I am so happy that we finally get Nalini Singh on Audible. I have asked on several occasions and I guess the rights were finally bought by Tantor Media. I know that her next in this series, ARCHANGEL'S KISS is supposed to be released on June 28Th. I hope that the PSY/CHANGELING series is bought and available to us as well. Nalini is an AWESOME writer in the Paranormal Romance genre. I have read Angel's Blood several times and love it and now listening, the narrator, Justine Eyre is doing a very good job. I read at Tantor Media that Justine is also narrating Archangel's Kiss. Thank you Audible for bringing us Nalini Singh.YIPPIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Nearly gave up reading this before I got 1/4 of the way through. I heard such ravings about how good the series was, and I like stories about angels, so I stuck it out... I guess I'm glad I did. Sorta.
In the first 1/4, Ms. Singh gets romantic interest mixed up with rape/coercion. And, while the main character calls foul regarding this "rape" interest, that doesn't stop the coercion theme from continuing until, SURPRISE, the female character discovers she somehow fell in love with the guy (no, we aren't privy to that character growth, it just suddenly switches from "stop coercing me" to "you're so hot I want you now on the table"). Of course Raphael also has a sudden character growth, literally overnight, which makes him a better "catch".
So, why did I say I was glad I stuck it out? Because if you can forget the slimy coercion component of the first quarter, and accept that the plot could move from her being terrified of him to being in love with him within a matter of a day or two, the story does get better as it moves along. Though, to be honest, if I hadn't already bought the next book in the series, I don't think this one is good enough that I would buy it now...
If you like this subject matter but prefer books where the plot is more dominant than the "romance", try Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress books. Or even J.R. Ward's Fallen Angels series...
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
Honestly - I can't tell you about this book... I thought I would be able to get past the god awful whiney voice but I simply can't. Listen for yourself and be aware.
I wasn't a huge fan of this narrator, but that's just my own personal preference. What I've found with all of the reviews I've read is that there are many people who complain about narrators that I felt did a fine job, so although this particular narrator didn't really appeal to me, you may love her.
I wanted to take a minute to write about the first 2 books in this series because there were mixed reviews while I was trying to decide if I wanted to take the chance on them. I absolutely love Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series and have read many of the books in that series multiple times. After listening to several other series in the same genre and not truly feeling satisfied, I decided to try Nalini's Guild Hunter series as well.
I agree with some of the other reviews stating that this series is a little dark, but the books are interesting and well-written nonetheless. In the first book in this series, Angel's Blood, I didn't feel like the chemistry between the two main characters was developed/described well enough and felt like it ended without satisfaction in some sense. Then I realized that book 2 in the series further developed the story between Raphael and Elena. After finishing the 2nd book, Archangel's Kiss, I feel much better about the series and look forward to listening to the next Guild Hunter book.
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.
Ok if you're bored.
I realized that I like my stories like the early Anita Blake novels- that is, driven by action with the romance there, but on the side. And that was my expectation going in. However, I found that this was more post-"Narcissus in Chains" where romance was in the driver's seat and action seemed like an afterthought.
The whole first half of the story seemed to be just Elena and Raphael's romance, which was well done, but left me thinking "you know, this whole delusional angel thing seems pretty important, so why has Elena done nothing but talk, hide, and almost have sex?" More importantly, though, I had a hard time believing that Elena was "the best there was" because aside from the opening scene and how Elena can smell vamps, she actually does very little until the second half. And she seems like she could use a little more wear-weariness and hardening. However, one thing I did enjoy was that the author creates a great world and there is a lot of depth to it. It seemed to take sooo much exposition, but it was very original.
OVERALL, while the plot was original and interesting, it at times just felt like an excuse for Rafa and Ellie to be together. It was a fun ride, but you definitely felt the bumps along the way. I have already purchased the second book because I did like the story and I want to see if goes a little more smoothly the next time around.
I'm used to listening to LibriVox recordings, so at first I thought Eyre did a pretty good job, but as I got more used to hearing her voice, I realized that I had a serious problem with it. She seems too prissy and so the scenes where Elena needed to have a lot of attitude came of as corny and grating. It felt like Eyre isn't the type of person that naturally cusses much, so the curse words come out lacking conviction and sounding weird. I feel like the narrator was part of the reason why Elena didn't come off as b.a. as she was supposed to be. However, I loved her range of accents.
Yes, it inspired me to go back to writing because I found myself craving something with a little more action and kick-butt-ery.
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.