08 September 2008

Review: Lynn Viehl - If Angels Burn

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Signet (April 5, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451214773
ISBN-13: 978-0451214775

Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon. Michael Cyprien is New Orleans' most reclusive millionaire-and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills. In the heart of the Garden District, Alex encounters the extraordinary Cyprien, uncovering a love Alex is willing to embrace, even if she must sacrifice her heart and soul to do so.


Dr. Alexandra Keller has received multiple offers now by the mysterious Mr. Cyprien to perform surgery but he refuses to come to Chicago and she refuses and has no time to come to New Orleans. But she’s about to find out how persistent this Mr. Cyprien is when she finds herself drugged, carried away and waking up in a mansion.

Upon meeting the illustrious Mr. Michael Cyprien the surgeon in her is fascinated by the facial injuries of the man and the miraculous oddity in his DNA and decides to perform the operation. With her speed and skill the operation goes well but when Michael wakes up he is surrendering to the Thrall, the intense need to feed and with that he alters the world of Alexandra. Now she has to deal with the alterations of her body all though with Alexandra’s stubborn mind she’s refusing to surrender to its call and with that, discoveries are made that holds a promise that can alter the very foundation of the Darkyn.

With the Darkyn world also comes another threat in the form of The Brethren and their tortures ways, a secret brotherhood that feels the need to rid the world of this Demon spawn….

With, If angels burn, Lynn Viehl created a dark paranormal story that isn’t as much romance as it is suspense for me. The romance is definitely secondary to the plot and suspense as the world is explained, the characters introduced, the plot set up and evil is identified. For me Michael and Alexandra’s building relationship was one of love and hate, repulse and attract and I couldn’t get an affinity with them as a couple, maybe this was also due to the fact that this first novel also spent a lot of time to set-up the main plot/story and this took time away from Michael and Alexandra romance wise.

With John Keller, brother of Alexandra, Lynn Viehl introduced the Brethren to me and it cut like a double edged sword, I felt the drama of John and Alexandra as brother and sister, divided by a religion and with that creates a bases for their future problems. The Brethren as a secret brotherhood and their torture of Darkyn is something that adds an emotionally gripping darkness that either will be appreciated or not. I for one couldn’t always digest the torture or the Bishops and their plotting ways.

Still I was intrigued by the Darkyn, their past, present and the why of how they might have become Darkyn in the first place. The structure of the Darkyn society is one that has a classic feel to it but what I slightly missed was a glossary explaining all the words like: Jardins, Seigneur, Seneschal, Sygkenis, Rapture, Thrall, Tresora and Tresori. I’m reading a lot of vampire novels so I could figure it out a bit as I read along but it distracted, every author has his/her own meaning to it all and for me it would have enhanced the pleasure of reading this story.

I might be a bit gloomy about this novel as I feel divided, I can’t say I’m completely repelled by this world, the story or its characters for the passion is there, the feisty and strong heroine is there, the bold and arrogant hero is also there and a mysterious origin is also written with an affinity for the vampire genre but it is my problem with the Brethren that has rubbed me the wrong way at moments. Jet I do feel that the author has a great eye for detail and an expertise of the surgeries which add an authentic feel to Alexandra as a surgeon.

This vampire novel is definitely one with a different vibe and approach that you can’t close and not talk about it, either in a positive or negative way or like me, still haven’t reached a verdict as I will read the second novel just to satisfy my own need to try it one more time for Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn series does invite you to learn more about the Darkyn men!

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