Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: Angels' Blood and Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

This book came out a while back and at the time I didn't want to read it because I was annoyed that the author was taking time away from her other series. Also I was annoyed as well because the cover of the first book has this woman with crazy white hair on it, and at the time I was in one of my extreme blond hating phases. But then a few days ago I gave in and read the books.

Blood starts off with the story of how Elena (birth name Elieanora, which is just crazy) gets stuck working for the Archangel of New York. Elena is a Guild Hunter, some one who finds vampires that try to skip out on their contracts with their angel masters and brings them back to their masters. In this world there are these extremely powerful angels that live in tandem with the vampires they create, and the humans they rule over.

Seeing as I read the second book first because the library is mean. The first book has a way more intriguing plot. There is a crazy murdering Archangel on the lose and they want to use Elena to find him. They are following the trail of blood trying to stop him before he get enough power to start over throwing other archangels.  Raphael, the Archangel of North America is dealing with a lot of tough issues including the fact that his attraction to Elena makes him more compassionate.

There are some funny side moments with friends and family of Elena. But the book follows a well paced plot. The romance is a little stiff. I don't really know if it comes through a whole lot. Mostly I got sex appeal out of this. Raphael is a little too over bearing, but not in stalking way like is now commonly assumed, but in the "I rule an entire continent and have lived for centuries, I will break you like a twig if you so much as sneeze wrong" kind of way. The end battle was pretty epic.

The second book follows a similar pattern except the end. I just didn't feel the conflict as much in the second book. At the end of the first book Elena is pretty much dying when Raphael kisses her giving her a infusion of ambrosia, something that only happens when an Archangel truly falls in love. Which as a fun little side effect not only heals Elena's broken back but turns her into and angel.

In the second book its all angel politics and they don't like Elena because she is Raphael's weakness. Also another Archangel invites them to a ball with the purpose of measuring Elena, which is code for try to kill her. So everyone want to kill Elena, and then the end just bottoms out all of a sudden. Yeah a body guard gets a bit beat up but they take out the angel that wanted to kill Elena for the purpose of Raphael being hurt rather quickly. And then the big bad scary archangel dies off screen because Elena flies out of there after they realize it is coming to a fight.

It was really annoying frankly because the entire book was building up to the fact that the Chinese archangel was a bit on the crazy side and could make zombies. She was going to be hard to deal with, problems were to be expected. Then just about nothing happens. I was bored at the finale. Yes I realize that seven archangels versus one would make the fight go faster than just two duking it out like in the first book. But this was kind of a let down.

Also the second book strongly deals with the fact that Elena's family was pretty much butchered by a vampire when she was a child. The reason the vampire targeted her family is that Elena is hunter-born, which means she can smell vampires and is stronger than most humans. So yeah, when she was like eight or so her two older sisters were brutally murdered in front of her and then the vampire forced some of their blood down her throat just to mess with her. Her mother who survived the mess later killed herself.

A great deal of the book was just her having never ending nightmares. I get that it was important to the series but it weighted the book down. Yes there is a third book so hopefully the story will pick back up. Also the romance in the second book was also sorta creepy as well. Now Raphael was pretty much like "you are mine, obey me" and when she didn't he just made people follow her. I don't really know if I believe this romance as a true love kind of thing.

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