Audio review: Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

Format: Audible download
Release Date: 5/7/10
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 10 hrs 32 min
Narration: Justine Eyre
FTC: Purchased myself

I've been steadily working my way through the shamefully long list of authors I haven't tried yet, but who have been recommended to me from multiple sources. At a blogger dinner I attended back in April, everyone was raving about Nalini Singh. Most of the praise centered around her Psy-Changeling series, but it was the Guild Hunter books that appealed, so I started there.

 My first thought on hearing about the series was angels? Call me a traditionalist, but I just don't see angels as all that sexy. But Ms. Singh changed my mind. In her world, angels are not celestial beings. They are immortals, powerful and deadly. They are also the creators of vampires, choosing from among the mortals who apply for immortality in exchange for 100 years of servitude to their makers.  This intertwining of angels and vampires was such a unique angle that I was intrigued.

It is this contract of servitude that creates a job for another paranormal being: a hunter. Hunters are genetically gifted with an ability to scent vampires. And the best one in New York is Elena Deveraux, a fact that brings her into contact with the bad-ass archangel of New York, Raphael.

I really enjoyed the sexual tension in this book. The multiple layers of attraction, the knowledge that such an attraction is dangerous. The fact that Raphael isn't human and doesn't play by human rules. All of that helped keep the book emotionally charged while still telling the story of another angel turned monster and the savagery he leaves behind. I think the book is a bit genre blending because it doesn't quite follow the conventions of paranormal romance, but it does have romantic elements. It also has some pretty hot scenes, which makes it not fit quite comfortably in urban fantasy either.

It could be the format that made it more noticeable, but there were some phrases I  felt were a bit overused. That were a little eye-rolling at times. But other than that one little issue, I felt the book was solidly written.

The narrator has a bit of a nasal whine to her voice, which annoyed me at first but I gradually got used to it. She does have different voices for the characters (a must!) and does a good job putting emotion into the performance.

If audio's not your thing, that's ok. This book is also available in mass market paperback and as an ebook.

My Grade: A-

The Blurb:

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But 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.

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