implying The Bible is the accurate source of angels is wrong. Back to square one, WHERE DID THE ANGELS COME FROM?! Who created them? The same God (but not Biblical God, clearly) who created humans? Why are they so much more powerful? Why the hell do they 'fade' when they don't eat food and what does that even mean? They do NOTHING but rule and create vampires. They hold no benefit. Why would they exist if they don't hold any benefit?
Whatever. I don't even care about this stupid world anyways. I could go on and on about all the different things I found wrong with it, but you get the point. I was unsatisfied.
Plot, characters, and romance all kind of combine into the same reason for why they sucked. Unfortunately, like pretty much every urban fantasy/PNR I've read, the romance kills the book. Romance just strolls over to plot, kicks its ass, and then steals character's development before it even has a chance to defend itself. Romance, you ass hole. Maybe if you were nicer all of the heroes of my PNR books wouldn't have to be moody/controlling/mysterious/psychotic/practically abusive/obsessive men. And the protagonist definitely could've used that development you stole to actually be an interesting/ass-kicking heroine who wasn't just torn between being horny and being afraid of whatever fucking tragedy was in her past that makes her so pitiable and distrusting.
Ninety-percent of the book was used to describe EXACTLY how Elena felt when Raphael looked at her every time she saw him, Raphael consistently trying to hook-up with Elena who had very clearly said NO many times, Raphael thinking of how bad Elena is for him, and Elena being horrified by her tragic past. The other ten percent was used to try and describe the world as briefly as possible, creating as many 2-D characters as possible, warding off all the advances of other people who want to sleep with Elena, and the plot. How much did that leave for plot... like 2%? Not a lot of room for being awesome is there? I would rather have had the family dynamic between Elena, her sister, and her father explained more thoroughly and WHAT EXACTLY FUCKING HAPPENED BETWEEN THEM (it wasn't explained very well. Just more bull shit on bull shit on bull shit), than have had to read 20 Different Ways Raphael Looked At Me Today. So stupid. Why couldn't the plot be more about the crazy disaster they're trying to fix and less about Raphael trying to get in her pants? Why couldn't it be more about the relationship between the characters (Sara? Ransom? Dmitri? Anyone?) and developing those characters so they were actually INTERESTING instead of OHMERGODTRAGEDYHOWWILLIEVEROVERCOMETHIS?!
I have so much more to say but no need to say it because I think I've made my point. The romance ruined the book
I wanted to read Urban Fantasy: crazy alternate universe where cool shit happens and bad shit happens but thank God there's a bad ass protagonist to fix it. And hey, if the protagonist finds someone to love on the way, good for them! They deserve it for being awesome.
Instead I got Urban Fantasy: crazy alternate universe where cool shit happens and bad shit happens, but I'll never know about it because I'm too busy reading the protagonist's love life in excruciatingly dull detail.
I only finished this book because I thought maybe loose-ends would be tied up and all my questions would be answered, but I'm pretty sure I actually got more confused as the book continued because pretty much nothing made sense.
I take it back, this book is getting one star. I don't like it and I don't like anything about it. It's the same cookie-cutter outline as almost every other Urban Fantasy I've read, and it's starting to get old. On the brightside, if the only thing you're interested in is romance that happens to be with a hunky tragic paranormal that pretends to have a plot so the romance can have more tension and anxiety and misunderstandings... THEN YOU HAVE FOUND THE BOOK YOU WERE LOOKING FOR. YAY.
I think I'm just going to give up on this genre. ...more
If I could give a book zero stars I would... because this book has got to be one of the biggest pieces of literary garbage I have ever read. I don't uIf I could give a book zero stars I would... because this book has got to be one of the biggest pieces of literary garbage I have ever read. I don't usually call things garbage, even formula based romances that have no depth or meaning don't usually get called garbage... I just say I don't like them and move on.
This is also the last time I am taking a recommendation from someone who obviously has completely different tastes in book than I do. I will admit, I already knew I was going to hate the book before I started reading it (I don't like vampires... they creep me out), but I was willing to try it because I thought that even if I didn't like it there would at least some merit worth reviewing.
There isn't, in case you didn't catch that by now.
First off, I only got 9% into the book, which isn't saying much when the book is five or six hundred pages. Even that nine percent was a serious struggle, because I honestly could not believe that people were reading this and thinking it was fantastic and monumental. As soon as the names of the 'brotherhood' started being introduced... I pretty much gave up completely.
I mean, the 'hero' being called Wrath is cool... I thought that was ALMOST redeemable... but then the other members started being listed...
Rhage? Yeah, he's got an anger problem. Phury? Vishous? Tohrment? Oh, and my favorite. Zsadist. Oh, and guess what? Zsadist likes giving pain... kind of like a SADIST... but since the author has absolutely NO creativity... she just took negative words and butchered them and then called them a CHARACTER.
God, this is shameful. How did this get published? How do people enjoy this? I could seriously write a book about fairy-leprechaun-vampire-princesses better than this crap.
Don't forget about Butch, who is the manliest man that Beth knows until she meets Wrath, or about Mr. X... the bad guy of the series.
Really? Mr. X? That has to be a joke, right?
Too bad the names weren't the only silly thing about this book. I could live with stupid names, no matter how appalling and laughable they are, but the descriptions of everything were just so hilarious I seriously could not even understand what was remotely attractive about this series. Any time I tried to picture Wrath, I was envisioning a fat man (Do you KNOW how much 275 lbs is?! A bicep as big as her thigh? Really? That'd make his thigh as big as like... her entire body) in tight leather pants, a poor haircut, and stupid sunglasses that made him look like the Terminator... only less bad ass. How is that attractive?
Maybe I just have something against leather pants and long hair... but I really could not even remotely see how that was something worth swooning over. And to top it all off, guess what Butch look likes? Yeah, he looks manly. And Zsadist? He's got scars because of the PAIN and that's why he likes PAIN and he likes giving PAIN because... yeah... he's a sadist. WHODATHUNK?!
Garbage garbage garbage garbage... oh my goodness I can't even explain.
So, descriptions + names = pretty lame story, but it doesn't end there. I might have even been able to put up with those downfalls if the story had been slightly decent, but it isn't... at all. There is nothing awesome or dark or even fantasy related except for 'sexy' alpha vampires. Nope, this is a story about a really old vampire banging his dead friend's daughter as a way of protecting her, and if that wasn't enough we have the whole 'INSTANT ATTRACTION THAT WILL LAST FOREVER AND SUPER LOVE AND FAIRIES AND SPARKLY AND CLAIMING AND OH MY GOD I'VE NEVER FELT THIS WAY BEFORE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I'VE LIVED FOR HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF YEARS AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN I SEE YOU AND COMPLETELY CHANGE FROM A HEARTLESS HARD ASS INTO A LUSTING SCHOOL BOY AND I LOVE YOU AND I LOVE YOU AND I WANT YOU FOREVER AND I'VE NEVER WANTED ANYONE LIKE THIS EVER SOULMATTEESSSSSSSS <3'
I give up. The heroine is so beautiful men just instantly try to rape her. Rape is a horrible thing, but if the girl had just been smart enough to stay in a freaking public area it wouldn't have even happened. She sees the guys approaching her, she is standing in a perfectly crowded place outside a bar, she TELLS the reader that she is going to run away into a less crowded poorly lit territory in hopes of getting away from them, and then she's surprised and traumatized when they attack her. It's a horrible subject, but IS SHE REALLY THAT DUMB?! Men are approaching her and hitting on her, and she really thinks walking into the darker less public area... five blocks away from her destination... is a good idea?
This isn't typically a genre I enjoy. I can read urban fantasy, even though romance as the main plot always bores me, but usually I can get past it and enjoy other aspects of the book enough to finish it. This book is just so bad I can't even find a way to convince myself it's worth finishing. I'd have even read a crappy plot line for some good characters... but I'm not even going to try.
Goodbye Black Dagger Brotherhood. I will not miss you or your Scribe Virgin....more