5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Manhattan under the wings of angels,
This review is from: Angels' Blood (Berkley Sensation) (Mass Market Paperback)
Elena Devereaux is the best vampire hunter in the world, but even she may not be good enough for her latest assignment. She has been hired by the dangerous, and beautiful, archangel of New York Raphael to track down an archangel gone bad. This job will place Elena at the centre of a killing spree unlike any other...and put her at risk of falling for her employer's charms, either of which could mean her death.
This is the first book in the Guild Hunter series and, as a big fan of the author's Psy-Changeling series, a book I expected great things from. I definitely wasn't disappointed as the world building is just as unique and complex as that of her other books, taking vampires and angels in innovative new directions. Angels are the creators of vampires and as such own them for the first hundred years of their existence. Elena's job is to retrieve those who attempt to break that contract.
The storyline is cleverly plotted and well paced, although at times the density of the world building made it difficult for me to stay caught in the storyline. Unlike the Psy-Changeling books, this series stays with Elena and Raphael for more than a single book so their backstory isn't covered fully leaving lots undiscovered. I was a little annoyed that only snippets of Elena's history are revealed which means that the storyline will continue in the future books, but ends up being frustratingly incomplete in this installment.
Elena is an interesting lead character. As I mentioned before her traumatic past isn't fully revealed which leaves the reader only able to partly understand her, although her relationships with her friends (good) and family (bad) do explain a lot about her motivations. Likewise Raphael is fascinating and it is great to see him both acting normally and within "the cold", a side effect to a method of angelic communication. The cold removes all traces of humanity from Raphael and leaves him as a very scary being.
There were a few background characters that managed to steal scenes throughout the book: Raphael's right hand vampire Dmitri whose seductive scent keeps Elena on her toes, and Elena's bad boy hunter friend Ransom who adds a cute sideline as he realises he's fallen in love with his latest fling. The other character I loved was Illium who is the most accessible angel introduced in the book.
The villain of the piece Uram is incredibly disturbing and leads to some particularly horrifying scenes that place this book a lot closer to a gritty urban fantasy than a romance. Some of the scenes are quite graphic which I wasn't expecting, although they do fit within the storyline and aren't excessive.
The ending is outstanding and entirely not what I was expecting at all. I can't wait to see where the storyline goes next!
All in all this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Archangel's Kiss.