Archangel Series

So I’ve read a bunch of these books by Nalini Singh in her Archangel/Guild Hunter series. It started with Archangel’s Kiss. I was intrigued by the idea that angels and archangels (the most powerful of all angels and their leaders) made vampires out of some sort of poison in their blood. Either they made vampires and got ride of the poison or they’d go mad. There is a private company of people called hunters that are hired to go after vampires who run amok.

It started out with archangel Raphael hiring a hunter from this guild (see what I did there?) to track down not a vampire but another archangel, a mad one who is surprisingly good at hiding himself. This hunter, Elena, has  the nose that knows and can pick out individual people’s (vampires/angels too) scents.

This series started out promisingly enough but the main character Elena is presented as a seriously emotionally damaged woman who isn’t interested in relationships just work. What happens? The extreme UST between her and Raphael turns into a relationship. *sigh* Look, I like romance in my urban fantasy and I like urban fantasy in my romance. They are my Reese’s ™ peanut butter cups. But I am really tired of this ‘magical healing’….relationship.

Now this first book, Archangel’s Kiss was a good book and created an interestingly unique universe. But Singh just keeps adding more and more sex into these books until every other chapter is sex, and sex that doesn’t move the plot along. Seriously, I would have bought erotica if I wanted plot-what-plot sex.

I’ve read a few more books and stories in this series in the hopes that it will get back to the good writing of the first book and the really interesting universe. There’s a new book coming out that I’m not entirely certain if I want to pony up the dough to get. If it goes down in price, I might. And the beauty of the Kindle (also tm) is that I can get the first chapter as a preview.  So I can’t really, truly recommend this series but I wouldn’t exactly call it bad. Just…trite. Rating C-.

Fury’s Kiss

Okay, so this is a brand new book, the third in Karen Chance’s Midnight’s Daughter series. The Midnight’s Daughter series is closely tied to her Cassie Palmer series. They both feature a lot of the same characters. Midnight’s Daughter revolves around the character Dorina Basarab, a dhampir-a half human/half vampire. Her father was brothers with Dracula. Yes, that Dracula and Chance’s version is a bit more insane than Stoker’s.

At any rate, Dorina (or Dory as she’s more commonly referred to) is an outcast in the vampire community. Not really human, not really vampire she isn’t considered a vampire ‘citizen’. She has no rights and anyone can basically do anything they want to her…if her powerful father, Mircea, wasn’t protecting her. Dhampirs are feared by vampires because they tend to go into homicidal rages where they can kill even powerful vampires easily.

Fury’s Kiss is the third book in this series. Dory has come a long way since the beginning (Midnight’s Daughter) where she didn’t trust anyone, especially vampires and double-especially her father. They have a rather screwed up family dynamic and we finally figure out why in this book.

This book is so new that I won’t go into too much detail so I don’t spoil it for anyone. Basically, Dory is helping on a special Senate (vampire, not US) task force on smuggling. The problem is…she doesn’t remember her last assignment. The one that gorgeous vamp (aren’t they all these days?) Louis-Cesare rescued her from. And did I mention that this assignment was key to helping win the war between the vampires and the Black Circle (evil human mages-not the most original of names for an evil magic organization but fitting).

Who is behind the smuggling? Why is her memory missing? And just what is she going to do about Louis-Cesare? Because he seems determined to get in her pants…and stick around afterwards. Dory does not do relationships very well but rather than seeming like a trite plot device that I’ve complained about before, Chance does a very good job of showing us why Dory is the way she is. And how she’s starting to get better.

I would very much recommend that if you are interested in the Midnight’s Daughter series, that you start with the first book Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance. I am addicted to this series and to it’s companion series (Cassie Palmer). The one thing I don’t like about the Cassie Palmer series is…welll, Cassie Palmer. She has moments of total bad-assery but sometimes she comes across as whiney and dangerously incompetent. I’m hopefully Cassie Palmer will come along as beautifully as Dorina Basarab is. Rating: A

Angels of Light and Darkness

So I went on vacation this last week and I managed to not read the entire time. Weird, I know but I had wine to taste instead. 🙂 But before I went on vacation, I re-read the second book in Simon R. Green’s Nightside arc, Angels of Light and Darkness. In this book, John Taylor is hired by Father Jude who represents the Vatican. The Pope wants to hire Taylor to find a very powerful, very dangerous object. If it gets out into the world and the wrong hands, it could lead to the end of the world. Quite literally.

And the object? The Unholy Grail. This is (supposedly mind you, since I have absolutely no idea if such an object exists/existed) the cup that Judas drank out of at the last supper. Yes, that Judas. Yes, that last supper. An object like that would be very powerful an anyone’s hands. There really isn’t a ‘right hands’ or a ‘wrong hands’ in the Nightside. The whole place is very…in between.

But the Vatican isn’t the only interested party. When Taylor first tries to use his special gift to find the Unholy Grail right off the bat, his mind gets hijacked by Above and Below (yes, I feel that the capitals are necessary). Each side wants it for their own use, each wanted to bring about the end of days on their own terms. Each side believes that this cup will guarantee them victory over the other side. Taylor tricks his way out of the situation by pitting Above against Below and escaping in the melee.

With using his gift out, Taylor has to pound the pavement doing the usual PI bit of finding clues and rattling cages. He picks up Suzie Shooter (also known as Oh Christ, it’s her! Run!) and off the go, bashing heads, demanding answers and being general nuisances. Meanwhile, angels from both sides are in the Nightside, grabbing random people in search of the same thing. Unfortunately for the grabees, they don’t usually come back alive.

Taylor and Suzie follow leads, get the crap kicked out of them and run from the angels until they find out who exactly has the Grail. Of course they find it! It wouldn’t be nearly so interesting if they didn’t. 😉 But to find out who done it, you need to read the book! Please do. I’m rather fond of Simon R. Green and the more people read his books, the more he’ll write.

Rating: B. Solid book but not one of my absolute favorite Nightsides. Great intro into the series though, even if it is the second book and not the first.