Review: Angels of Darkness- Anthology

Title: Angels of Darkness
Author: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn, Meljean Brooks 
Release Date: October, 2011
Publisher: Berkley    
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Rating: 4.25 Hoots
Reviewer: Shannon 

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 - In the spellbinding universe of the Guild Hunter, a vampire becomes obsessed with the seductive angel who rules the Louisiana territory. But in her court, all is not what it appears to be.
Alphas: Origins - A woman is kidnapped into a world divided by a superhuman civil war. As the captive of an irresistibly dangerous male, she has two choices: submit and become a pawn, or take hold of her own destiny.
Nocturne - Accepting a position in a secluded and whispered-about mansion, a woman soon discovers the source of its mystery: the blind, tormented angel who lives there, and whose secrets could now destroy them both.
Ascension - When vampires disappear from a community he's protecting, a world-weary Guardian doesn't know what evil he's hunting, but he'd rather hunt alone than accept help from his ex-lover and fellow Guardian, Radha. But Radha refuses to leave him, because she's determined not just to help him save the community...but to save him. (Synopsis from the back of the book)

Angel's Wolf by Nalini Singh was a very sweet, poignant romantic mystery set in the Guild Hunter world.  A very well thought out and emotional installment into the series, this novella will have readers guessing until close to the end who was out to assassinate the seductive and mysterious angel who rules her court absolutely and how the emotionally damaged vampire at her side will protect her to his last breath.  The interaction between Nimra and Noel was deep and really showed the inter-workings of the angel and vampiric societies and what is expected of both beings.  They worked well together and it was interesting how Noel totally embraced Nimra as the ruler of the court yet he is her equal in private and in the bedroom.  The sexual tension and liaisons between the Nimra and Noel was sultry and satisfying and meshed well with the overall story. It is strongly recommended that readers start with the previous books in this series as they are introduced to Noel and other characters before this novella.  Plus, the overall enjoyment and understanding of the Guild Hunter universe will be a experience readers will not soon forget!  Rating: 4.5 Hoots

Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews opened up an interesting, action-packed, and savage new world that leaves a recently widowed mother fighting for her life and the life of her daughter against beings the human mind can barely comprehend. Lucas and Karina form a bond with one another that goes from the necessity to survive to a deeper, more emotional connection.  The evolution of this relationship was clearly portrayed throughout the story and will have readers curious about future stories about Lucas and Karina.  While the author draws readers into this truly fantastic and original world and all the different species hinted upon, there were some elements and details missing that would have truly made the story blend better and read more cohesive in the end.  There were detailed scenes of the wildlife and the base Lucas and his people lived in yet there was some disconnect and no resolution to some of the issues brought into this story.  There was also a lot of different situations and issues going on and a lot of history that really could have made this short novella into a full length novel and given readers a more detailed and comprehensive background into the Alphas and their origins.  Although this story would have been better suited to a novel sized book, Alphas: Origins was a very exciting, eye-opening, supernatural wild ride into the beginning of what will make for a great new series for the Ilona Andrews husband/wife team. Rating: 4 Hoots

Nocturne by Sharon Shinn had it all: mystery, suspense, emotionally tortured hero/heroine, action, humor, and just a hint of love as well.  The world-building and characters the author created was very interesting and truly amazing! The landscape had an English countryside feel of the 1800's with modern advances and sprinkled with the paranormal and mortal worlds.  This background was the canvas that helped the main characters, Moira and Corban, interact with one another and produce a relationship beyond servant and angel.  Moira and Corban were two very different characters who really complimented each other and between their personal histories and backgrounds made the understanding and emotional connections grow between them throughout the story.  Readers will enjoy the character development and which direction these two characters ultimately go.  Although set in the Samaria world, this novella could be read as a standalone, but readers would be doing themselves a disservice by not reading the first novels in this series!  Rating: 4 Hoots

Ascension by Meljean Brook was an interesting mystery and sexy page turner that will take readers into the realm of the Guardians and their world. Radha and Marc were two very complex characters who were very intriguing and engaging from the beginning.  The sexual tension was ever present between the two from the start yet it did not detract from the overall story or the mystery that was the premise of this novella.  The sparks between Marc and Radha balanced the story and was blended well into the story.  Ms. Brook also did a great job including background on this world so readers new to the series would not be lost while setting up the next full-length novel in Guardians series.  Action, intensity, and sensuality abound in Ascension by Meljean Brook.  Fans of the author and her Guardians series will not be disappointed with this installment.  Rating: 4 Hoots

Overall Review - All four stories were well done, engaging, and downright entertaining!  Fans of angels and the paranormal will soar to new heights with these fascinating tales of love, betrayal, and sacrifice!  A must read for fans of the authors and the genres alike!

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