Published January 25th, 2011 by Berkeley Sensation
Picture and Synopsis from Goodreads
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…
A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.
An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…
Time for an embarrassing confession. When I read the above synopsis, I think I might have actually squeed like a fangirl. Just for a minute, and that is something I have not done since I was quite firmly in my teen years. I had thought that kind of enthusiasm was past me, but I was wrong. I am so in love with this series that I just couldn’t contain myself. We have heard tales of Caliane for two previous books now, and the very thought of her started to give me shivers of dread. I was so excited that she was going to be involved in this one. And more or less it was a satisfying book but not quite as spectacular as I had anticipated or hoped. Let us begin with the disappointments.
Disappointment One: As much as the synopsis makes it sound like Caliane is a major part of the plot, she really isn’t. Now, granted, she manages to cause some apocalyptic bad weather and really put a cramp in angel’s flying style. And she appears to be responsible for some of the vampires having issues with being unable to control their blood cravings. Her increasing power is also responsible for causing some mood instabilities with the archangels, most pointedly Raphael. But Caliane herself is not actually present, just the looming threat of her. Yet, when we finally do see her, it was mostly in a totally sane and normal kind of way and it failed to live up to my expectations of her as the “monster to the monsters”. Maybe she gets more crazy later, but it definitely wasn’t in this book.
Disappointment Two: The synopsis makes it seem as though Caliane finds Elena to be a threat to Raphael and she intends to do something about it. Since she’s not really even conscious for most of the book I failed to see that. Even when she is somewhat conscious and able to influence things directly, her threat to Elena was minimal compared to other characters. Mostly I just felt let down. I wanted to see her present more of a threat to the characters and the plot and it just….didn’t.
Disappointment Three: The sex scenes in this book lost their spark. The last two books were steamy and sexy and awesome. This time it just seemed like a requirement. Is there a checklist somewhere for where they’ve had mad, passionate, rough sex? Air, got it. Bathroom, got it. Bedroom, got it. Maybe the local park will be next I don’t know. I just didn’t think there was much point to it and most of the time I found myself thinking, “Wait, why do they feel horny at this moment again? Oh right, they haven’t used enough possessive sentences toward each other yet this chapter so we much be possessive this way instead.” I just didn’t care as much this time.
However, I still enjoyed the book just not as much as the previous two. We learn much more about the seriously dysfunctional relationships with Elena and her father and with Raphael and his mother. This was interesting to me and I enjoyed learning this but really just made me wonder why we should care about these people? Why does Elena care about her father? Why does Raphael care about his mother? Because they’re “family”. No, family doesn’t try to kill you Raphael and family doesn’t abandon you Elena. But we did get a few teasers in there about Elena’s family and I am very anxious to find out more about that, hopefully we’ll address that in a later book.
I also liked the progression of Elena and Raphael’s relationship. They made a lot of progress toward not being completely dysfunctional and I liked that. Though I was frustrated with Elena a lot. Raphael knows this world honey and he’s trying to protect you and all you can do is stomp your feet about how you’re not going to allow it. Now a few times Raphael might have been a bit too protective and a tiny bit controlling but he is trying to keep her alive in spite of herself, and she has a history of being painfully unreasonable. So I’m on Raphael’s side on this one.
The twist of having Lijuan be using Caliane’s wakening as a cover for some bad stuff was really good. I enjoyed that a lot and didn’t suspect her at all. I thought someone might be using it as a cover, but my bet was on Neha. Having it be Lijuan was a twist that I didn’t see coming.
Overall the book was a good one and I am happy that I read it, but I enjoyed the previous two books much more than this one.