Book Review

DEATH'S ANGEL
by Heather Killough-Walden

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Sensuality: HOT

RT Rating

Killough-Walden’s Lost Angels series continues to pick up steam in this third outing featuring archangel and vampire Azrael. The bonds among the four archangels are strong and compelling, but what really makes this series fascinating are the motivations and machinations of its villains. The continued high-quality storytelling provided by Killough-Walden indicates she is a star on the rise.

As the Angel of Death, Azrael’s descent to Earth included the extra burden of vampirism. He has coped by building a loyal army of vampires, some of whom are bandmates in his mega-star rock group Valley of Shadow. It is at his brother Gabriel’s wedding to Juliette where Azrael is drawn to Juliette’s BFF and maid of honor, Sophie Bryce. Sophie is unawakened to her true nature as an archess and Azrael doesn’t want to spook her, so he decides takes it slow. As Sophie returns to school at Berkeley, Azrael makes plans to visit her. But several dark forces have their own agendas and they are determined to gain control of Sophie — and destroy Azrael. (SIGNET ECLIPSE, Jan., 368 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Jill M. Smith

Publisher: SIGNET ECLIPSE

Published: January 2013

Reader Rating

4.5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
(2 ratings)

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Azrael's Story

Submitted by Aisling McCann on January 10, 2013 - 1:57pm.

Death's Angel tells the love story of the archangel Azrael, former Angel of Death, and his recently discovered archess, the beautiful Sophie Bryce. I have read the previous books of the Lost Angel series and enjoyed them immensely, but this story raises the series to a new emotional level. Az and Sophie each carry scars that they try to ignore but which influence them throughout their lives. Sophie lost her parents as a small child and whenever she speaks of them or participates in the little rituals they shared, it's heartbreaking.

The prologue powerfully depicts the beginning of Azrael's suffering, 2,000 years earlier when the four favored first came down to earth. Az is changed like none of his brothers. Many of the souls he led away, as was his job as the Angel of Death, seem to have held a grudge against him and all of their ill will has cursed him and turned him into a vampire, a creature that never even existed before. Suddenly he is fighting to feed off Michael each night, ripping into his neck to make his own horrid agony go away. Azrael sees himself as a monster. He does eventually adjust to his life, and in the present day is the King of vampires, as well as the lead singer of a hugely popular rock band. His life has great power and great order, but very little genuine happiness.

It seems I could write for pages and still not do justice to the tricky but ultimately redeeming relationship between Az and Sophie. Theirs is a relationship that is both magical and gutsy-real. And passionate. Az and Sophie do make love like two people who have finally found each other; there is that urgency of touch between them, with some creative nibbling by Az. ;-) There is even more happening in this book besides Sophie and Az, but I don't want to spoil the story. Suffice it to say that the monsters get more colorful, and new allegiances are formed between both good and evil.

Heather Killough-Walden has delivered what I think is the best yet of the Lost Angels' series. Her universes have gotten more complicated and trails can now be located where there seemed to be no connections before. I found myself empathizing even with the villains at times, but that is common in her books. There are never strictly bad or strictly good beings. Don't be surprised if you set it down and then start it again.