Monday, October 3, 2011

Early Review of Angels of Darkness Anthology

Title: Angels of Darkness
Author: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Sharon Shinn
Publisher: Berkley Sensation 
Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I totally lucked out at the local Barnes & Noble again this weekend and scored an early copy of the upcoming anthology, Angels of Darkness. This book includes novellas by three of my all-time favorite authors, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, and Meljean Brook, so I was really excited to find it early. It features outstanding writing, which I’ve come to expect from these authors, and I was pleasantly surprised by Sharon Shinn’s novella Nocturne, which is my favorite of the collection. I hadn’t read anything by her before, but I will be remedying that shortly. Here’s a breakdown of the novellas in the book.
Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh. This novella is set in the world of Singh’s Guild Hunter series and stars vampire Noel, who was viciously beaten by an enemy of Archangel Raphael in the second novel of the series, Archangel’s Kiss. Now that Noel’s recovered, he’s been assigned to the court of angel Nimra in Louisiana, which he initially believes reflects Raphael’s diminished opinion of his abilities. He soon learns otherwise, as he’s there to investigate an assassination attempt against Nimra. While I enjoyed another glimpse into the Guild Hunter world, I was a bit disappointed by this novella, mainly because it was so short. I like seeing what happened to Noel, but because it was shorter than the other novellas, the romance between Noel and Nimra felt a bit short-changed. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between the angel and the vampire, and the mystery was resolved too quickly. 3 out of 5
Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews. This story was so different from Ilona Andrews’ other writing that I was a bit taken aback and not sure how to react to the story. It also didn’t compare favorably to their recently released enovella Silver Shark, which I just reviewed yesterday. Alphas: Origins is set in a world very different from any of the author’s other series, and at times I was a little confused about what was going on. The heroine, Karina, is driving her daughter and several other children on a school field trip when they stop at a motel so the kids can use the bathroom. Unfortunately for Karina, the “people” at the motel attack them, and Karina wakes up after the attack to learn that she’s now part of a world she never knew existed. The hormones in her blood will be used to feed Lucas, one of four alpha men who are warriors protecting humanity in a strange fight against a group of genetically altered humans. The story definitely improves as you read, because Karina is a strong and sympathetic character, but the first few chapters were confusing and none of the male characters particularly likeable. 3 out of 5
Nocturne by Sharon Shinn. I had never read any of Shinn’s work before, but I very much enjoyed this novella about a woman on the run who discovers an angel at the school where she’s working. This is set in the world of her Samaria series and takes place about 70 years after the first book in the series, Archangel. Moriah works the late shift in the kitchen at the school, and when she learns that no one is allowed to go inside the headmistress’s house, her curiosity is piqued. When the headmistress leaves for two weeks and the housekeeper sprains her ankle, Moriah steps in to help serve the guest on the upper floor. Turns out that the guess is Corban, a angel who’s been blinded and is feeling lots of self-pity for his condition. Moriah’s bracing character is more than a match for his depression, however, and soon he finds himself stretching his wings literally and figuratively. There’s a slow build to this story, but this was easily my favorite of the collection, and I’ll be looking for more of Ms. Shinn’s work. 4 out of 5
Ascension by Meljean Brook. This novella is set in the world of Brook’s Guardian series. I’ve read several of the novels and a few of the novellas, so I have a general idea of the background, even though I wasn’t familiar with these characters. I’m not sure how easily one could pick up details about the Guardians without having read another book in the series, so you might want to keep that in mind. That said, I did enjoy this novella. Like Singh’s novella, this is one of the shorter entries, but I felt that it was more fleshed out than Angel’s Wolf. Guardian Marc Revoire is investigating the deaths of several vampires in town, when he’s joined by former lover Radha. They had a hot and steamy night a LONG time ago, but she took off and he never knew why. Turns out he was a little too holier than thou and referred to her as “unclean” when praying for redemption after falling into temptation, which not surprisingly ticked her off. Fortunately, he’s more low key and less judgmental now, so the sparks fly between the two again. In the meantime, they solve the mystery behind who’s killing off the local vamps. While I like Ms. Brook’s writing, I really didn’t like Radha all that much, which diminished my enjoyment of the story. 3.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment