Corrine's Reviews > Angels' Blood

Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
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's review
Mar 21, 09

liked it
bookshelves: paranormal-fantasy-sci-fi-romance, angels-deities-etc
Recommended for: fans of urban fantasy with a little romance
Read in March, 2009

This was a really tough one for me to review. While I love Nalini Singh's writing (and this is no exception), what it came down to was I went into this book expecting an urban fantasy romance that had an HEA, and I got an urban fantasy with a little romance that had a HFN (happy for now) ending. Had I known that this series was (a) more urban fantasy than romance and not an equal blending, and (b) it seems to be focused on basically one couple throughout, I probably wouldn't have started it.

Elena Deveraux is born vampire hunter. She can track a vampire by its smell, and she is paid to return the vampire to its creator, an angel to whom the vampire is contracted for service. Raphael is the Archangel of New York, a powerful, terrifying, beautiful creature, who is in need of Elena's services. The two clash wills, as Raphael is unused to being stood up to, and Elena is not willing to be anyone's puppet. Eventually, they form a truce - and an attraction - as they track Uram, an Archangel who has gone bad.

The world is an interesting one: a parallel NYC where sights of angels, though aweinspiring, are not unheard of. Where the word "angel" doesn't mean a gentle messenger of God, but a hardened warrior. And where vampires are either angel lackeys or trusted employees, as well as being highly desired lovers.

Elena is a strong hunter, devoted to her craft and willing to take all the lumps that come with it (including being outcast from her own family). She never really crosses the line into becoming a ball-busting heroine who can't stand to be seen as weak - in fact, she collects girly perfumes and flowers to hide the stench of her dayjob - but there were a few times that I was really jarred by her character. Usually as she stood up to Raphael for some relatively small infraction, even knowing that he could kill her in one sweep of his arm. She's attracted to Raphael, but it's made pretty clear early in the book that she's never taken much interest in sex, so when she relatively quickly jumps into bed with Raphael, it felt out of place. Plus, her mysterious past is alluded to often and is motive behind many of her reactions to Raphael, but we never learn what happened to her.

Raphael is the most interesting character of this book, and I was disappointed that we didn't see more of his character. He goes from being an unfeeling Archangel who is no longer impressed by humanity, to a more human-like being who is heartbroken when he might lose Elena. But he has some mystery in his past as well. And, well, two characters with vague foreshadowing of their pasts --- that's just too much.

Like I said, the romance is not a big part in this book. The two protagonists are attracted, they fight, they make up, they have sex, and then they seem to be in a relationship. I didn't buy it. And I fear that they might be setting up a few members of Raphael's Seven (the vampires and angels who work for him) as potential threats to Raphael and Elena's relationship (mostly Dmitri, a vampire who delights is torturing Elena with this sensual scent).

At this point, I don't know that I'll pick up Angel's Kiss, the next book, because the blurb did make it seem as though it's a continuation of Raphael's and Elena's story. It's a lose/lose situation: I don't want to read another book about this couple, but they really need another book because there's not enough info about them in this one to really connect to the characters. C-
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Reading Progress

03/20/2009 page 92
03/21/2009 page 174
51.33% "Emjoying it so far, but it's very different than the Psy/Changeling series. It doesn't even seem like it's the same writer."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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MelissaB I think I am going to start this next, it looks good and I just love Nalini's writing.

Dina Great review, Corrine! I´m a big fan of the Psy/Changeling series, but it looks like I´m going to have some "problems" with this new Guild Hunter series. The UF feel, the unanswered questions about Raphael and Elena´s past and the lack of a definite HEA are major turn-offs to me. :(

Corrine Yeah, I really wish I'd known all of this before I'd put aside all of my other TBR to read this one.

MelissaB I will probably be fine with it, I think the relationship will grow over the series. I read a few series like this so it's cool with me. I am only about 100 pages into it, I haven't had much time to read

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