Pros: Incredibly original and beautiful
Cons: None at all for me
Rating: 6 out of 5
Review copy (uncorrected proof) courtesy of Penguin Group.
Expected publication date: March 3, 2009.
I’ve delayed writing this review for a week or so because sometimes it hits me: How many different ways can I say, “wow”?
In the world of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter novels, angels and archangels rule the earth, each one holding sway over a certain territory. Between angels and mortals reside the vampires—humans altered by angels to serve them. When vampires go rogue, it’s the job of the Hunters’ Guild to track them down and bring them back to the angels they serve.
Elena Deveraux is a natural-born Hunter, able to detect and track the scents of individual vampires, and she’s one of the best Hunters the Guild has ever had. Unfortunately, this has brought her to the attention of archangel Raphael, who rules over New York and who has a very special, very dangerous job for her. This job will land her smack-dab in the middle of archangel politics, vicious killers the likes of which she’s never seen, and a highly dangerous attraction to the utterly lethal Raphael. Worse, soon she knows too much of the truth about angels, and is forced to realize that even if she survives the job, Raphael can’t possibly let her live.
Seriously, how many ways can I say, “wow”?! The premise of a world ruled by territorial angels who are served by vampires is extremely original, and it’s carried out in an absolutely fascinating fashion with meticulous detail. The characters—whether human or not—have depth and style. Where some books do a poor job of trying to pair up a highly dangerous and dominant male with a strong female, Nalini Singh did everything right. I never came away from the story feeling that she’d compromised Elena’s strength for the sake of a sexy roll in the hay with an angel, nor that she’d tried to justify an abusive relationship as acceptable (see above link). Instead, these are two unusual, dangerous, incredibly strong characters who forge their own unique bond in ways that are difficult to predict. The fact that Raphael is, in fact, a highly dangerous and inhuman character is handled with utmost grace and skill.
I’m rarely at a loss for words when reviewing, but I’m not sure where to go next. The world completely sucked me in. The sex is hot & fun. There is quite a bit of gore as well, so this isn’t a tale for the faint of heart. It’s quite a genre mix: part urban fantasy, part paranormal, part horror, part mystery, part romance, and part erotica. (Did I miss anything? I’m not even sure!) Even the side characters are interesting, and cause me to look forward to follow-on books with great interest.
This is one of those books that so soaked into my pores that I couldn’t get it out of my head for the rest of the day after I’d finished it. I couldn’t open another book for at least a day, as I didn’t want to supplant it yet. I highly recommend this one!