Audiobook Review: Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh, Narrated by Justine Eyre
“The bastard kissed her. She was so mad, she bit him hard enough to draw blood.
Raphael pulled back, lip already beginning to swell.
“We are no longer even, Elena. You’re now in debt.”
“You can deduct it from my slow and painful death.”
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural
Series: Guild Hunter #1
Publisher: Tantor Media (May 2010)
Author Info: nalinisingh.com
Wendy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Much like Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Elena Deveraux hunts vampires and is, of course, the best at what she does thanks to her preternatural skill and her own confidence and training. Now she’s up against her greatest challenge yet, and at the request of the super sexy and deadly Archangel of New York, who doesn’t take no for an answer (unless Elena wants to find herself tossed off of a roof).
Cocky, wise-cracking leading lady with dark past [CHECK] who gets caught involved in a deadly mission [CHECK] that has more going on beneath the surface [CHECK] and who must wrestle with her desires [CHECK] for a man who just might kill her [CHECK].
Ah yes. There’s a reason why I tend to avoid urban fantasy. But that probably has more to do with binging Anita Blake one summer and watching stories that I initially enjoyed devolve into mad sex romps. Look. If I want porn, I’ll watch or read porn. But if you promised me interesting characters and story, then at least make the attempt. I’ve tried a few other urban fantasy series since LKH soured me to the genre, but at long last, I’ve found one I actually want to sink my teeth into again.
Angel’s Blood still has the typical troublesome sexy relationship, but at the very least, I appreciate that Elena does not accept it until it’s on her terms. She has no qualms about calling out Raphael’s mental manipulation for what it is: rape. And, in turn, he actually takes the time to consider this and seeks to do better. I also appreciate that the hot sex relationship isn’t the only relationship upon which Elena’s life circles. She doesn’t function in a loner bubble, only calling upon others who exist to provide advice and gadget support. Her friends and guild mates do serve that purpose, but there is actual depth to their friendships and working relationships that I want to see more of.
We mostly get Elena’s perspective throughout the adventure, but there are frequent interludes through Raphael’s eyes that not only deal with his inevitable interest with Elena, but also provide insight into archangel politics and sow seeds for future stories. Where Elena and Raphael end up at the end seems overly dramatic, but I suspect that Singh is shaping a story that extends beyond the monster of the week to something more intriguing. Or it could just be an excuse for lots more hot angel/vampire sex. Which is okay, as long as we don’t go overboard okay?
Oh and did I mention that Elena is a woman of colour? Though other book covers will try to dissuade you from realizing that, Singh has created a world where PoCs aren’t just exotic background material.
Urban fantasy isn’t my usual stomping ground, but I’m happy to find a series that I will make room for on my shelves. Added bonus: the audiobook is narrated by Justine Eyre, whom I have loved to pieces since first hearing her storm through Patrick Weekes’ The Paladin Caper.