Friday, 30 April 2010

DIK Challenge Review - Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena is hired by Raphael, the archangel of New York to track another archangel who has been consumed by bloodlust. Left with little choice but to accept the offer she soon finds herself in more danger than she can handle, drawn to Raphael with a passion she can't deny and finding out secrets that the archangels can't afford to let her know.

Angel's Blood was a DIK pick of Little Alys - so far I'm keeping up the trend of picking a book from a different DIK lady every month. I don't know why this book has been on my TBR pile for so long. I love Nalini Singh's writing but for some reason after I bought it I never seemed to be in the mood to pick it up. But boy am I glad I finally did. I loved it.

The vampire and angel mythology is quickly explained at the beginning of the story, Angels are the masters of the vampires and create them from a chosen few. In exchange for the 'gift' of immortality a vampire agrees to serve the angels for a hundred years. Some vampires however, choose to run rather than keep their end of the bargain and that's where the vampire hunters come in. However, this isn't the whole truth, we discover the more complete story as Elena does.

Elena is perhaps an almost typical UF heroine - kickass...
"You ask a lot of questions for a dead woman."
"What can I say? I prefer to die well informed."
...independent, she cares for her friends but is estranged from her family.

Raphael on the other hand is a refreshingly different 'hero'. He's arrogant, ruthless, logical and calculating - he has to be, he cannot afford for his rule or his judgement to be questioned.
"I don't like to play games."
The chemistry between him and Elena is apparent almost from their first meeting. She refuses to allow him to ride roughshod over her, even though she knows how dangerous it is to deny his request. I thought The Quiet was an interesting concept - a state that Raphael enters into where he becomes ruled by reason and ruthless logic.

I love stories where the protagonists change something in each other. In the case of Angel's Blood the changes are both physical as well as the way they perceive the other. This is a relationship that has only just begun, it's not going to be smooth or easy, but it wouldn't be as compelling if it were.

I thought Nalini Singh's angels were unique, something I hadn't read before. However, they did remind me slightly of the Vorlons from Babylon 5 - imposing their own order on the Universe. Part of me did wonder if the last line of the book
"So it begins."
was intentional. I'm sure this line was said by Kosh (my favourite Vorlon, lol,) in Babylon 5.

This book works very well as an introduction to the world of angels and vampires. We get an immediate sense of how the world works but are left with lots to find out. There are plenty of interesting secondary characters I want to know more about:- Raphael's bodyguards - the Seven, Ilium (I want to know more about the flaw that caused his fall), Ransom and Dmitri (a very sexy vampire), and also how the relationship and dynamic between the angels and vampires works. It's an incredibly rich world and I'm looking forward to going back there.

If I had any quibbles it would be that I didn't always picture the angels with wings. I found it a little difficult to get a picture in my head of how their clothes worked round the wings, how Raphael fit in the bath and why his wings dried so quickly and didn't get waterlogged. Just the little things that niggle at you while you're reading.

Considering this book took me quite a while to get round to. I am desperately looking forward to reading Book 2 as soon as it arrives.


Chris said...

Nalini Singh is spectacularly creative, isn't she?

Sullivan McPig said...

Sounds like a great read. Must put it on my tbr list

Tracy said...

I love these books. I find that Singh is such a great world builder...first with her psy/changelings and the the angels.

Glad you enjoyed it!