Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2009)
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best—but she doesn't know if she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is not an option...even if the task is impossible.
Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.
The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other…and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break…
As I left the new world of Nalini Singh I wondered how I could avoid becoming repetitive in my reviews, for I’m awe-struck again by the storytelling abilities of this author. The force of Angel’s Blood struck me with the introduction of Elena Deveraux, a vampire hunter and Raphael, an Archangel. With them I stepped into a realm ruled by Archangels who also have the ability to create vampires. To keep those Vampires in check there is a Guild that has the task of hunting the Vampires who are walking astray from their masters. To be turned Vampire they blood swear themselves to an Angel and a service of a hundred years but some may see this differently after a few decades. This is just a hint of the things I discovered while reading this story and had me falling for various characters.
Elena is one of them and she is a mix of femininity and warrior character traits. As a hunter-born she is all business in the field, strength and wit holding her ground against the Vampires. Home is her sanctuary and you’re not easily invited, it is where Elena winds down and recharges her batteries. Raphael shares the spotlight with Elena but almost demands more attention with his sheer presence. He is unearthly beautiful yet exudes a raw power, combined with a lethal stroke and dark sensuality. He holds sway over New York and is quite the challenge for Elena.
While there were many supporting characters it was Raphael and Elena together who stole the show. Raphael’s power play was provoking Elena to no end, infuriating her but at the same time it attracted her. Strong women like Elena don’t like to be played or considered a toy, nevertheless, it created dialogues that are vibrant from the clash of opposite sexes. Both personalities delivered ironic and edgy conversations and I couldn’t help but take it all in with enthusiasm each time they verbally parried with each other. I think I was as enthralled by Raphael as any other female in Angel’s Blood, with my heartbeat increasing and my eyes nearly devouring the sight of him in my mind’s eye. To have Elena deliver some much needed backtalk is something I cheered on and produced a challenge for Raphael. He is described in to detail for the reader with magnificent wings, commanding presence and all! And leave it up to Nalini Singh to create an angel dust clinging to their wings that borders on an aphrodisiac.
Next to my joy of getting acquainted with Raphael en Elena there was much imbedded in the set up of this new series. The plot was well rounded, it contained both dire suspense for the here and now yet also allowed questions to rise for the future. With an Archangel turning rogue the proverbial trouble hits the fan and Elena’s hunter abilities is needed to hunt him down. Uram is evil to the core and gorges himself on the pain and devastation he causes. A diabolical opponent who you can instantly dislike and who gives the story another surge to keep on reading. He was creeping me out but at the same time I loved his effect on the story, what it did to The Ten and how the element of good being victorious over evil was executed by Nalini Singh.
As I yielded to Raphael and Elena’s battle of the sexes and the plot held me captivated with suspense and new information there were also a cast of supporting characters who courted the reader in me. The centuries old Vampire Dmitri tempted me with his erotic scent straight from the pages as the whole club of Seven held alluring characters. Also Sara and Ransom gave as good as they got in Angels Blood. Sara is a true friend in your greatest hour of need and is joined by Ransom and his humorous ways. Together with Elena they give a true three musketeer vibe, one for all and all for one! Every character demanded from the reader to invest in them, whether they were the leading couple or the supportive ones, everything worked as a whole. It pleases me to no end when an author can trigger both my inquisitive nature simultaneously with my emotional side with secondary characters like these in Angel’s Blood. Give them a voice that holds significance and speaks to the reader I feel the overall story is a long cry from told.
There is little that I found disappointing. I can say that the first half of the story is more character driven, but then, I didn’t mind it with the introduction of such an intriguing cast. When the plot picks up in pace it truly keeps one constrained to read on in whether this would all have a happy ending. There are story threads which will find a spectacular conclusion but there is also an overall story arc that will leave you wanton for more. All I can say is that I hope we have not seen the last of this amazing couple.
I relished as a reader in Singh’s fantasy with the new set up of Angel’s and Vampire lore. With her introduction of her protagonist, Elena, I was thrown smack dab in the middle of this new world to discover Archangels who I could not have imagined in my wildest fantasies. Great characterization, romance, eroticism, battles or action, it all thrives one way or another in Angel’s Blood. All I can finally say is: “Where can I sign up for more!”
Quote Raphael to Elena:
“You shouldn’t look at me in that fashion, Elena.”
“Why?” she asked, prodded by some heretofore unknown suicidal streak. “Scared?” He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”
Quote Elena to Ransom:
“Wow, hell froze over while I wasn’t looking. You care about her.”
”He dropped his arm. “I let her leave stuff at my place. Girly shit.”