Back Blurb-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…
I'm a Nalini Singh fan-girl. There, I've said it. :) I've been anticipating this book since Nalini hinted about it eons ago. I bought it on Tuesday, but it wasn't until today that I read it. I know, my willpower astounds me as well. :) And I can't believe I waited so long, especially now that I've finished it.
There's no way for me to go into a ton of detail on this story without spoilers, so I'm going to Good and Bad it. Here goes.
Elena: Wow, talk about an amazing, kick-butt heroine. Someone else mentioned this in their review (I think it was on Dear Author, but can't remember) that the big thing that bugs them about Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance (but UF esp.) is that the heroine is always so kick-butt and is almost inhuman. Thankfully, Elena isn't like that. Yes, she kicks butt. Yes, she has a lack of fear when it comes to death. However, the thing that sets her apart, at least for me, is that she does have vulnerabilities that make her more human. Whoo-hoo!
Raphael: Um, whoa. I think that about sums it up. Raphael is not human. It is obvious in his thoughts, his actions, everything. He has no compunctions about killing Elena if it means getting a means to an end. And I think that's why I like him so much. He's inhuman and ACTS LIKE IT! There's nothing I hate more than a character who is written as some tough, hard-core Alpha who ends up acting like a woman once a woman is involved. Raphael can be a jerk, but he's true to his character.
The world-building: As always, tight, descriptive without being over-descriptive.
The Writing: As I was reading this I realized something about Nalini's writing that I've noticed in her Psy/Changeling series, but never vocalized. The one thing that she truly specializes in is an ability to paint pictures with words. Location, people, everything. It's like being able to "see" what she's talking about even though nothing is a visual.
The Twist: Whoo-boy and what a twist it is. :) I know, I'm evil.
The Secondary Characters-Esp. the Seven and the Archangels. I mean, whoa.
The Action: As always tight and crisp. I felt the final showdown was a smidge anti-climatic, but not. Hard to explain w/o spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that. :D
For once, I don't really have anything to add to the bad list. I do have some frustration issues, but that's due to the fact that I know she's planning on bringing Elena & Raphael back for Angel's Kiss. I hope she answers the questions she brings up, especially in regards to Elena's past.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I'm always afraid when an author that I really and truly enjoy starts something new. I'm worried that the new stuff won't be as good as the old. I think the thing I can really commend her on is that Angels' Blood doesn't read anything like the Psy/Changeling books. It's truly a different book. The only similarities are the super-tough heroine and the hard-core Alpha. :)
I cannot WAIT for Angel's Blood.
PS. The snippet of Branded by Fire in the back? That is just plain cruel. That is all. :D