Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh


Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1)
Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh
(Guild Hunter #1)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Urban Fantasy

Berkley -- Published on March 3, 2009
Mass Market Paperback, 339 pages
Read in July 2015
Purchased from Borders

RATING: 4.5 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Alternate Universe, Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Employer/Employee Romance

SUMMARY
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best- but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows 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 does not destroy her, succumbing to Raphael’s seductive touch just might. For when archangels play, mortals break.


FIRST LINE
"When Elena told people she was a vampire hunter, their first reaction was an inevitable gasp, followed by, 'You go around sticking those sharp stakes in their evil, putrid hearts?'."

MY THOUGHTS
Read for the 2015 TBR Challenge--August--Impulse Read. The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian.

Why I Chose it for my TBR Challenge ReadAngels' Blood has been on my TBR shelf for many years.  I believed I bought in on impulse after catching up with Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series and feeling like I wanted to read everything she had ever written.  Unfortunately, I was not really into urban fantasy at the time and, after purchasing the book, I kept putting it off.  So I decided to finally dig it out for this month's theme and am kicking myself for not picking it up sooner.  This seems to be a pattern for me lately with the TBR Challenge.

The Guild Hunter series takes place in an alternate world where angels rule and turn willing humans into vampires.  Newly turned vampires then serve the angels for one hundred years in exchange for their immortality.  The basic premise of this first installment is that a vampire bounty hunter is hired by the archangel who rules North America to hunt down another archangel who has gone rogue and is on a massive killing spree.  This is a violent, dark world that is a different tone than Nalini Singh's other series, but it is no less creative or engrossing.

The aforementioned vampire hunter is Elena Deveraux who is just a kick-ass lady.  She is smart, street-wise, and really good at her job.  Elena also isn't ashamed of her more feminine pursuits like fancy decor and soothing potpourri.  I just loved her from the moment I met her.  I admired her devotion to her job and how protective she was of her friends and family.  Her past is touched on a bit in this book and the tidbits I got left me impressed that she turned out so awesome.  She does have a tendency to be reckless on the job, but that never really got on my nerves since it kept her feeling realistic.

As good as Elena is at her job, she is thrown for a loop when she is hired by Raphael, archangel who rules North America.  Raphael is the epitome of an alpha male and I wasn't sure if I could see him as a viable romantic hero at first.  He is cold, calculated, and very hard to read.  But, as the book progresses, Elena (and the readers) start to see some good elements in his personality especially his loyalty to his employees and a small bit of innate kindness which Elena brings out in him.  He is a bit obsessive and has some issues to work on, but I finished the book a little bit in love with his unique brand of ruthlessness.

The romance between Elena and Raphael is a focus of Angels' Blood, but it is obvious that this is just the beginning of their relationship.  They start out being physically attracted to one another and emotions get involved very unexpectedly...on both of their sides.  Nalini Singh makes sure that readers understand there are quite a few things that need to be worked on for Elena and Raphael to get a happy ending, but I can tell it will be a satisfying ride.
He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”She refused to let him play with her like this, even if her body disagreed. Vehemently. “Do knives intrigue you, too? Because touch me and I will cut you up. I don’t care if you throw me off the nearest balcony.”
Just like the Psy-Changeling series, the Guild Hunter series benefits from Nalini Singh's impressive worldbuilding and creative scope.  Readers are just thrown into this world, but things are explained efficiently without ever feeling like they are part of an information dump.  It also helps to have a large cast of characters to bounce information off of and that is definitely an asset in this book.  I am looking forward to getting to know Dimitri (Raphael's head vampire), Elena's co-workers (Sara, Ransom), and other archangels like Elijah, Lijuan, and Michaela.

Angels' Blood does not really end in a cliffhanger since there is a resolution at the end, but I was left with a lot of questions.  Nalini Singh really knows how to grab her readers and not let go until the last page.  I am definitely continuing in this world because there is so much that I don't know and that I have to see happen.  I regret letting this book sit on my TBR shelf for so long, but I am going to make up for that neglect now!

FAVORITE QUOTE
This was the kind of job that made legends out of hunters. Of course, to be a legend, you generally had to be dead.


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Angels' Blood
2. Archangel's Kiss
3. Archangel's Consort
4. Archangel's Blade
5. Archangel's Storm
6. Archangel's Legion
7. Archangel's Shadows
8. Archangel's Engima (Coming 2015)

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- Author Website

WHERE TO GET IT
Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance -- Audible

5 comments:

  1. This was actually the first Nalini Singh book that I've read. :) In my case, I was well into the 4th book in this series before I even started her Psy/Changeling series. I wasn't even going to give that one a try since I haven't read a shapeshifter book yet and generally didn't know what to expect from it. But now, Psy/Changeling is my favorite from hers but you've got to really give it to Nalini! She just knows how to write amazing books. I still read her Guild Hunter series though I might have skipped a book or two and I'm also enjoying her contemporary romance books. I'm looking forward to what you'll think of the succeeding books in this series. :)

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    1. I'm not sure if Guild Hunter will be able to replace Psy-Changeling in my heart especially with the way Shards of Hope ended, but I'm happy to finally tried it. Her contemporaries are so different yet I can tell that it is her writing. She is just awesome!!

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  2. This TBR Challenge seems pretty fun, and a great way to get to those books that have been collecting dust on the shelf. I am curious about this one. As I've mentioned before, paranormal romance isn't usually a genre I'm into but I liked Nalini Singh's Rock Hard so much.

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  3. I love this series. Rich world building, complex characters, strong romance.

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  4. I love this series, too! I haven't read all of them yet, but they are on my list!

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