Title: Angels' Blood
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Series: Guild Hunter #1
Type: Adult Paranormal Romance
Elena Devereaux is the best vampire hunter in the world, but even she may not be
good enough for her latest assignment. She has been hired by the dangerous, and
beautiful, archangel of New York Raphael to track down an archangel gone bad.
This job will place Elena at the centre of a killing spree unlike any
other...and put her at risk of falling for her employer's charms, either of
which could mean her death.
This is the first book in the Guild Hunter
series and, as a big fan of the author's Psy-Changeling series, a book I
expected great things from. I definitely wasn't disappointed as the world
building is just as unique and complex as that of her other books, taking
vampires and angels in innovative new directions. Angels are the creators of
vampires and as such own them for the first hundred years of their existence.
Elena's job is to retrieve those who attempt to break that contract.
storyline is cleverly plotted and well paced, although at times the density of
the world building made it difficult for me to stay caught in the storyline.
Unlike the Psy-Changeling books, this series stays with Elena and Raphael for
more than a single book so their backstory isn't covered fully leaving lots
undiscovered. I was a little annoyed that only snippets of Elena's history are
revealed which means that the storyline will continue in the future books, but
ends up being frustratingly incomplete in this installment.
Elena is an
interesting lead character. As I mentioned before her traumatic past isn't fully
revealed which leaves the reader only able to partly understand her, although
her relationships with her friends (good) and family (bad) do explain a lot
about her motivations. Likewise Raphael is fascinating and it is great to see
him both acting normally and within "the cold", a side effect to a method of
angelic communication. The cold removes all traces of humanity from Raphael and
leaves him as a very scary being.
There were a few background characters
that managed to steal scenes throughout the book: Raphael's right hand vampire
Dmitri whose seductive scent keeps Elena on her toes, and Elena's bad boy hunter
friend Ransom who adds a cute sideline as he realises he's fallen in love with
his latest fling. The other character I loved was Illium who is the most
accessible angel introduced in the book.
The villain of the piece Uram is
incredibly disturbing and leads to some particularly horrifying scenes that
place this book a lot closer to a gritty urban fantasy than a romance. Some of
the scenes are quite graphic which I wasn't expecting, although they do fit
within the storyline and aren't excessive.
The ending is outstanding and
entirely not what I was expecting at all. I can't wait to see where the
storyline goes next!
All in all this was a great read and I'm looking
forward to Archangel's Kiss.