Title: Angel’s Blood
Author: Nalini Singh
Published by Gollancz, 2009
How I discovered this book: A random pick from my local library. The cover caught my eye and the synopsis seemed interesting.
Review: This review may have some SPOILERS. You have been warned. 😉
Once in a while I get myself entangled in a paranormal romance/urban-fantasy series (my little guilty pleasures). I have read about vampires and werewolves and all the common breeds of supernatural (always incredibly handsome and hot) creatures. But never about angels. Also, I have developed a great interest in angels after becoming a fan of Supernatural (the TVseries), so, the Guild Hunter series looked like something interesting, sexy and fun. And, indeed, Angel’s Blood is all that.
Let me tell you about what I liked in this book: the fantasy world. Nalini Singh created a world, much like ours, were angels are not divine or religious creatures. Instead, they are just another species living in earth. Just like humans, but with different characteristics. They have wings, they possess fantastical powers, they get stronger with age and because of that they can be (almost) immortal and they have been ruling the earth in secret since the beginning of times, passing for humans or simply hiding in the shadows. Humans ‘recently’ discovered their existence and while some still see them as holy and godly creatures, others see them with fear and suspicious. On particular occasions (you need to read the book to understand why), angels turn humans into immortals, which is what we call ‘vampire’ in this world. They are half human/half angels, (almost) immortal bloodsuckers who serve as minions to the big boss angels.
However, sometimes this vampires go rogue and start killing people. To prevent that, the Guild was created with the purpose of hunting down the supernatural criminals and bring them back to the angels they belong to and face justice. I see it like some sort of a supernatural police force that keeps the line between angel matters and human’s.
The angels have hierarchies of power. There is always ten powerful archangels who rule the angels (and the world) according to regions or continents – The Cadre of Ten. Angel’s Blood is about one angel gone bad and one Guild Hunter (Elena Devereux) that had to chase them to bring him to the justice of the Archangel of New York, the big boss of North America (Raphael).
Sadly, there isn’t a lot more to the book. All this amazing world construction, full with treacherous and surreptitious games of power, really amazing secondary characters, just about the right dose of mystery and insane crime scene morbidity going all to waste. Because nothing else happens apart from the hunt and the love story. Yes, we have incredible hot steamy delicious scenes, a kick-ass heroine that I really liked and an annoying, yet damn hot, overprotective hero, both with dark pasts that kept me curious until the end to know what happened. But that’s just the thing! We never know exactly what happened to Elena and Raphael when they were kids. We know that they have daddy and mommy issues, we see them fall madly in love with each other, but all the personal juicy dark secrets, the underground political treason…we get nothing but a short glimpse of what could happen!
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Elena and Raphael . They have some sweet moments, a lot of hot moments and also some moments that are really annoying and honestly boring, but I liked them. Still, I wanted more than the ‘fall in love while getting the bad guy’ cliche, specially when the author put so much effort in building an urban-fantasy world with great potential. I wanted their romance to grow slowly! Truth is, if I weren’t so overexcited about what was going on apart from the main couple I would have liked this book very much.
Overall: I liked the book to the point I want to read the next installments of the series and I definitely recommend it to all paranormal romance (PR) lovers. Nevertheless, to me Angel’s Blood is an entertaining book with an original urban-fantasy world that lost some of it’s appeal because of the somewhat rushed steamy romance that we always get in PR genre. And that’s what ruined it just a tiny little bit for me. Even though I really enjoyed the book, I must confess that I was hoping for a little more plot development and less romance.
Quotes worth mentioning: None.
P.S. The next installments are about Elena and Raphael and not new romantic couples. There may be hope for the development I so badly want!