Sometimes the first book in a series can be, to be quite frank, slow and tedious. It is VERY rarely the first book in a series that gets me hooked. It...moreSometimes the first book in a series can be, to be quite frank, slow and tedious. It is VERY rarely the first book in a series that gets me hooked. It's usually the second, sometimes third book, that finally reels me in. Well, I was looking around for something to read, and remembered that Nalini Singh had another series apart from her Psy/Changeling series. Now, I'm up-to-date on the Psy/Changeling series, and I love it, but it also meant that I had already been aware of her other Guild Hunter series for a while now. So I was most definitely avoiding the other series for some reason or another - I do that sometimes and I don’t know why. But finally I said "What the heck, Singh's a great para-rom writer, this series should be great too..." Whoa, I should kick myself in the shins. I was not disappointed, or I should say I was disappointed but only with myself for not reading this sooner. Angel's Blood, book 1 in the Guild Hunter series is fantastic. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the story, everything.
Some authors are not very good at re-inventing the paranormal world. Sometimes its uber-cheesy, sometimes it lacks originality, or sometimes it just becomes so complex and complicated you get a headache from recalling, remembering and thinking things through so much. Don't get me wrong, I like fresh interpretations of the paranormal world - keeps things interesting - but it has to be done properly and in an engaging fashion. Singh, in my opinion, has a great imagination. Her guild hunter series world is so coooool! This particular world includes vamps, angels, and humans. In this world, Angels and Archangels pretty much run the show. They're actually responsible for the creation of vamps. In return for turning a human into a vampire - who by the way have to apply to become a vampire for the most part - vampires are required to serve their maker, the angel, for 100 years prior to going off on their own. Of course you have your rebel vamps who don't want to serve the angels. It is at this point we welcome our guild hunters who are hired by angels to tag, bag, and return their "property" to them. Yes it's a type of slavery I guess, but that's the cost for the gift of immortality in this world.
Say hello to Elena, our guild hunter series heroine. She's a born hunter, so she comes equipped with a couple of extra perks when it comes to tracking vampires, including the ability to track them through scent. Along with her awesome quick wit in the book, she can kick some serious butt and is VERY good at what she does. Because she is so good at what she does, she gets hired by the Manhattan Archangel Raphael for a top secret, pretty much suicidal mission. Raphael is a very old, very arrogant, high-level archangel. He'll pretty much fry you on the spot if you breathe the wrong way, and probably would have killed Elena about twenty times over if he wasn't so intrigued by the little hunter. Their exchanges are actually quite entertaining, and although Raphael often grinds my gears as a reader, Singh does a wonderful job of being consistent in writing his character and making sure Elena holds her own. This book would not work without a strong heroine - seriously. Anyways, beyond Elena and Raphael getting to know one another, they also have to track an archangel gone bad. Yes, Elena's suicidal mission is to find the Eastern European Archangel Uram who's gone to the dark side. Once this is done, Raphael has to kill him as only an archangel can kill an archangel.
It's a great book. There's lots of action, drama, awesome banter between the characters, excellent side characters (Dmitri the vampire, Illium the angel, Sarah the Guild Director to name a few), great romance scenes, and you can't go wrong when Elena takes Raphael down a notch or two. I love the world Singh's created, and I'm excited to read what's next for Elena and Raphael. I definitely recommend this book to para-rom readers. If you enjoy her psy/changeling series, I’d be surprised if you didn't like this one. And if you've never read Singh, please try one, the other, or both series. Singh brings a refreshing twist to the paranormal romance world that shouldn't be missed.
This series has never been one of my favourites. I say it’s because it was the first series I read after Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books and com...moreThis series has never been one of my favourites. I say it’s because it was the first series I read after Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books and compared the two too much. Suffice to say, after Veil of Midnight, I took a break from the series. Fast forward, months and months later, I was trying to figure out what to read next and finally decided to read Reichen's book which had been lying around on my shelf collecting dust. I liked it, just enough to decide to read the following book: Shades of Midnight. In Shades of Midnight I finally began to really get into the story and the characters. So when Taken By Midnight came out, I was actually pretty excited, although I do have to give Shades of Midnight a lot of credit for setting up this book so well.
While we had already been introduced to Brock, the male lead in Taken, Shades introduced us to the lead female of Taken, Jenna, which I personally always appreciate. For me, introducing a new character prior to the book that’s about them specifically has always been something I prefer as their storyline feels less rushed and packed with introductory information. Since most para-roms see the main couple profess their love for one another in record time, when we have at least met the characters before their book, I simply seem to enjoy the book that much more.
Jenna's character was also quite different from the standard female leads of this series. And to be quite frank, I liked what was happening to her and who she was becoming. While I'd like to elaborate, I fear I may spoil things for you, so I will refrain from saying anything and just say she was a refreshing change of pace for the "mate" characters of this series.
On the flipside, Brock is Brock. He's written as this gorgeous, sexy, black man who knows how to bring a smile to any lady's face. I actually like how Adrian has given him a sense of humour. While I do love my tortured, dark, brooding male heros in these books, every once and a while I love a man that's a little more laidback and who has the ability to crack a joke. Of course Brock has a past that isn't so light and fluffy, but it’s not even close to as dark as Adrian's upcoming book subjects: Hunter and Chase.
So as we continue to learn about Brock and Jenna, we also learn more about Dragos and his quest for world domination (let's face it, he's not limited to controlling Breed anymore). While I felt this storyline fell a little on the light side of things in this book, there were still some great action sequences, and some big developments. While you'd think Brock is the big player in these particular moments, I thought Jenna was actually the key character for the more crucial of them. Oh ya, she's awesome!! Actually all the ladies are awesome in this one. Adrian does a good job of involving the breedmates in the action which I really appreciate. As usual when knee deep in a series, the details need to be kept at a minimum, therefore this is as much as I'm going to tell you so that I don't spoil anything.
Overall, for the first time, I can say I really loved a Breed book. It's still not my favourite series' and has not cracked my top five but it's much higher these days, and if Adrian keeps delivering books like these, I'll keep on reading them. Hunter's book is next, followed by Chase’s, and I really can't wait for either. I loved the few scenes they were in, and naturally they only made you want more.