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FIRST IN THE GUILD HUNTER SERIES from ?a major new talent? (CHRISTINE FEEHAN).
Nalini Singh introduces readers to a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires.
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But 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.
- Wow....just ...Wow
I was with the other people who are a fan of Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, and wasn't happy at the thought of the new series because it would mean longer wait times for the other.
But this series completely drew me in, it was a unique setting without the religious overtones I was afraid she might insert. I know some people may get upset about the comparison but it was almost like Anita Blake but more romance, an ACTUAL monogamous relationship.
I loved it and its definately going right next to her PSY/Changeling series on my keeper shelf!!!...more info
- Wonderful urban fantasy/romance
I began this book a little hesitantly, since I'm a bit tired of the Urban romance phenomenon, but this novel rocks!
It reads like a combination of Sharon Shinn's "Archangel" and Kelley Armstrong's "Bitten." The world building is easy to follow and hold together, but does not distract from the main plot. The main characters are both good people, although in very different ways.
The only problem with the story was that the first part of it dragged a little, but when it picked up speed it really made up for that.
Only pick up if you like heroines who know their own mind and are able to take care of themselves. ...more info
- I'm Hooked!
Love this book, it seems to the beginning of a wonderful series(hoping)!!! Many twiist that make it both entertaining and intriguing!! Can't wait for the next book in this series!!...more info
- I have a problem I can live with :)
Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors. I'm already addicted to her Psy-Changeling series, where she has managed to create a thoroughly original and engaging world, that develops more and more in each book.
When I learnt that she was going to write a new urban fantasy series, I couldn't help but think "Oh, no, Nalini will have less time to write the books I like!". All the same, I'm very curious, so I couldn't help buying and reading "Angels'Blood", the first novel in the Guild Hunter series.
Now, I have a problem: a new addiction that joins my previously existing ones to chocolate and Nalini's Psy-Changeling series. I simply loved "Angels'Blood", its characters, and the new world it introduces. The main character is Elena Deveraux, a plucky guild hunter that tracks down vampires that break their contracts with angels, the immortal beings that create them in exchange for a period of servitude. Elena is the best at her job, and due to that she attracts what might end up being the mortal attention of Raphael, probably the most dangerous and beautiful archangel in existence. Raphael demands Elena to do the unthinkable: track a rogue archangel. Elena cannot say no to that request (or rather order), that will involve working closely with Raphael, and bring unexpected developments.
On the whole, I can say that "Angels' Blood" is the beginning of a series totally different from the Psy-Changeling series, but, strangely enough, just as good. Highly recommended :)
Belen Alcat...more info
- What a ride!!
This is one of those books that, when you finish it, you're left going "Holy crap! What a ride!!"
This is a dark urban fantasy, much darker than Singh's Psy-Changeling series. If you enjoy Kim Harrison's books, you'll probably like this one. I like Harrison's books, but sometimes I have a hard time reading them, because she's so darn mean to her characters and the endings are tough to handle sometimes. I like Nalini's books lots better, because--as much garbage as she puts her characters through, she gives them a happy ending.
The universe of this series is much like ours, except that angels and vampires have always existed openly. In fact, angels rule the world and always have, in the persons of 10 archangels. Angels aren't heavenly creatures, however. They're flesh and blood, male and female. They look just like people, only with wings. Vampires are Made by angels, not by each other, and they are the servants of angels, at least for their first 100 years of vampire life.
Guild hunters hunt vampires, because sometimes vampires decide they're tired of being servants and run away. So the angels hire hunters to go bring them back. Elena is the best guild hunter there is, which is why she's come to the attention of the archangel of New York. The head uber-boss guy. Vampires are dangerous. Angels are even more dangerous. Archangels are way beyond any of that--and Raphael wants Elena to do something for him. She doesn't want to, but he'll do whatever it takes to get her to do it. There are all kinds of other vibes going on--Elena doesn't take kindly to being told what to do, and Raphael doesn't know any other way of behaving, so there are lots of clashes. LOTS of clashes. Then there's a really evil bad guy, and there aren't really any good guys, exactly--just "less bad" guys--but then--well, I really liked this book. I would think this would even appeal to those who liked the early Anita Blake books.
And it has a happy ending. Really....more info
- Urban Fantasy With Angels (B+ Grade)
Angels' Blood, the first book in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter Series will give the Urban Fantasy genre a great big jolt of excitement. In the past few years we have seen big changes in both Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. With Angels' Blood, Nalini has taken a specific creature from myth and religion, broken some rules and made it all a bit taboo.
Angels' Blood takes place in present day Manhattan, but in an alternate universe where angels and vampires are well known and accepted but also feared. They may act as if they want be on the same footing as the lowly humans, but in actuality they manipulate those weaker then themselves. It is a hierarchy, and the top dogs are the angels who rule with an iron fist and won't be ignored.
Sometimes vampires need to be put in their place because they lash out at their masters. Yes, vampires have masters and those are the angels because they made them. When a vampire tries to escape their angel master, a bounty hunter is called in and returns them to their rightful owner. Elena Deveraux is one of these hunters. She is a licensed hunter under the Guild. Elena is very good at what she does, not because she was trained, but because she was born one. Because of her natural born skill, her father disowned her and she was left to fend for herself. Her best friend Sara is the Guild Director for the U.S and a great support for Ellie, as she likes to call Elena. Elena has a pretty good life and loves her work even though she is the black sheep of her family and lives all alone.
Elena has a love/hate relationship when it comes to angels. She is quite fearful as well as in awe of them. One very powerful archangel has a need for her services. She is called by Raphael, the archangel who rules Manhattan. Elena is tough, but that doesn't stop her from shaking in her boots. There is no way out for her and she must meet Raphael. Offending him would be the worst possible thing she could do. He would kill her without a second thought.
When Elena and Raphael have their first meeting, it is polite and much like business associates discussing a merger. Raphael is jaw dropping beautiful. Elena compares him to a warrior. Raphael thinks of Elena the same way because she too is a warrior in his eyes. Raphael gives Elena some small tests to see if she is worthy. She thinks he is playing with her. Raphael doesn't like to be argued with and expects his minions to do whatever he wants without question. He doesn't demand, he orders, and expects to be obeyed.
The reason he needs Elena is because she is the best at what she does. Elena is so good at catching vampires because she can scent them. Raphael doesn't want her to retrieve a vampire for him, but one of his own. It seems Uram, the archangel who rules over most of Europe and the teacher to the Marquis de Sade is no longer in control. He is consumed by bloodlust and may already be in Manhattan, torturing and draining the blood from innocent humans. He has already killed fifty-two people in one month. He must be stopped and Elena is the only one who can accomplish this. And if she fails, Raphael will kill her.
There is no room for error in this case and Elena is screwed every which way. Raphael is part of the Cadre of Ten, the group of archangels who have thousands of years of experience behind them.The Cadre really don't want Uram destroyed because he is an archangel. Raphael is the one who makes them see reason why Uram must be destroyed. Surprisingly, Raphael doesn't let Elena hang out to dry and will work with her to find Uram. The reason? Raphael wants Elena. His past lovers have always been warrior woman and since Elena is a warrior, they will become lovers.
Elena tries to keep Raphael at arms length. He uses his powers to persuade Elena to do what he wants. He has no conscience when it comes to her surrender and will use anything, even entering her mind to make her respond to him. Elena lashes out at him, which is a death sentence because you do not tell an archangel no. But Elena does and because of it she walks on a very slim tightrope. And even though Raphael threatens Elena bodily harm, a part of him holds back. He doesn't want to hurt Elena because he wants her to come to him willingly.
But then Elena goes too far and taunts Raphael. The chase is on. He will have Elena on his terms, and for the moment, finding Uram is pushed to the side. Raphael will do whatever it takes, even if that means punishing those she loves, including Sara and her family, as well as her good friend and hunter, Ransom. In all the years Raphael has walked the Earth, he has never met a woman like Elena, and he is in for a big surprise, because Elena will fight back. And when she does, Raphael is weakened in both heart and body. He has no choice but to claim her as his because his vampire followers and the Cadre want to punish and kill Elena for her insurrections. Time is also running out for they must find Uram before he makes the island of Manhattan a river flowing with the blood and bodies of humans, vampires and angels alike.
Dark, seductive and mind-blowing are only a few words that come to mind when I think of Angels' Blood. Raphael will be on the lips of many because he is an enigma. He is an anti-hero in its truest form. You really don't know how he will turn out. From the moment we are introduced to Raphael, he is definitely not what you think a hero should be. He is sinister and very wicked. Because of all these things, you can't help but fall under his spell. The way he tries to seduce Elena is the same way he tries to seduce the reader.
The reason I enjoyed Angels' Blood was not just because of the sexual tension and eventual consummation of Elena and Raphael's relationship, but because of the character of Elena. The way she stands up to Raphael is so very dangerous but because of the woman we see her to be, we wouldn't expect it any other way.
The sexual tension is fierce, and that also includes the murder and bloodshed that Elena witnesses. When Elena allows Raphael to have is wicked way with her, that first scene lives up to the buildup. The foreplay between these two is their bantering and how Elena is able to stay out of reach from Raphael and he enjoys the chase. When they finally come together during sex, it is as equals. Raphael becomes so protective of Elena because she has accomplished something no other mortal woman has done before. There are also some shocks, and a twist with Elena that you won't see coming at the end.
Angel's Blood is a wonderful accomplishment. There are only two small issues I had. One was the setting. I feel that Nalini was just too vague with her descriptions and the feel of the New York I know. Also, the storyline with Elena and her father is pushed right into the front during a critical moment in the story. It took me out of the story and I felt that was unneeded. The way Elena's father is introduced and how their relationship was written took me away from the moment.
When all was said and done, all I could say was, "WOW" and when can I have more?
- Angel's Blood Rocks!!!
This book rocks--Nalini Singh has truly outdone herself with Angel's Blood. Elena is a guild hunter, one who was born to track vampires. She's the best, so when she's contracted by Raphael, Archangel of New York it's no suprise. What is suprising is Raphael's interest in her, a mortal and the mission he has for her.
This book is extremely fast paced with the threat of Uram, an Angel of Blood looming heavy in the character's every steps as they race to catch up with him before he slaughters thousands of innocents.
Both the chemistry between Elena and Raphael and the intensity of the hunt for Uram kept me reading long into the night. I throughly enjoyed the sexual build up between these two, which I personally thought was hotter than 'angel's fire'! Elena was warrior tough and an excellent heroine and Raphael's love for her was touching and beautiful.
Awesome book!!!Well over 5 stars! I will definately read Angel's Kiss when it comes out in 2010.
P.S. -the ending was spectacular!...more info
- Amazing concept fell in love with the leading characters
I loved this story, it was fantastic. Great new concept that one-ups Christine Feehan. A couple of the other reviewers here have compared it to other series by the author, Psy-Changelings, but I haven't read anything else by the author so found the story to be terrific. I can't wait for the next book in this series, but I hope she doesn't move on to other characters, I think there's a lot more to cover with Raphael and Elena, at least one more book, featuring those two, then go on to the stories of the other characters.
Now, will somebody please get busy and create some art work based on the characters in the book? There's NOTHING on the internet that even comes close. Raphael, Elena, Illium, Jason, Dmitri, Ransom and Sara must have their own fantasy art representations. Ok, ok, do Uram and Lijuan, and the Queen of Byzantium as well. If I could draw, I'd take a stab at it myself....more info
- Wow! - What a great Intro to Singh's Incredible new Guild Hunter Urban Fantasy World of Angels, Vampires and Hunters
Darker than her Psy-Changeling series and more urban fantasy suspense than romance. Singh's new Guild hunter universe is fabulous with its combination of angels, vampires and human hunters. And even though it is not super romantic, the relationship between the leads in Angel's Blood is still compelling.
As the best hunter of the Guild, Elena comes to archangel Raphael's notice when her talents are required for a special hunt. This time the target is not a vampire trying to opt-out of the hundred years of servitude that is the angels' price for immortality, instead the quarry is far more dangerous - the supremely deadly archangel, Uram, gone rogue. Elena knows that even should she survive the hunt and deliver her blood thirsty prey, she will likely loose her life for her inability to swallow her pride and act the nice little mortal in order to treat the powerful archangel Raphael and his immortal vampire cadre with the submissive deference that they expect - she will not crawl, no matter the price. But it just that combination in of suicidal bravery along with an innocence and forthrightness that captures Raphael's interest and Raphael soon begins his own hunt with his seductive pursuit of Elena. Despite his arrogance and cruelty, Raphael's beauty and power is attractive. And even knowing the danger of becoming one of Raphael's toys, Elena may find it hard to deny her overwhelming desire for the magnificent winged immortal.
Angel's Blood definitely lives up to - and surpasses - its prerelease buzz. I loved this one, even with some dark horrific moments showing the handiwork of the violently insane rogue `blood angel'. The Guild Hunter world is fascinating with its twist on the vampire mythos and the presence of angels on Earth. I really liked Singh's take on angels as dangerous ancient powerful inhuman beings and I loved that she doesn't make the mistake of turning Raphael fluffy and cherubic by the end of the story - she just gives him enough of a touch of humanity to make his transition work in the context of his relationship with Elena. Add to this flying scenes, Singh's evocative descriptions of the angels' beautiful wings, and the nod to changes in the angels' environments to accommodate a winged being and Angel's Blood captures the top spot on my list of angel paranormals.
But even with all the other great things going on in Angel's Blood, it is Singh's amazing cast of characters who really make me excited about this new series. Raphael and Elena are terrific and there are so many standouts in the supporting cast: deadly vampires Dmitri and Venom, Illium the gorgeous flirtatious blue-winged angel with a weakness for mortals, angel spymaster Jason, and Elena's fellow hunters Sara and Ransom, not to mention hunter Ashwini and cajun vamp Janvier from Angels' Pawn: A Companion Novella to Angels- Blood who are not on stage here.
If you'd like another little taste of the Guild Hunter world do check out Ashwini and Janvier in the companion story available only on Kindle and E-book, it has a slightly different flavor and explores another corner of the Guild Hunter world, but shows the same deft hand with the leading characters. For me, I've already read Angel's Pawn and I liked Angel's Blood so well that I actually read it twice - a very rare occurrence for me - so I guess I'll just have to console myself with Singh's upcoming Psy-Changeling stories (Branded by Fire and Blaze of Memory) until we get finally get another trip to the Guild Hunter world in "Angel's Judgement" (in Must Love Hellhounds) and full length Angel's Kiss next year.
I wanted this novel to be bad. I really did. Anything that takes Nalini away from the psy novels has to be bad, doesn't it?
Not the case. This is a refreshing and unique perspective on the Vampire mythos. It breaths new live into this often cliche genre. And it's even better then her psy books!
OH well, Singh is just going to have to start writing faster.
Well done, Nalini!...more info
- Smoking hot new series, not like anything on your bookshelf
I am thrilled with this book because it is nothing like I have ever read before. For someone who has read pretty much all the paranormal romance authors out there I get exctied when someone comes up with something outside the norm. This book is a refreshing change and I read the entire thing in one day. I could not put it down. If you like paranormal romance, you will love this book and all the other books by this author. Go buy it, seriously, you will not regret it. ...more info
- Addicting and mesmerizing!
A vampire hunter, Elena Deveraux is one of the best of the best. Masters hire her services to capture their wayward charges and Elena never fails at returning the minions to their sires. When she is notified that she is to be present at Archangel Tower the next morning to get her latest assignment, Elena's heart does a flip. No one else but Raphael would be so blatant in his instructions and because he is the often feared but also revered archangel in charge of Elena's area, she has no choice but to comply.
The assignment Raphael has for Elena is simplistic in the directions but pretty much impossible to complete. She isn't supposed to hunt a rogue vampire, she is to find and capture a rogue archangel. Elena knows she is being set up for failure and with passive aggressive intentions she tests Raphael. He is not amused and lets her know in no uncertain terms what will happen should this assignment fall through. Through it all however, Elena begins to notice things about this beautiful and powerful angel. Things like how he looks at her and how he touches her. Things that make him almost...human...
I loved ANGEL'S BLOOD! Usually I am not a fan of urban fantasy and while hesitant to read ANGEL'S BLOOD at first, I had faith in Nalini Singh's ability as a writer. And in ANGEL'S BLOOD, Ms. Singh's ability shined like a beacon. Raphael and Elena's relationship is forbidden. He knows it. She knows it. But like Romeo and Juliet, they couldn't stop their hearts from beating just a bit faster whenever the other was near. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, however, Raphael and Elena found a way to make it work. I can't say anything more or I will give away the plot of ANGEL'S BLOOD. Just know that you will become immediately addicted to this brand new world and will ache once you finish reading. Hurry and get your copy today - ANGEL'S BLOOD is just that magnificent.
- Angels' Bloody Mess
Singh is known for her emotional draw and well strung romance that can make you smile and giggle like a gleeful kid in a candy store. While the romance in Angels' Blood is your paper cut out fare (though what romance isn't, right?) Singh just went for the usual route of troublesome bad boy and tough knuckles girl, fight and resist but eventually give in to one another with some clothes flying and great sex, but it's the way she went about it that was eye-roll worthy for most of it. Angels' Blood lacked any of that slow sensual tension and clever creativity I've come to expect from Ms. Singh. She has the talent and skills, just not here.
Raphael is the reigning Archangel of NY, who makes vampires for those that wish it, and watches over the human inhabitants with a cold ruthlessness that makes even the most hardened, wince. But he's a sentient being, angel yet so human, in and surrounded by constant conflict. He's waging his own war, of self, as well as the one raging with Elena Deveraux who he has hired to catch a rogue Archangel, whose thirst for blood, and trail of bodies, is as alarming as his attraction for a mortal is, and the price of following through. Elena, rejected from her own family because of her unusual ability to 'scent' vampires, has made a family of her own at the Guild. While she struggles with her own horrible experiences that have made her the tough killer she is now, she can't help but wonder if there's something more, and find Raphael both hauntingly tragic, yet cannot resist the urge to understand him, and his place in her world. If it's even possible.
I'd read the reviews after I'd already read an excerpt a while ago, and was immediately fascinated. This new world of Sings is vastly different from her Psy-Changling series, which is, by far, one of the best paranormal romance series out there. But that excerpt wasn't really in this version, which isn't surprising and always misleading. So what I found instead was a book of limited expansion and little imagination. And that was what surprised and dismayed me the most.
The characters, especially the main leads, were cardboard cutouts of the standard sort, flat, no pull, no draw and the rest, came off either stilted or annoying. Elena's and Raphael's 'romance' which consisted mostly of fighting and snarky rapport oftentimes lacked any real wit or snap, tended to do little for the overall show of who and what the characters are and why we should root for them. Raphael does this and that with little emotion and purpose, but he's really a soulful guy trying to do right, and not sure if he is. Elena herself is the standard heroine, who is everything all at once: hard on the outside and all soft goo on in the inside, with the emotional scars of a childhood trauma and familial rejection of who she really is, doesn't work. Nor is Singh consistent with character behaviors and actions, and development is one-dimensional and dull. The flaws of all the characters combat with the actual ability to relate and feel for these characters. Even is so damaged to the point of no return, but love will really solve anything. It made me want to gag at times, this pitch she was trying to sell, it just wasn't necessary. Singh tries to make Angels appear above and outside normal human frailties but then makes them even more human than the humans and vampires in the story. Complicated characters and internal dialogue/introspection is okay, as long as the characters aren't jumping all over the place--she didn't ground her characters in consistency. Singh usually has a good feel for complicated, but she focused too much on fluff over substance.
I'm all for out there worlds and interesting ways of making them relatable but different, but again, where Singh has shown immense talent and skill, Angels' Blood lacked the solid world building and rules. For one, how do Angels come to be and what is their purpose? Singh gives no answers. Archangels, in this world, create vampires but Singh doesn't say why or how, other than it gives Elena something to do, since her identity, her life, is about slaying. Why are there vampires? Why would Angels make vampires? No answers. This is constant, and it nagged me, but if you just want to read it for what it is, ignoring the details isn't difficult because Singh just ignores them too. She went too far in trying to be creative and outside the box, but doesn't deliver. She couldn't explain or expand beyond just the present, or that moment. Her focus is very tight, just on New York and Raphael, while bringing in more 'worldy' elements through the other Archangels that rule other places of the world. It doesn't help or make the story more interesting. It's just a lot of filler, and not very good filler at that.
I'm not surprised that people liked this book, even though I found it more than disappointing and lacking in any real fire or twist. Singh is a good writer and can write a great plot with wonderfully rich characters, this isn't one of them. However, even though there are major flaws, and visible ones that I couldn't ignore, if you *can* ignore them, you'll get what you want, which is a typical romance.
Even though this one wasn't up to par, I will read the second in this budding series, because Singh is one of the few who usually delivers and has a good idea of when to give and when to hold back, usually. And also, maybe, just maybe, the second one will redeem the many weaknesses in this first....more info
- Kept me enthralled!
This book was wonderful from beginning to end. It had evrything I was looking for suspense, sex, mystery, intriguing characters, and a heroine I could identify with. I loved the mystique of some of the characters and I got my hot sexy vampire fix in with the story. Great storyline and very hard to put down once you start reading....more info
Angel's Blood was a compelling love story in a fascinatingly imaginative rendition of Manhattan. Job well done, Ms. Singh!...more info
- Definitely Not A Home Run
I love Nalini Singh; the Psy-Changeling series is my absolute favorites. I wish Singh would just stick to that series. Yes, it was a new spin on Vampires/Angels/Humans relations. That in and of itself earns my applause. Everything else was not up to Singh's standards. The love-interest is suppose to be the hottest man on earth...hello? Cliche, repetitive, and I didn't find Raphael's attitude attractive at all. He turned me off. Plot: C- The details (gore) unnecessary. I read a review once and it applies to this book, too: "Bloated" ...more info