Angels of Darkness

When I saw Angels of Darkness come up for review, I had to have it. It has four absolutely awesome authors contributing to it: Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook and Sharon Shinn. Now, I read or have read book from each of these authors except Sharon Shinn but I figured if she was with the other three, she had to be pretty terrific too.

Each author contributes a story to this book. The stories are around 100 pages long so you can really get into them. Each stands alone and has nothing to do with the others in the book.

The first book is by Nalini Singh and is called Angel's Wolf. Nimra is an angel that appears innocent and fragile but she is anything but. She's known to be ruthless and hard which she needs to be to hold on to the Louisiana territory she calls home. Others would take over if she didn't show her ability to hold and control this land. When someone tries to poison her, a vampire, Noel, from her superior's court, Archangel Raphael, is sent to investigate. Noel is recovering from an attack and doesn't like to be touched so why is he experiencing feelings he thought were dead around Nimra. Nimra finds she desires Noel but also quickly learns that he's not a play toy. He has his own power and doesn't mind showing it.

This story may be part of a series Ms Singh writes that I haven't read. It feels like it. However, I really enjoyed the characters and the action. It has subtle twists that influenced the story. Things weren't always what they appeared to be. Excellent start.

Next is Ilona Andrews' story Alphas: Origins. In this story, our reality and another come together in a bizarre twist which drags a single mother and her young daughter into a civil war that they never knew about. Karina thought she was pulling off the highway so the children she had taken on a field trip could use the bathroom. She doesn't understand that she's the only one who can see that exit and the motel she plans on stopping at. However, it doesn't take long before she knows there is something really wrong. Soon, she is given the choice, die or become a blood donor for a monster. She'll do anything to keep her daughter safe but she's so far over her head, she's not sure what the right thing to do is. Are the monsters the good guys or not? She'll have to go along with them if she plans on staying alive long enough to find out!

As this is a story titled Origins, I believe that there must be books containing these strange characters. Expect lots of violence, shift changing characters and an alternate universe that interacts with ours. There doesn't seem to be any warm, fuzzy characters in this story yet I became intrigued with the ones that were there and couldn't wait to see where this story was going. It definitely stayed with me even after I finished it.

After that war torn story, I was ready for something a little less violent and found it in Nocturne by Sharon Shinn. Moriah has been running for a while and has ended up at the Gabriel School which is located at the end of nowhere. It's a school for children with no place else to go. Moriah is working the overnight shift in the kitchen which she likes. This way she can wonder around without anyone noticing. She's been told though not to go near the headmistress's house as it is haunted. One night, Moriah see what appears to be an angel on the roof. When she gets a chance, she plans on checking it out. Corban is an angel, an angel that is blind. He's staying at the Gabriel School while he figures out what he is going to do, though he figures he can't do anything. His life is shaken up though once Moriah finds him. She's not going to just let him feel sorry for himself! She's ready to shake up his world!

Again, this is probably part of a series. Within just a few pages though the world that Ms Shinn is working with begins to take shape and come alive. Towns are mentioned as are social interactions. This story is written from the 1st person point of view, Moriah's. And once again, I quickly became engrossed with this story and wish it hadn't ended. I wanted more!

Meljean Brooks finishes this book with Ascension. Marc is a Guardian protecting communities in the northern Midwest . He's not sure what kind of evil is going through the community but vampires are dying and he needs to figure out who is doing it. He doesn't expect his ex-girlfriend and fellow Guardian, Radha to show up to help out. He doesn't need her help but she won't leave! Marc has never lost his feelings for Radha and is unsure how he's going to work this close to her without making her uncomfortable but first he had better figure out what happened in the past and make it right!

This is part of Ms Brooks Guardian series. Both these characters are minor characters in other stories but they had cried out for their own story. However, there are some interesting twists in this story that I've never seen before and soon Marc will be glad for Radha's help.

Each story is extremely unique and totally reflective of the author of it. If you haven't read the work of one, you will quickly get the feel of how they write and the worlds their characters reside in.

Seldom have I enjoyed a collection of shorter stories more. A point to remember though is these angels are not the harp playing sweet angels that most think of but they are hard core, sword welding fighting angels who can and will kill. Regardless of how hard these angels are, each story shows a softer side and a blooming romance.

This is a definite must have for any fan of any of these authors or follower of these series. A word of warning though, once you've read the other authors, you're going to want to read their books too so your budget may take a hard hit.

Excellent Superb Interesting I don't know if I can come up with enough words to describe this excellent book.

Book Blurb for Angels of Darkness

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.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 5.00