Monday, April 13

Angel's Blood review

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best—but she doesn't know if she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is not an option...even if the task is impossible.

Because 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…

Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Series: Guild Hunter series, Book #1

Ames: I'm done reading it.

I couldn't put it down once I started it. I even took it to a hockey game and read during the intermissions.

Chantal: I didn't like it that much, but it was indeed good.

Nath: I have to say, I get the hype that is going on about this book... however, it was a bit of a miss for me. I enjoyed the book and it's good... but not a total keeper.

I liked the world building, but have difficulty to connect with Elena. I thought the beginning was perhaps too focused on Raphael chasing after Elena instead of the job she was hired to do.

Ames: That’s what I loved about this book! I don’t know, that whole bit with him chasing her down and her getting away from him just did it for me. I’m sick I know. And the fact that these two were at some points trying to kill each other, it reminded me of that Anne Stuart book, A Rose at Midnight (which I loved, btw).

I thought the world building was interesting. I haven’t come across angels too much in all my reading. It gave a different spin to the whole vamp mythology.

Chantal: The technical stuff annoyed me a little bit. How many times was it mentioned that she was clenching her hands so tight that it left moon shaped crescents? Enough for me to notice it was getting repetitive.

What do you like better? This series or the Psy one?

Nath: Based on the first book of each series, I vote Psy. There was a better balance in Slave To Sensation between the world building, the intrigue and the romance. Although I think that even down the line, I'll still prefer the Psy books.

Ames: I've only read 2 Psy series books. So this one is fresher in my mind. And I love the dynamic between Elena and Raphael.

Chantal: I like the Psy series a lot better, for the same reasons as Nath.

I agree about the dynamics. I liked how Raphael was so straight forward with her. "I want to bang you, I WILL bang you, but I will still kill you if I have to."
Not in those exact words, lol, but the meaning was clear. He is such a hard ass, I love it. And when he was so clear about her not having any other lovers except him... yum! There’s that possessiveness that I know you like so much.

Ames: I know! I loved it. And even when he was in the Quiet, he was jealous of Ransom. hehe And Illium's feather in her hair.

Chantal: Oh yeah, the blue feather! I liked that guy.

I wish I had loved it like you did, though. The ending was good, with her turning into an angel. It just wasn't the super wow book I was expecting.

Nath: You know, Chantal. I wonder if this was a bit of a miss because of the hype. I know that I was very apprehensive when I read it and that I was expecting a lot out of it. Partly because it's Ms Singh and partly because of the hype... and it just didn't measure up.

Chantal: The love story part wasn't believable to me. Elena isn't that great. I found her to be mouthy and kinda bitchy, so I don't see why this big bad immortal who has been alive for hundreds of year could fall so deeply for her in such a short time. What was it, two days?
I just don't see in Elena what Raphael finds so special.

Nath: Oh yeah, the love story was the definitive problem in my opinion and I i agree with everything you said, Chantal. I really liked the ending, I thought that was really good :)

Like you, the love story just wasn't believable. I didn't connect with Elena and I don't find her very special either. I liked her strength and stubborness - how she wouldn't beg and wouldn't let anyone she loves be hurt, but just to a certain extent. What annoyed me is the rest - her social skills when dealing with Raphael, Dmitri and the others. Sure, she shouldn't take what Dmitri was dishing at her meekly....but something is just a bit off for me to love her. I agree with you Chantal, she was a bit too bitchy and mouthy. I didn't like how she would always ask Raphael if he was into rape and forcing women. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ames: Raphael really made this story for me. All his possessiveness. And Elena’s kick ass-ness.

As for Elena, she came off as really tough, not so much bitchy to me. I had to laugh though that all the vampires wanted a piece of her. haha I could see why Elena would fascinate him and why she saw Raph as attractive (he could kick her ass, which others couldn't). But I have to agree with you - they fell in love in too short a time. AND there was no AHA! moment for Raph to realize he fell in love with Elena. There was no internal dialog/debate about his feelings for her. There was some from her end (like in the bathroom I think, she told herself immediately not to go there) - but there was none of that from him. It's like he only realized he loved her when she turned into an angel, which doesn't make sense.

Chantal: Exactly!

What do you think of Dmitri? At first I didn't like him, but by the end I was liking him.

Ames: I liked him - even at first. I want to read more about Ransom and Nyree - his librarian.

I'm such a ho though - I want the heroine to sleep with all the good looking guys, ya know? LOL But Raph is too possessive.

Nath: LOL, you've been reading too much erotica, Ames :) Let's share the good looking guys with other worthy heroines :P

Chantal: LOL! A story for Dmitri would be nice.

Ames: So does that mean you’d be interested in the next book? Are the rest of the cast of characters as interesting?

I’m definitely interested in the Cadre of Ten.

Nath: I'm curious about the Seven and the Cadre of Ten. Just too bad that everyone seems so "bad."

So for the next book, do you think the H/H will still be Elena and Raphael?

Ames: I hope so. I would like to see more of a relationship develop between Elena and Raph.

Chantal: Do I think they will be the next H/H? I have no idea. When I first started reading the book I didn't want it to be that type of series. I wanted one book for each couple, however, Angel's Blood felt too unfinished. There was no real love there for me, so I need more.

I will read more from this series, I just wont run out to get it and read it ASAP. It'll go into my TBR and probably sit there until I do one of my blind picks (When I close my eyes to pick a book, or get one of my kids to pick what I will read next)

My favourite parts were the fights with Dmitri, and Raphael's straight up sex talk. Telling her what he would do to her, etc. That was sexy.

I wonder about Sarah and her family. There was a little bit of talk about her husband, but I want to know more about them.

Nath: I have a feeling that it'll be a same H/H in every book series... or at least for a while. What I don't understand is why is it up to Raphael to get rid of bad guys? I mean, he's not the oldest. I think that Ms Singh tried to hard making everyone not good. Like the Cadre of Ten... the only one that seems okay is Elijah. Then, the Seven... Dmitri and Venom both sound like pervert psycho...

Chantal: I think Dmitri is good. He might have gotten off on getting his throat slit, but there is something about him that I like. I agree about Venom though. That one scares me a bit.

The whole Cadre thing didn't interest me. Same with the relationship between Elena and her father and sister. I think there were just too many names floating around. Too many characters in one book who all had roles to play.

That fight scene near the end was good. I couldn't take my eyes of the pages during that part.

Nath: Oh, I'm sure that Dmitri will turn out to be good. Like I said though, I felt Ms Singh just tried too hard.

Ugh, Elena's family didn't interest me at all either. The BIL was totally stupid and the father, heartless. I don't know, I think Ms Singh tried to make this series a bit darker than the Psy-changelings series. The words used were cruder and it was more sexual I think... and I like the characters, but I felt it was too forced. Definitively didn't enjoy this one as much as Slave to Sensation.

I also think that Ms Singh didn't choose the right information to give us. Like what is a hunter-born as opposed to a trained one? Sure people don't like it when the first book is information dump, but in this case... perhaps she could have done a bit less on the world politics and Elena's family and give more info on the guild.

The action was good indeed.

Ames: I really enjoyed the action too. As for the world building, I thought it was very interesting. And the darkness of it was a good thing, imo. I don’t think Ms. Singh tried too hard.

Chantal: I have a question. Is Raphael less immortal now? She made him more human, but once she turned angel, did he go back to being full immortal? And what about her?

Nath: It's not really explained. In my opinion, both are immortal now. Question is if she kept her humanity... in that case, I think it makes both more vulnerable.

Chantal: Is she still going to hunt run-away Vamps?

Nath: I think it was mentioned that they're discussing it.

I have to say, it will annoy me very much if in the next book, the story goes something like: Yay, Elena is a vampire, but she doesn't want to adapt and wants to continue doing all what she was doing while being human and ensue fights/ arguments between Elena and Raphael...

Chantal: You mean she is an angel :)

Nath: Oh yeah, I meant angel :) I mean, it's so rare, you know... angel LOL :)

What I liked about this book as well is that Ms Singh keeps diversifying the background of her characters :) that's nice.

Ames: I liked this book too. I gave it an A-. I was sucked in right from the beginning and even a hockey game couldn't pull me away. It was a good hockey game too. LOL

Nath: B for me. Good book, but not a wowzer. Hope the next one will be better though.

Chantal: It's a C from me. The unanswered questions, boring parts about the Cadre and her family, repetitive technical stuff, a Heroine that was hard to connect with. I enjoyed some parts of it, but overall it was just OK. Not bad, but not great.


Tracy said...

Great interview ladies! I personally am with Ames on this one. I really liked the book a lot and thought that Nalini did a great job on the world as well as the relationship.

nath said...

Tracy - Thanks Tracy :) LOL, I thought that a lot of ppl would agree more with Ames, given the buzz :) Perhaps I expected too much?

Book Boor said...

My reaction was closer to Chantal's. I enjoyed Raphael and found him quite interesting, but Elena was a big ole meh for me. I didn't connect with her and found her talents/special skills very lacking. Whenever she would hunt or track there was significant eye-rolling from me. I hate to say it, but I just kept thinking she was not worthy of the hero or the supporting cast of characters. Like a kid at the grown folks party or something. I will continue to read the series, but I definitely prefer the kick-ass psy/changeling series. Someone brought up "Slave to Sensation" and comparing it to "Angels Blood" the thing that stands out the most for me is the relationship between the main protagonists. Even with their dramatic differences, I always felt Lucas and Sasha were equals in the relationship. Their differences complemented each other too. I love Nalini Singh's work, so I will stick with this series and hope for the best.

Anonymous said...

I'm really undecided about buying this one.

I like stories with angels. So that would be a yes. But I'm also one of the few who wasn't all that blown away by Singh's Psi series. So that would be a no. LOL Decisions, decisions.

Thanks for the review. I really appreciated the differing opinions! :)

CindyS said...

I'm with Nath on this one. Too much him trying to find her, way too many people in the story for no reason I could figure out.

Prefer the Psy.


nath said...

Book Boor - I think it was very difficult to connect with Elena and indeed, she sounded like a petulant child. It seems to me it's been happening a lot to heroines that are too mouthy. And you're right, the relationship between Lucas and Sasha is more balanced... equal footing. Anyway, Chantal and I are still trying to figure out why Raphael fell in love with Elena ^_^;

Taja - Hmmm, can't help you on this one. If you were living closer, I would send it to you...

Cindy - LOL, it's fun that there's been commentors siding with each of us :) and totally agree with you, Cindy. I think the author tried too much in the first book.

Anonymous said...

Nath, yep, I knew. *g*

"If you were living closer, I would send it to you..."Awwwh, I really appreciate the thought. It's nice of you to say that. :D

Casee said...

I even took it to a hockey game and read during the intermissions.I did that too. I thought I was going to get stoned and then thrown out of the arena.