Unbelievable!!!! I waited and waited for this book... I didn't read any teasers, excerpts, reviews, or group discussions. I wanted to go into this booUnbelievable!!!! I waited and waited for this book... I didn't read any teasers, excerpts, reviews, or group discussions. I wanted to go into this book without being spoiled even a little bit (and I'm often someone who loves spoilers)... and my expectations were already through the roof, what with it being the Ghost's book and all... Ahhhh this book was just awesome on SO many levels and met EVERY. SINGLE. EXPECTATION. AND. MORE.
This review is going to be the pits to some because I'm basically just going to tell you how I feel about this series up to this point, mainly because just telling you who the leads are in this book is a spoiler, and I don't want to spoil a thing for anyone. Plus being the 12th book in a series, reviews are hardly simple when it comes to a fictional world like this one...
Listen if you've never read Singh before and are a fan of paranormal romance or even urban fantasy with a strong romantic subplot, then get off your bum and pick up Slave to Sensation (book 1 in the Psy-Changeling series) right now! And I recommend reading at least the first three books if you're not convinced after book 1 or 2. Singh has a gift for world building, and it take more than two books to get even a small idea of what she's building for us. And let's just say from where it started to where it is now... Ridiculous! It's unbelievable how small morsels from early books in the series are still relevant 8-10 books down the road. Singh is quite consistent with the quality of her work (very very few continuity errors or problems like that), and even when one particular book isn't your favourite in the series, it's still very good and you still like it because of the progression of where she's going with the overall major story arc.
Heart of Obsidian is officially in a three-way tie for my favourite in the series. There's no clear cut lead between Judd's book (#3), Hawke's book (#10), and this one the Ghost's book, and I think it's because I love them the same but for slightly different reasons. For Heart of Obsidian, the Ghost is probably the best written "anti-hero" PERIOD! He has done some reprehensible things where you always question where exactly he stands on the good-to-evil scale (obviously close to evil), and yet Singh does such an amazing job of giving us pieces of this damaged soul, breaking him down layer by layer with the support of this perfect woman for a man like him, you just can't help but want that HEA! And the sex scenes in this thing were ridiculous! Saying the Ghost is a Psy is not a spoiler, so my point is that sex scenes with Psy can come off as sounding quite clinical with a pro-creation purpose only. That is not the case here!!! Ah-mazingly hot and sexy!!! As a reader you're still very aware that it is a Psy having sex, but WOW! Singh has a way with words :P
I just can't imagine a die-hard fan of the series like myself being disappointed with this. There will undoubtedly be one or two, but that's just it, they'll be in the minority. For me to find flaws would just be too nit-picky at this point, and it really isn't necessary when I loved it and gave it five stars! I hope Singh fans enjoy this as much as I did, and I hope Singh newbies give this author a chance. If it wasn't official before, it is now! Singh is my favourite author in the genre hands downs (I'm also including her Guild Hunter series that I love just as much as well). She makes her books so much more than a romance, but it all goes hand-in-hand in the best way possible!!! :D ...more
Do you ever start a book, get sucked in immediately, struggle to put it down but you have to or else you'll be a useless human being at work4.75 stars
Do you ever start a book, get sucked in immediately, struggle to put it down but you have to or else you'll be a useless human being at work/home/wherever, but wonder why this book has grabbed your attention in such a nothing-else-matters way? That was me on every level. And for an adult contemporary romance, I can tell you this happens very very rarely!
I really really liked this. It wasn't perfect but i really didn't care. I enjoyed the characters, the relationships, the complexities with the relationships, the make-me-cry scenes, the sex was H.O.T.... ugh, there was just a little bit of everything and I loved it all!!!
It noticed when i started reading the book that the writing style struck me as very YA-esque in its simplicity. I don't mean this in a negative way, but it was one of my first thoughts that came to mind while reading it. That being said, this is a very emotionally charged story with some serious adult content, so it is NOT a YA novel by any stretch.
I'm definitely keeping this author on my radar from now on! I hope others enjoy it as much as i did!
Re-read in Feb 2013 - Loving it even more the second time...more
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 comThis 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.
As far as anthologies go, this one ranks at the top. In total there are four novellas included as part of Singh’s Guild Hunter series, and as an alreaAs far as anthologies go, this one ranks at the top. In total there are four novellas included as part of Singh’s Guild Hunter series, and as an already established and huge fan of the series, but with not having read any of the novellas prior to this release (three of four novellas had been previously released)… what a fantastic treat. I typically only like anthologies, but in this case I loved it and everything it offered!
I would recommend that the stories be read in order, and for the final two novellas, familiarity with the series (for me all the way to Archangel’s Blade) made me appreciate and enjoy the stories that much more.
The first story Angel’s Pawn introduces us to Ashwini, a guild hunter, and Janvier, a Cajun vampire. It’s the shortest of the novellas but it is oh so sweet. Ashwini is quirky to say the least, but very likeable. She’s caught Janvier’s eye and he clearly wants to court her, but his only way to keep Ashwini’s attention is by pissing off governing angels who then hire Ashwini to catch him. He’s a giant thorn in her side because he always dodges her bullets so-to-speak. In this story they actually team up in order to unravel the mystery surrounding a kidnapping of a member of a strong vampire family in Atlanta, that also draws the attention of a ruling Angel. It’s a great little story, and it only makes you want to read more. It’s not steamy like some of the other novellas/novels but the thick sexual tension is there. As a fan of the series, I sincerely hope Singh has a full length novel or something up her sleeve for these two. This story barely scratches the surface for this couple who-will-one-day-be. Archangel’s Blade does hint that something is coming for these two, but only time will tell!
Next up is Sara and Deacon’s story, Angel’s Judgment. If it had to pick a least favourite of the four, it would be this one, but it’s still very good. This novella’s story is when Sara has been slated to take over as Guild Director, and at the same time is charged with finding out if a hunter is responsible for a bunch of gruesome vampire deaths. Not only is she being tested by the archangels to make sure she is capable of taking over as director, but she also teams up with Deacon a.k.a. weapons master a.k.a the Slayer, the hunter responsible for dealing with hunters gone rogue, in order to discover the vampire killer. It’s a really good little story and a great glimpse into what life was like before the novels started. We see a relationship develop, get a glimpse of the Cadre de Ten, as well as get a good look at Elena just before Raphael enters her life and vice versa. This novella is great to read just before Angels’ Blood.
In Angel’s Wolf, we deal with the vampire Noel and the ruling angel of Louisiana Nimra. I REALLY liked this one. This novella is definitely better and more appropriate if you’ve read the first novels of the series, specifically Archangel’s Kiss. A traumatic and violent event occurs as a warning to Raphael in that book, which sees Noel beaten so bad it’s a wonder he’s lives. And although he survives, emotional scars remain, and Raphael sends him off to Nimra’s court in Louisiana. Although Noel initially believes he’s been sent off to live a life of servitude in Nimra’s court (when we was once a highly regarded member of a team only one level below Raphael’s seven), unfortunately someone has attempted to poison the fierce yet petite ruler of the Louisiana territory, and in fact, Noel is brought in to help find out who is responsible. Learning more about these two characters was wonderful, but seeing their odd pairing come together was even greater. Out of the four stories, my expectations were at their lowest for this one, but as it turns out, ended up being one of my favourites. Their role in the series as a whole is definitely much smaller, but I sincerely hope this is not the last we hear of Noel and Nimra.
Finally we have Angels’ Dance, Galen and Jessamy’s love story. Although their story occurs four hundred years in the past, it’s better to read if you are up-to-date with the series since you get glimpses of so many of the characters (angels and vampires) you’ve grown to know and love. If you are familiar with the series, you know that Galen is an angel and one of Raphael’s seven, and Jessamy is an over two thousand year old angel who is not only the keeper of the angels’ histories, the teacher of the young angels at the Refuge, but is also a rare angel with a “deformity” in that her wing is twisted thus rendering her unable to fly and unable to leave the refuge. When this story starts, Galen has just arrived at the refuge since he is transferring to Raphael’s territory in an effort to become his new weapons master and a member of the seven. Unlike most angels, he wasn’t raised at the refuge, so when Jessamy first spots him, she doesn’t recognize him (considering her age and profession – she’s knows most angels). Sparks fly between the two from the get-go, but Jessamy is very hesitant since she’s been alone for so long and is still quite insecure due to her wing. For a novella, their romance is a slow progression, but completely worth it in the end. While they are learning each other, there is also a little bit of drama on the side: There is an attempt on Jessamy’s life since she’s knows too much, and something’s up with the archangel Alexander where Raphael is feeling threatened. We get to see other members of the seven, including Dmitri, Jason, a young Aodhan, and of course Bluebell (Illium). We also see Raphael, who at the time is a relatively new archangel, and a little less inhuman than when he first meets Elena. I really enjoyed having small glimpses into the lives of these characters, since most of them are quite different then from now. We currently know more about Raphael and Dmitri (at this point Archangel’s Blade is the newest novel released in the series), but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the other members of the seven. It felt like a teaser for future stories about these other members, and I have to admit, it saved the novella because I don’t believe Galen and Jessamy’s storyline would have been as good without it.
Like I said, I loved this anthology. It’s a quick but delightful read, and having those stories all in one place was great. I had wanted to read the first two for a while now, but delayed when I found out this compendium of them was coming out. Reading this also gave me the itch to reread the series which is always a good sign. Just an awesome treat for fans, one I highly recommend.
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. ItSometimes 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.