I requested this series from audible not very long ago and I am thrilled. If you like the paranormal genre this is a great addition to your library.
Fantasy and Romance Author
Finally finished listening to the story this morning. Ugh. I think this was supposed to be a romantic adventure, but it felt like a horror novel through and through. I didn't like any of the characters, and I had serious issues with the ethics and morals of pretty much everyone in this story. They were either actively evil, amoral, or supporting the activities of said evil and amoral characters.
I should have stopped when I hit the end of part one, and Elena, our supposedly-intrepid vampire hunter chick, still hadn't actually started the job she'd been hired to do in chapter two...hunt down a serial-killer angel. Instead, Elena spent most of Part 1 trying to fend off Raphael, the creepy, possessive, sexual-predator "hero," who spends the first half of the book mind-raping her, stalking her, and sexually harassing her. He's the one who hires her for her unique talent in hunting down runaway slave vampires, but then he keeps her from doing her job because he really wants to have sex with her and make her "his toy." (That's actually how he refers to her.)
So many things wrong with this book. A "hero" who implausibly (as in, we're told this but don't see any actual evidence of his character change) falls in love with our supposedly-spunky (read, rude and mouthy for no good reason) heroine after she repeatedly tells him "no" to his various attempts to seduce her.
In the course of the story, Raphael takes advantage of his position as the ruler of New York to do various creepy things like taking control of Elena's mind, feeding her aphrodisiacs, repeatedly groping her, kidnapping her, and oh, yeah, turning her into a supernatural being at the end of the book quite against her stated will (in fact, she pleads with him not to do it). And all of this is presented as somehow okay and romantic because the author tells us it's True Love. I dunno--on *my* planet, if someone has power over another person, and keeps making unwelcome sexual advances despite being told "no," that's harassment and sexual assault.
And Raphael is supposed to be the romantic lead, the "good guy." The "bad guy" angel is a predictably over-the-top serial killer, but we don't spend much of the book focusing on him, so his characterization and motivations are sketchy at best. Honestly, this would have been a more satisfying story if Raphael had been the bad guy, and Elena finally managed to get rid of her stalker and overthrow the angels. Instead, she eventually decides that his pretty blue eyes and bulging biceps excuse the mind-rape and other indignities, and falls in love with him.
And the world-building, which had a lot of potential for conflict--despotic, frequently-cruel angels who are the absolute rulers over mankind, with vampires as the angels' slaves and bond-servants--is used by the author merely to create a circumstance under which our spunky heroine finds it impossible to refuse the hero's job offer or to slap him with a restraining order. Otherwise, there's really no exploration of a fundamentally unjust society ruled by an oligarchy of supernatural tyrants who can murder, rape, and otherwise do whatever they want to mere humans without consequence. A vampire slave who tries to break free of their angelic masters is recaptured or killed by vampire hunters, like our heroine, humans who are actively supporting the angelic tyranny. And the angels have no oversight and very little compassion for their subjects. Might makes right in this universe, and the angels are the mightiest so if they say something's okay, it's okay. For example, when the serial-killer angel goes off the rails, there's a concerted effort to cover up the true extent of his crimes, and keep the oppressed masses in ignorance. And this is presently as a perfectly okay thing by all the characters.
In short, this was a novel filled with unsympathetic characters, sexual assaults disguised as romance, and poorly-thought-out moral conflicts. Add to this mess a narrator with a flat, nasal voice, and I'm really glad I picked this up during one of the $4.95 sales and didn't pay full price for it.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
I don't know if it was the awful narration (she has an irritating nasal sound) or the cruel angel storyline that just didn't work for me. I love Nalini Singh's Psy-changeling series and had very high hopes of liking this one as well. Sadly the story just didn't draw me in like her other books. If you like stories of Angels that are not so angelic then you will probably like this one. I would suggest listening to the sample narration first. I suspect you will either love it or hate it. I'm just happy I got this one on sale.
Like the romance, but love the action involved to get there!
I admit, I have had this whole series in my library for a LONG time....I just couldn't bring myself to start it. I was a bit concerned with a female lead...ONE female for the series. I am use to books like the Black Dagger Brotherhood series where all the players are the same but each book focuses on a different pairing, or even the the Psy/Changeling series also written by N.S. that displays a similar theme....all the same players but the focus is switched to certain characters in each new book.
It's at this point that I would like to say....I am an IDIOT! If I had just listened to the first book I would have gotten over my prejudices and had some really awesome books to read! These books aren't like BDB or the Psy series....they are like Dune in that they have an intricate world of fantasy, myth, legend....some people are a bit insane....other's are just unlikable and evil. However, the banter is funny as heck!
Elionorra is a Hunter Born....this means that since birth she has an advantage over the average human, her senses are more advances and this helps her to track vampires. In this world of myth there are 4 types of people...The Archangel's, the Angels, the Vampires that they create and the humans. When a human petitions to be made into a vampire they sign a contract for 100 years of servitude to the angel that makes them....if they runaway the Guild Hunter's are called in to retrieve them. Ellie is such a hunter, but when the Archangel of New York commands her to a meeting on top of Angel tower she is pretty sure it isn't to help get an escaped vampire.
Raphael is one of 10 Archangels in the world, they are the oldest and most powerful angels in existence...and one of the 10 has gone rogue in HIS territory. Only another Archangel can kill an Archangel...killing him isn't the problem though, it's finding him! He must have the Guild Hunter's help in tracking the rogue before thousands die...he just wished he didn't WANT her so bad!
What can I say, great start to the series, great chemistry, great action, wonderful plot twists, wonderful book! Highly recommend you get at least book one and judge for yourself if you want to read more.
This was a surprise.... It was slow to start and I had to get use to the narrator... But I really enjoyed this book..... I will be downloading the next one right away..... Here are some of the other authors I've enjoyed. Tanya Huff, Jennifer Estep, Laurell Hamilton, Michelle Sagara,
Patricia Briggs, Kelly Armstrong are just a few.....
One of those books that you want to keep listening to - good storyline. Liked both characters.
Narrator did a good job for the most part.
I tried to start a Nalini Singh novel once before, but didn't make it very far.. this one was pretty good, though!
There were a couple of corny, predictable parts, but overall, I'm looking forward to reading/listening to the continuing adventures of these troubled, secular angels.
Also: I want to see what happens to the angel with the blue wings. =P The author does a good job of planting interesting secondary characters in, along the way.
This kept me reading
Ellie and her desire for life, to fight for what is right
The narrarator was good
One book 2 bought the whole series
Nalini Singh has written a highly entertaining and unikque book with wonderfully interesting characters! Elena Deveraux, (Guild Hunter), catches the eye and heart of Archangel Raphael; a cold, unfeeling super-strong Angel. Great concept, strong primary and secondary characters. Can't say enough!!! Must Read or Listen!!!! I've lost a lot of my "reading time" due to travel, work and studying but the audio books are narrated splendidly by Justine Eyre and almost look forward to the daily commute. I almost never give all "5"'s but this book is GREAT and deserves it. Secondary characters are just as compelling.
I hope audible gets the rest of Nalini Singh's books as they are very good. First book I read of hers and I love it.
Will continue to buy.