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Archive for July, 2011

Rating – 4 stars

There’s always a risk that the second book in a series will disappoint, not live up to its predecessor. The film world is full of dodgy sequels, after all. But
Nalini Singh just goes from strength to strength.

Elena is as vivid as ever, her relationship with Archangel Raphael changing and evolving as they fall more deeply in love – and Elena comes to realise just how much Raphael loves her. She fears she is a temporary distraction, he’ll get bored and move on, but she couldn’t be more wrong. And now she starts to understand that.

Raphael’s ‘Seven’ – his closest guards – take a more prominent role in this book, protecting Elena while she is still weak. And especially when her
life is is danger. She is the first angel to be ‘Made’ – angels are usually born. And as such, Raphael’s enemies all long for her head as a trophy
for their walls. In between learning how to be an angel (such simple things as dressing become more complex when you have wings to take into account), how to fight other angels and discovering more about Raphael, she has effectively painted a massive target on her back.

I was glued to this and dreaded reaching the last page – thank the heavens the third one is already available and a fourth in a few months time.

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Rating – 4 stars

Already a fan of Nalini Singh’s work, I was curious about this new series. I needn’t have worried, I was quickly hooked.

Elena makes an excellent kick-ass heroine, gutsy and bold, too mouthy for her own good and not afraid to stand up to big, bad guys. And the biggest and baddest is the Archangel of New York, Raphael. You don’t get to be Archangel by doing good deeds for little old ladies. He is power and danger personified, the ultimate male Alpha.

When Elena succumbs to a love affair, neither of them expect the consequences.

Nalini writes with her usual skill and flair, creating rounded and believable characters against a tautly drawn plot. You will believe
in a world where angels fly in the open air, and where falling in love with one can be the ultimate fantasy.

As soon as I’d finished, I was hungry for the next in the series. And the one after that…

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Phew. It was as brilliant as I’d hoped. After devouring the previous 5 books in the series I had high hopes for Last Sacrifice and thankfully, Richelle Mead did NOT disappoint.

It was that strange situation. I wanted to hurry and gobble this book, race through it greedily… but at the same time, knowing it would be Rose’s final outing, I wanted to go slowly and savour it. Well I spun it out over 3 days by restricting the amount I read. I was still glued to it for almost 4 hours at the end though.

Richelle Mead delivers a taut, highly strung plot, characters that we know – and love – and twists galore. Darkness and death, anxiety and excitement jostle side by side with touching tenderness, and yes, more tears for Rose. The beautiful scene where she rests in the library with Dimitri while they imagine travelling the world by looking through a travel guide… it was a touch of magic.

And yes, she has sown the seeds of a spin-off series – much to my relief. I shall be waiting with open arms.

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Oh god… After reading Blood Promise I had to start on this straight away. It robbed me of sleep, food, family and friends… everything else stopped while I was glued to this book. I started reading at 11pm and finished it 12 hours later.

It was everything I wanted. Dimiti is back – yay! Well, he never really went away, but he’s changed. Heartbreakingly so. I shed tears for Rose –
and not for the first time.

Adrian becomes a major character, and you know – you just KNOW – that he’s going to get his heart broken too. Richelle Mead steers you onto another rollercoaster book and you can’t get off until the ride finishes.

My advice? Take the phone off the hook. Phone in sick if it’s not the weekend. Have a steady supply of coffee & chocolate biscuits – and some tissues nearby. I was almost sick with frustration when I closed this, I would have to wait a painful 24 hours before I could physically get my hands on the last book in the series.

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Some time ago, a close friend suggested I read the VA series, thinking I’d enjoy it. At the time I thought, YA books? Too much like Harry Potter. Then I
discovered Richelle Mead’s Succubus series, and decided to give the VA series a try.

What can I say? A real rollercoaster of a series, and I’ve only just finished the 4th out of 6. When I read Frostbite (book 2) I already had Book 3 (Shadow Kiss) lined up and ready. As soon as I finished ShadowKiss I HAD to start on Blood Promise, and now I have Book 5 sitting ready and waiting.

Back to the review… Now that Rose is away from St Vlad’s (the Academy) I was briefly sceptical of how Richelle Mead could maintain the interest
levels, but I had no reason to worry. There are fascinating leaps where Rose goes ‘into’ Lissa’s head and sees the world through her eyes – never boring – and Rose learns the damage she did to Lissa in leaving so abruptly. She also sees the imminent danger her best friend is in, which adds a whole new level of anxiety for Rose. There are stunning new characters including Abe (OMG – I never saw that coming – brilliant plotting), Dimiti’s lovely family, Mark and Okshana (another Spirit user). And then there’s Dimitri. Rose keeps having flashbacks of Dimitri when he was human, of their brief time together and they are tear jerking. The snow angels scene had me filling up with it’s beauty.

There were tears aplenty as Rose struggles with the newly Strigoi-turned Dimitri. Her intention was to kill him, the only way to make him rest in peace – but killing the man she loves is harder than even she could believe. I cried. And cried some more. Richelle Mead wrings every possible emotion in this book, I loved it from start to finish. The cliffhanger at the end is unbelievable – I shall start reading Book 5 tonight. And probably Book 6 in 2 or 3 days….

 

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