Book #1 of the Guild Hunter Series
by Nalini Singh
Published: Berkely Sensation – March 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Pages: 339 (paperback)
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
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…
Wow. This fresh new concept blew me away throughout the whole book. Singh’s take on angels and vampires was unlike anything I have ever read. For her to establish a presence of angels on earth was the most fascinating thing about the book. These angels are ancient, powerful, inhuman beings that can scare the crap out of anybody.
The cast of characters are amazing as well. Elena, a born hunter, has her own abilities and heightened senses that make her a perfect vampire hunter and all around bad-ass. She doesn’t take flack from anyone, even the frightening archangel, Raphael, who has a sudden need for her talents.
Raphael is arrogant and cruel and ridiculously beautiful. He expects submissive tendencies from all, but he doesn’t get that from Elena. Because of her suicidal courage and a kind of innocence, Raphael begins his not-so-innocent pursuit of Elena. And Singh does a great job of slowly giving Raphael a sense of humanity that makes us all slowly fall in love with him.
All of the secondary characters had their own personalities that fit perfectly with how Singh presented them. They felt real, and each one was uniquely different enough that I was never bored.
The Guild Hunter world is full of both scary and beautiful beings. I felt like I got enough backstory and world building to help me assimilate into this new world with ease. And this world was full of hard-truths and could get a bit gritty some of the time.
I found no faults with the book. Some say it’s not romantic enough, but I disagree. Raphael and Elena’s relationship is different, more complicated, which for me is only more enticing.
Others feel the backstory was lacking. For me, it’s nice when all is NOT revealed in the first book. It leaves room for future storylines and character building.
A lot of sexual tension. Many almost sex scenes and a full sex scene. The intimacy was woven between action and mystery, so it wasn’t overboard or too often.
Angels’ Blood made me suffer from a real bad case of wing-envy. Singh’s detailed descriptions of angels’ wings and what it is like to fly was so inspiring. The plot had twists and turns at every corner but was not overcomplicated like some books. The story and characters were slowly built up until you had a major interest in what happened to each character.