Author: Nalini Singh
Published: March 3, 2009 (Berkley)
Category: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Series: Guild Hunter #1
In a departure from her hugely successful Psy-Changeling series, Nalini Singh has created a new world in the one we know, where angels watch over humans from skyscrapers and create vampires regularly. I know, it sounds very very strange, but once I started reading, I was sucked into this odd version of New York City.
In the Guild Hunter series' world, angels are overseen by a Cadre of Ten archangels. Angels also have the ability to grant immortality to humans by turning them into vampires as long as the human is acceptable. After being turned, the new vampire must fulfill a 100-year service. Some vampires decide they don't need to honor the contract and jump ship; this is where Guild Hunters come into play. They don't hunt vampires in the traditional sense (i.e. staking them), rather they act as bounty hunters, returning the wayward vamps to their sires for a certain fee.
Elena, a natural born hunter (not one that learns how to hunt and develops the skills), is one of the best, and has been selected by Raphael, Archangel of New York City (he also oversees North America) for a super secret and super dangerous mission tracking an archangel gone rogue. Elena is attracted to Raphael, but they have a rocky start, where he keeps using his powers to suggest things inside her head. He, as an immortal, has lost a good bit of his humanity and it takes a stubborn hunter to bring it back. As I was reading, I agreed with Elena. Sure, Raphael is hot, but he might kill me, or drop me from the sky. But then he realized his fascination and attraction to her made him more human and gave him the ability to see the downturn of the Cadre's members.
I don't want to say much more because I don't want to give away the ending, but the next book in the series, Angels' Kiss is coming out in 2010 and it can't be soon enough for me! In fact, it is the continuation of Elena and Raphael's story, which is another new thing for Singh, as her books are usually standalone.