IN REVIEW: Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

Released: March 2009 353 pages
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-425-22692-6

Angel’s Blood takes place in a world of angels, vampires, and hunters. Nalini Singh gives a remarkable twist on what mythology has told us about these creatures. The biggest? There is no reference to where the angels came from. It’s not even a mystery; it’s just not part of this world. These angels are lustful, have human flaws, human servants and take and discard human lovers. I won’t even mention the tight catsuits and pants...oh wait, sorry.

Next, vampires cannot make vampires, only angels make vampires. One can only become a vampire by applying and waiting to be accepted or denied. Vampires do drink blood and have exceptional strength, but they also sign a contract to serve the angels who made them for 100 years. When a vampire decides to break that contract, the hunters are brought in. Hunters track, capture, and return the vampire to the rightful angel. In this world angels rule, vampires are servants, and humans are not worth much notice. Humans are just toys to angels and vampires.

The Guild Hunter world is run by the Cadre of Ten, ten archangels’ that have divided the world into territories for each to run. Raphael is one of the oldest and most powerful archangels. Only the Guild director has contact with an archangel or the Cadre of Ten.

So when Elena, the most skilled Guild hunter, is requested by Raphael, she is a little weary. Raphael wants Elena to hunt an archangel that has gone a bit crazy. Remember, Elena is a vampire hunter. She can track vampires by scent, but not other living beings, but one cannot turn down an archangel and survive. In fact, an archangel can control human’s actions, like when Raphael makes Elena grip her knife by the blade, cutting her palm, just let her know he can.

Throughout the book, Elena is haunted by a drip…drip…drip sound in her head. Followed by “come hear little hunter.” The nightmares, which probably have something to do with her estrangement from her family, terrorize her during sleeping and waking hours. We don’t find out what this means, but not knowing only makes me want the next book published faster.

Elena is a defiant, strong-willed heroine. She never backs down from anything, which fascinates Raphael. He is used to everyone following him and never being questioned. That’s just angel politics. In Elena’s opinion, she will defy anything or one who tries to block her from her duty. This makes her a perfect match for Raphael. I can best describe these two by comparing the push and pull between them, to Torvill and Dean’s figure skating to “Bolero.” These two are addicting and great together.

What also made this book so refreshing were Singh’s angels and vampires. They are nothing like other angels or vampires. It leaves the mind open to new interpretations. Not once did I think to myself, “That’s not how an angel behaves. Vampires can’t do that.” It just never entered my mind. I only thought of it when trying to figure out what made this book so great. I also love how much attention Singh gives to describing the angel’s wings. There feathers are like fingerprints. The individual differences are as detailed as the lines in a brush stroke. Oh, and did I mention when Elena fa……Oops. The cliffhanger is BRILLIANT!


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