Wednesday, March 4, 2009
As a Guild Hunter, one of those hired by the angels to hunt rogue vampires, Elena Deveraux has no doubts about her abilities. But when the Archangel Raphael requests her specifically for a job, she finds herself wishing she weren't quite so good. Because no one wants Raphael's attention on them. And once she finds out the impossible task set before her, where failure is not an option, she has even more reasons to want out from Raphael's fixation.
Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple, because this time she's not hunting a rogue vampire, but an archangel that's crossed the line...
Elena is pulled far out of her depths, both with the hunt, and her sensual attraction to Raphael, leaving her not sure which is more dangerous. Raphael with his seductive touch, or the archangel bent on a killing spree.
Nalini Singh has done it again. I truly had no doubt about it, but I'm still in awe of the ability she has to weave wonderfully full stories, with 3-dimensional characters. I was immediately pulled into the world of archangels, angels, vampires, and hunters. And I wasn't released until the last page. It gripped me from beginning to end.
The story centers around Elena, who is hunter-born, with abilities beyond those that are just trained to be hunters for the Guild. I loved getting to know her in this book. She's a strong, independent female, with a lot of compassion. Truly kick-ass. Often when I read of a strong heroine there's something else sacrificed for the sake of making her seem "strong", but not so with Elena. She's got a smart mouth, that often gets her into trouble, and a sense of compassion that can sometimes do the same. And then there's her sense of loyalty. She's completely devoted to those that have earned it. She's completely attached, to those she loves, to the world, to life.
Raphael, the Archangel of New York, is ruthless, powerful, and sexy as all get out. He's lived a very long time, ruling with an iron grip. But at the same time it's understandable. For while you can see in him the downfalls to immortality - the disconnection - you can still see that he cares for the many. Even if the individuals themselves have lost some of their value.
Raphael's unused to someone disobeying him, and Elena vows not to crawl, for anyone. Add to that Raphael's disconnection, and Elena's attachments and they're immediately thrown into a heated relationship with each other. The learning of the other, and the gradual changes in their relationship is simply perfection.
Then there's the secondary characters that simply jump off the page. Full of life of their own, I hope we get to read more about their stories in the future. The Cadre of Ten, Raphael's Seven, Sara, and Ransom just to name a few. I'm especially interested in Dmitri, and Illium. Intrigued beyond belief by the brief snippets we got of their history.
There's definitely more to be heard from Raphael & Elena's story. The main conflict is tied up in this story, there are obviously bigger things at work, and plenty of history that the two have not yet shared. I eagerly await the chance to read more of them in Archangel's Kiss.
Nalini's crafted an intricate world, full of not only believable, but incredibly vivid, conflicts, relationships, and characters. I highly recommend Angels' Blood to anyone that loves a great story told by a master story-teller. In fact, immediately upon finishing it, I turned to the beginning and started again. I can't get enough!
One small question that is completely inconsequential to the storyline, or the relationships crossed my mind at one point during my reading....and I haven't been able to get it out since. I'd dearly love to know what kind of shirts the angels and archangels wear. It seems to me it'd be very difficult to put them on and take them off over the wings. LOL. A little detail I know, but there it is. My OCD is showing. *g*
You can purchase Angels' Blood here.
Check out Nalini's Reading Order here.