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Tales of alpha angels…from four alpha authors.
They soar through the night, unearthly creatures of legends and lore. Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above, and the darkness below in four all-new stories of angels and guardians, and good and evil.
Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh
Angel’s Wolf is the story of vampire Noel, who readers of Nalini Singh’s Archangel series will remember as the brutalized vampire in Archangel’s Kiss, and Nimra, the angel Raphael has in charge of Louisiana.
Nimra charges Noel with determining the answer to a potentially fatal mystery while keeping the mystery from her court. To do this Noel must act as Nimra’s lover and smexy ensues.
I love Nalini Singh. She has an uncanny ability to paint beautiful lush settings that make you feel like you’re right there. Her descriptions of Nimra’s garden in particular are gorgeous.
As always, the romance in the story is smoking hot and let me just warn you that if you’re a pet lover this story is going to make you cry like a wee girlie.
A softer, less dark edition to the Archangels series
Alphas:Origins by Ilona Andrews
“When a young woman is taken captive by a dangerous male, she is pulled against her will into a world hidden from humanity’s view, where those with superhuman powers fight a bloody civil war. Now she must make a choice: to submit and become a pawn or to take hold of her own destiny.”
Alphas: Origins introduces readers to a new world of people with shocking powers who live on the fringe of our society. It’s a place where telepaths wage vicious wars, where withers spread their wings of fire, and men wrench bones out of the bodies of their opponents with a single thought. It’s a place of darkness, where an ordinary woman fights for her survival against overwhelming odds. (Blurbs from www.ilona-andrews.com)
There’s not a lot more I can add to those blurbs if I want to keep this thing spoiler free. So I’m just moving on to the review.
Remember that song from Sesame Street “One of These Things is not Like the Others” ? This story is a little like that. It seems a tiny bit out of place in this anthology, but I’m not complaining. Alphas:Origins is more gritty and dark than either of Ilona Andrews’ other series, Kate Daniels or The Edge. This is Sci-Fi baby and it’s good! Like chocolate cake good. I hope there’s more of this because I am stoked. I need more.
On a side note: I kind of told my son, Jacob, he was in this book. You see, there’s this kid named Jacob and he farts and that how the craziness gets started.
Nocturne by Sharon Shinn.
Sharon Shinn is the author of the Samaria Series, a five book series that take place in a universe in which angels and humans live together under the guidance of the god Jovah.
According to Ms. Shinn’s website, the events of Nocturne take place 70 years after the events in Archangel or between the events of Archangel and Jovah’s Angel, depending on whether one reads the books as they were published or chronologically.
Nocturne is the story of lifelong drifter Moriah and her encounter with the blind angel Corban. What begins with Moriah’s extreme curiosity and stubbornness leads to a friendship and then to a love affair that changes both parties irrevocably.
I haven’t read anything by Sharon Shinn before so I don’t have any kind of reference point, but something about this story rubbed me the wrong way and I had a hard time getting into it. One of the main reasons was the narrative. At least once per chapter I found the author to be grandiloquent. Yeah I said it. I think Sharon Shinn was a little bit grandiloquent in her narrative.
(Grandiloquent- speaking or expressed in a lofty style, often to the point of being bombastic.)
This is a review and it’s my opinion so you don’t have to agree, but if random adjectives are able to jar me out of the narrative because A) I have to look up their definition or B) they don’t seem to belong and are coming out of nowhere, then perhaps it’s the wrong adjective to use. It’s the authors prerogative to use whatever words he or she pleases, but sometimes you don’t need to use lugubrious, mercurial or arabesques when sad, fickle and spirals will do.
Nocturne wasn’t a bad story. I just didn’t connect with it. You might like it. Read it anyway. What do I know?
Ascension by Meljean Brook
When vampires begin disappearing from a community protected by Guardian Marc Revoire, the world-weary warrior doesn’t know whether he’s hunting a demon or one of the bloodthirsty nosferatu — but he’d rather face either of those monsters than accept help from Radha, the irreverent, blue-skinned, and oft-naked Guardian who’d once loved him and left him. He won’t be able to persuade her to leave this time, however, because lighthearted Radha is on a deadly serious mission of her own: not just to help Marc save the community…but to save him.(Blurb from www.meljeanbrook.com)
I haven’t read any of Meljean Brooks books in her Guardian series but I love anything that comes out of her Iron Seas series. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the characters or the mythology of the Guardian series, some very subtle info dropping made it possible to understand what I needed to to enjoy the story.
In Ascension, Ms. Brooks deals with the issue of zealotry and she does so in what I thought was a very thoughtful way, without demonizing (heh!) a particular faith or viewpoint but pointing out that it’s an individual’s frame of mind that can make even the most benign or peaceful idea, person or thing into something evil.
A fun read with some food for thought. It made me want to check out the Guardian’s series.
Angels of Darkness was, overall, a great read. Even if you only know one or two of the contributing authors in this anthology I encourage you to check it out.