Sometimes the first book in a series can be, to be quite frank, slow and tedious. It is VERY rarely the first book in a series that gets me hooked. It's usually the second, sometimes third book, that finally reels me in. Well, I was looking around for something to read, and remembered that Nalini Singh had another series apart from her Psy/Changeling series. Now, I'm up-to-date on the Psy/Changeling series, and I love it, but it also meant that I had already been aware of her other Guild Hunter series for a while now. So I was most definitely avoiding the other series for some reason or another - I do that sometimes and I don't know why. But finally I said "What the heck, Singh's a great para-rom writer, this series should be great too..." Whoa, I should kick myself in the shins. I was not disappointed, or I should say I was disappointed but only with myself for not reading this sooner. Angel's Blood, book 1 in the Guild Hunter series is fantastic. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the story, everything.
Some authors are not very good at re-inventing the paranormal world. Sometimes its uber-cheesy, sometimes it lacks originality, or sometimes it just becomes so complex and complicated you get a headache from recalling, remembering and thinking things through so much. Don't get me wrong, I like fresh interpretations of the paranormal world - keeps things interesting - but it has to be done properly and in an engaging fashion. Singh, in my opinion, has a great imagination. Her guild hunter series world is so coooool! This particular world includes vamps, angels, and humans. In this world, Angels and Archangels pretty much run the show. They're actually responsible for the creation of vamps. In return for turning a human into a vampire - who by the way have to apply to become a vampire for the most part - vampires are required to serve their maker, the angel, for 100 years prior to going off on their own. Of course you have your rebel vamps who don't want to serve the angels. It is at this point we welcome our guild hunters who are hired by angels to tag, bag, and return their "property" to them. Yes it's a type of slavery I guess, but that's the cost for the gift of immortality in this world.
Say hello to Elena, our guild hunter series heroine. She's a born hunter, so she comes equipped with a couple of extra perks when it comes to tracking vampires, including the ability to track them through scent. Along with her awesome quick wit in the book, she can kick some serious butt and is VERY good at what she does. Because she is so good at what she does, she gets hired by the Manhattan Archangel Raphael for a top secret, pretty much suicidal mission. Raphael is a very old, very arrogant, high-level archangel. He'll pretty much fry you on the spot if you breathe the wrong way, and probably would have killed Elena about twenty times over if he wasn't so intrigued by the little hunter. Their exchanges are actually quite entertaining, and although Raphael often grinds my gears as a reader, Singh does a wonderful job of being consistent in writing his character and making sure Elena holds her own. This book would not work without a strong heroine - seriously. Anyways, beyond Elena and Raphael getting to know one another, they also have to track an archangel gone bad. Yes, Elena's suicidal mission is to find the Eastern European Archangel Uram who's gone to the dark side. Once this is done, Raphael has to kill him as only an archangel can kill an archangel.
It's a great book. There's lots of action, drama, awesome banter between the characters, excellent side characters (Dmitri the vampire, Illium the angel, Sarah the Guild Director to name a few), great romance scenes, and you can't go wrong when Elena takes Raphael down a notch or two. I love the world Singh's created, and I'm excited to read what's next for Elena and Raphael. I definitely recommend this book to para-rom readers. If you enjoy her psy/changeling series, I'd be surprised if you didn't like this one. And if you've never read Singh, please try one, the other, or both series. Singh brings a refreshing twist to the paranormal romance world that shouldn't be missed.