Angels’ Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Nalini Singh
I have to admit I’ve had a difficult time deciding what to actually rate this one. I did very much enjoy the book, but for me it didn’t quite keep up with most of the books I’ve rated as a 4. I think part of this reason is that I’m honestly not a huge fan of angels in my reading. This book, at least, didn’t really get into the good versus evil thing—at least, not terrifyingly overtly. True, the primary plot (or secondary depending on your POV, but more on that later) was hunting down an angel that had gone bad, but that was implied to have more to do with madness than inherent evil, so I was okay with it.
That said, the “primary plot arc” wasn’t a bad one. However, I would argue that it wasn’t actually the primary plot arc, which doesn’t earn points with me. I definitely felt like most of the book was focused on relationship development between Rafael and Elena. That, in and of itself, isn’t a problem. I’ll be the first to admit I like a good steamy romance with supernatural beings. However, the dust jacket description prepared me for action more along the lines of an action movie than a pure romance (by which I mean an action movie that still has the relationship factor). This felt more like a romance with a bit of action movie than the other way around.
And I had a little trouble with the POV. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every character – they were very well written … as long as they were from Elena’s perspective. The scenes that were from Rafael’s POV I found to be a bit unbelievable. In the sense that from what I knew about his from Elena’s POV, I would have expected his thoughts to follow a different line. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive because this has been an area I have focused on for my own writing development for quite some time.
On a note of personal preference—foreshadowing is a tricky skill. It requires a very fine balance of giving enough teasers to get you thinking and to set up a believable course of action without giving away too much to ruin the surprise. I personally like some good foreshadowing—my favorite style, as you might have guessed if you’re read any of my Doctor Who posts, involves stringing the reader along with clues that get you going in the wrong direction but end up all falling into place when the big reveal happens. I just love the brain teaser.
Singh was a little heavy-handed in some ways, and I think most of that is because of utilizing Rafael’s POV. There were some scenes that seemed awkward to me because he didn’t seem to have his own voice, and they ended up not adding much to the story in my opinion. These scenes gave too much away too soon. I would have much preferred to discover what was going on in line with Elena. Along these same lines, the plot for the next book is clearly being set up toward the end here. I’m not sure that it adds anything to this story, and I’d prefer to learn about the next book in the next book if there are no implications now. Subtle clues now would be fine, but I feel like I’m being slapped in the face with this one in blocky scenes that seem to be fillers and passages of time.
Without giving too much away, I would have ended this book more or less at the climax. There was a perfect ending just waiting to happen, and most of the filler scenes toward the end could have been cut. I’d open book 2 with some of the big reveal at the end of this one and leave the reader with the almost cliff-hanger that we had. I say this, of course, knowing that I may turn out to love how the second book opens and decide to retract this whole paragraph later.
So overall it was a very good book. I was entertained and I’m glad I picked this one up. I look forward to reading the second. But I didn’t feel particularly attached—that is, I didn’t feel the emotions of the characters, which is one of the big sellers for me, and the plot alone didn’t pull me in enough to become completely engrossed. I liked all of the characters, but I didn’t live in their lives.
Posted on May 24, 2013, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and tagged angels, angels' blood, book reviews, books, fantasy, nalini singh, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.