Release Date: September 27, 2011
Series: #1 The Grigori Legacy
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…
Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell.
Aramael is a Power--a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.
Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.
Alex was silent for so long he thought she wouldn't answer; swallowed so often he found himself watching the movement of her slender throat in fascination. Then her shoulders lifted in a quick shrug. The shrug of a child trying to pretend that life had no impact on her; of an adult denying the child had ever existed.
Aramael waited. If she chose not to answer, he'd leave it alone, he told himself. He had his hands more than full already. He didn't need to take on the role of psychologist as well, and chances were he'd just foul things up further for her if he tried. His kind weren't well-known for their temperate approach.
I liked this book but didn't love it. I enjoy urban fantasy and I enjoy mysteries but this one never quite jelled with me. The female protagonist, Alex, is a homicide detective with a horrific trauma in her past that naturally ties into the ongoing murder investigation that is the focus of the book. The male protagonist, Aramael, is a Power, an angel who hunts Fallen Ones, fallen angels. The bad guy, Caim, is a fallen angel with a personal connection to Aramael. God is referred to as One by the angels, and oh, she's a woman. That worked for my feminist, slightly pagan, self. Poitevin takes Christian theology and angelic mythology and gives it her own spin. She has information on angels and what changes she made on her site for readers who are interested.
The book is marketed as an urban fantasy but Poitevein refers to it as a paranormal suspense, a phrase I like very much. Let's face it, a lot of urban fantasy books have a mystery or criminal investigation at the heart of their stories. There is also a romantic subplot whose effects reverberate throughout the story and into book two but it's not the main focus. The romance does use one of my least favorite tropes, that of soulmates, but Poitevin tweaks it, allows for free will, and destiny doesn't rule all. Speaking of free will, that's a concept that comes up again and again in the story and Poitevin actually makes Heaven seem, to me, not all that attractive. The angels, and Heaven, are highly bureauacratic, which seems hellish to me. :D
There are are a few cliches: the beautiful female detective whom our hero, well, heroine, dislikes and who makes poor choices and is portrayed as slightly slutty; the gruff boss, who can be a hard-ass but has a soft side; the homicide detective (Alex) who is smart and capable but also emotionally damaged and a loner.
I occasionally got annoyed with the interactions between Alex and Aramael - he's all arrogant and distant, and hates who and what she is; she's all annoyed and uppity, then they touch and there's instant electricity but they both back away, then one of them thaws and tries to be nice, but the other doesn't respond and they start all over again. It got old. But, Aramael is an angel, they don't act or feel the way we do and for most of the book, Alex doesn't know what Aramael is. That sets up some of the conflict.
What I really enjoyed were the glimpses into Heaven - the bureaucracy, the secrets, the plotting and planning, the relationships, etc. The investigation into the serial killings and the hunt for Caim, the Fallen One, was a little slow at times but it was humorous to watch Aramael, in his guise as detective Jacob Trent, try to actually be a detective. A ten year old who watches tv knows more than he does. Overall, it works. It's a decent start to a new series and I will definitely read the next one when it comes out.
I received an eARC from NetGalley and a paperback from the publisher.
Are you intrigued? Want to get your hands on it? Penguin has generously offered two copies to be given away. Read on for the details.