The always excellent Showalter spins off a new series that remains in her alternate reality, but features a band of angels on the verge of falling from grace. Icy Zacharel has been featured in the Lord of the Underworld novels, so it is fitting that his story is the launch book for this new Angels of the Dark series. The characters are complex and edge toward the darker shades of gray. Showalter delivers yet again!
The Deity has decided that angel Zacharel’s “severe detachment from emotion” is causing him to create too much collateral damage in the war with demons. As punishment, Zacharel is charged with leading a band of rebellious and tortured angels and making them into an army that respects human life. If they fail, they will be stripped of their wings. Annabelle Miller has spent years in an institution for the criminally insane, because she is accused of viciously murdering her parents. Although Annabelle has been marked and tracked by demons, she is innocent of the crime. But Annabelle’s constant torture by visiting demons is interrupted when Zacharel arrives. Why has Annabelle been targeted? As he gets to know this gutsy young woman, Zacharel’s frozen heart could be melting for the very first time. (HQN, Jul., 412 pp., $7.99)