Friday, August 31, 2012

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh

  • Title: Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Book 1)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy 
  • Format: Paperback, 368 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (March 3, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0425226921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425226926
Author's Website:
Notes: Second time reading this one. 

This series redefines where vampires come from...

 In a world of supernaturals Elena Deveraux is a vampire hunter. She tracks, captures, and returns vampires to their angel masters. Only about a thousand people per year are chosen to be transformed. That is a small slice of those who volunteer for the change. In exchange for the transformation, the newly changed vamps are required to serve the angel who 'Made' them (their Master) for a certain length of time. When they attempt to renege on that agreement Elena and other guild hunters like her are called in.

With a reputation for being the best hunter Elena is hired by Raphael, an archangel, to track a fellow archangel, Uram. When angels go bad, well, it isn’t pretty. With secrets being divulged and a powerful angel out to kill her before she can find him, Elena isn’t all that hopeful she’ll make it out of this assignment alive. Add in the powerful attraction she feels toward Raphael and things get a little complicated.

I just love the world building and imagery that Nalini Singh displays in this series. Envision a world where angels fly in the sky over New York. Wouldn't that be an incredible sight to see? Would you be enthralled and awestruck like some of the people in Angel's Blood, or would you get used to it after a while and think it was no big deal? Now imagine vampires roaming the streets and having the power to truly enthrall you with their pheromone type scent that can get you all hot and bothered as they surround you in it.

In this series, the angels create the vampires and they become indentured servants for a period of 100 years to whichever angel Made them. Some angels are nice while others could make your life a living hell and you have no say about which angel you'll be entrusted to. Would a chance at immortality be worth it? Would you take a chance? Would the thought of seeing your loved ones perish before you do dissuade you? Would the benefits outweigh the downside of immortality? Think about it. Some of those who chose immortality obviously didn't, and that's when the Guild is called in to track down those who mean to renege out on that 100 years of servitude. Vampires gone rogue can bring carnage to those around them especially when they're newly Made.

Eleana is one of my favorite kick@ss heroines. She's strong, knows what she wants, and is determined enough to go after it. She's also hunter-born which means she is one of the best trackers of rogue vampires around because she can track them via their scent. She hasn't had an easy life and, as the book progresses, we get small glimpses of events that have shaped her into the woman and hunter she is today. As the series progresses, we'll learn more and more about the events we only get glimpses of in this first book. So if you are disappointed that all your questions weren't answered in this book, don't worry they're forthcoming.

Raphael is the Archangel who presides over New York. He's gorgeous but deadly. If he thinks you've obtained knowledge that could be used against his kind you will not live to tell about it. That is the dilemma that Elena faces. She knows by taking on the assignment laid before her, she may obtain information that could cause her life to be put in jeopardy. Her best friend, Sara, is in the Guild Director and she tried to persuade Raphael to commission a different Hunter for the job. Raphael, however, wanted the best hunter and that is Elena. He would hear of no other.

An archangel has many enemies. Every archangel has their own band of trusted warriors which consist of angels and/or vampires. Dimitri, is a vampire who works for Raphael and is one of the trusted Seven who guard him. What makes Dimitri so interesting is his outright dislike of Elena. At times I questioned if it was hate or attraction that he felt for Elena. I kept wondering as the book progressed if Dimitri's aversion to Elena would eventually cause a rift between him and Raphael. He definitely makes the book and the series more interesting.

Amidst all the action and drama, Raphael and Elena find themselves attracted to each other. Archangels, as Elena finds out, are a rather possessive lot and when two individuals with strong personalities come together, you know there's going to be fireworks of more than one variety. That, of course, is what makes their relationship so much fun to watch grow from a spark to something much, much more. *sigh*

Why is the book named Angels' Blood? Well, what's in an angel's blood is something that will become  very important and essential to understanding and capturing the killer. I don't want to reveal anything more because otherwise I'd probably start revealing some spoilers.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I truly loved all the action and drama in tracking down a totally insane immortal. It gets a little gory, but I grew up watching horror movies so I was fine with it. I loved the world Ms. Singh created. Some of the imagery it conjured in my head was truly breathtaking. I loved the relationship between Raphael and Elena--totally swoon worthy--and watching the two attempt to not let their feelings distract them from their ultimate goal of capturing Uram. The ending, which had something happen that I never would have predicted, was so good I knew immediately I had a new favorite author on my hands. Additionally, the fact that I actually reread this books speaks volumes. I hardly ever will reread a book or rewatch a movie. If I ever do that, it truly means the book or movie was something special. This is a series I HIGHLY recommend. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Order of Series:

Coming September 4th:

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