Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: beautiful and strong, I love it.
Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance" (Booklist) returns to an immortal world of violent passion and lethal power…on the brink of a deadly archangelic war.
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.
Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.
Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael's Tower under siege by enemy archangels.
Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…
I am glad this book focused on Elena and her Archangel Raphael again, they are one of my favourite couples to read about. Elena keeps her Archangel just a little bit human, makes him care a tiny bit about the mortals who live in his city, under his rule. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
This book is almost non stop action, and most not good. The Cascade is still going strong, gaining all the Archangels in power, except, it seems, Raphael. A dark and cold power seeks him out, trying to take him over, control him, but Elena’s love helps Raphael to stay in charge, and repel the power. But the mad Goddess of Death, the Archangel of China, Lijuan, is hell bent on destroying Raphael. The horrors she inflicts on her own people, by creating the reborn, are devastating. And now she wants to take over Raphael, as he is the only one of the Cadre whose power can hurt her.
The first strike is a hard one, when dead birds and Angels fall out of the sky in New York. Hundreds of them are out of the running for months, a year perhaps, and 5 of the so called Immortal Angels are truly dead. Those Angels were still too young to survive wounds that severe. It severely depletes the cities defences, and Raphael has no choice but to summon Angels from his other strongholds back to the Tower. Elena is devastated when she witnesses the agony those healing Angels are suffering. There is not anaesthetic that works on Angels, the price for their Immortality and healing powers is pain and suffering.
The next strike is against the city’s vampires, when a deadly virus is introduced. Vampires are not supposed to get ill, let alone die of sickness, but this virus is deadly indeed. And it is very contagious. At first it looks like they can put a stop to it quickly, but new infected humans are brought into the city, and when the virus spreads, the vampires panic. But Raphael’s territory is not the only one affected, his friends and allies are hit as well, keeping their forces from joining his own when Lijuan finally calls the war and invades Raphael’s territory with her very superior forces.
Elena does not only need to help Raphael, by being his Consort in public, and in social gatherings, she also needs to help her younger half sister, who also has the Hunter genes, and to protect her from their father. But Elena also learns things about her father’s past and why he is so opposed to her and Eve’s Hunting. And perhaps her hatred for him does not go so deep afteral.
When Raphael has no choice but to evacuate the whole of Manhattan, as that will be the battlefield between him and Lijuan, the Guild stays behind to help the Tower fight and defend the city.
It was an absolutely fascinating story. Elena and Raphael did not have much private time to just enjoy each other, as there was crises after crises to overcome and fight. But they did manage to have some hot lovescenes, especially in the first half of the book. Her father’s behaviour has made Elena very insecure deep down inside, and prone to nightmares. Raphael knows that, and he hates her father for it, but he cares for Elena just as she needs it (without her knowing it), and I loved those times. But he is also a complete Alpha, and did not condone her to have secrets from him. Elena had to tell him her thoughts and worries, she has taught Raphael fear, and he won’t have it.
Elena also fights for her mortal friends, making Raphael see why she wants to protect them, and keep them from harm from him and this Immortal war that is coming.
I enjoyed seeing Elena with her friends, and Raphael with his Seven. They are prepared to die to save their beloved city from Lijuan, and it almost comes to that. I do look forward to the next book, and where the story will take us.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian