Review: Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark #1)
June 26 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Zacharel
Kick Ass Chick – Annabelle Miller
From Goodreads –
Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless–and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost…until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never known before.Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation–or her ultimate damnation?
Wicked Nights is the first book in the Angels of the Dark series, a new saga by the amazing Gena Showalter. I swear, this woman writes 37 books per year. And they are good! The Angels of the Dark series is sort of a spin-off from her Lords of the Underworld series…but not quite. In the last few books, as well as in a novella or two, we who read the Lords of the Underworld books have had the pleasure of meeting the angel warriors. Man, these are some cold but sexy s.o.bs. Well, the angels are the stars of the new series, er…hence the name of the series being Angels of the Dark. (Way to state the obvious Julie…)
Zacharel is the hero in this first book and boy did I ever like him. He’s so distant from everyone and everything around him. His soul purpose, as he sees it, is to kill demons. Whether a human is in the way or not, he’s going to get that demon and send it back to where it came from. The thing is his Deity doesn’t really like the way Zacharel is killing humans without a sniff of remorse. And Zacharel doesn’t see a problem because to him, he’s doing his job and who cares if one or seventy humans get slain. You see the problem here? So Zacharel is punished, being forced to lead an army of ‘heavenly misfits’. He has one year to show that his army can do more good than bad or they will be forced to fall.
He takes his new role seriously because he doesn’t want to fall, but he’s still not completely convinced he deserves his punishment. Humans are pretty lame after all. And he keeps thinking this…until he meets Annabelle.
Annabelle was accused of murdering her parents four years ago and was placed in an institution for the criminally insane. She was placed there because she claimed a monster killed her parents and not her. Of course, in reality, she was right – but who would believe her. So she was marked as crazy and sent to where they thought she belonged. She has suffered tremendously over the past four years. Doctors taking advantage of patients too drugged up to do anything to stop their twisted ideas, her brother pretty much disowning her, her boyfriend leaving her… As I said, she has had a crap time. Demons also keep visiting her where she is and that’s how Zacharel meest her: he’s sent with his army to rid the place of its demons. Literally.
Of course there is much more to the story but that’s all I’m going to tell you. Okay, I’ll tell you one more little thing: there is a twist of sorts at the end, a reveal let’s say, that will have your jaw hitting the floor. Holy jumpin’ I didn’t see that coming. At all. Gena done good with that one.
Let’s talk characters now. I loved Zacharel. I love it when a paranormal character is cold and unfeeling and you witness cracks forming in his tough exterior as he falls in love, a little bit at a time until he is just all warm and awesome. What I love about how Gena does this is that you don’t completely lose Zacharel. He’s still harsh and totally himself once he falls for Annabelle but with a soft spot he reserves just for her. Not used to touch or compassion for himself, what Annabelle offers him is completely foreign. I just loved his journey and his transformation in this book.
Annabelle… I didn’t dislike her but there was a little something that didn’t quite click with me. She’s just too darned chirpy for someone who has gone through everything she’s gone through. I understand that it’s to show us that her spirit is not broken from all the crap but it’s too much. If just once or twice she broke down or something. Anything. It would have made her more real for me and I think that would have made all of the difference. I did like how she is with Zacharel and how she kids with him and makes him squirm. She is a great match for him and they do make a solid couple. I assume we will see more of her in future books and I am looking forward to that. I liked her snark; I just found sometimes it was a bit strangely placed.
We meet most of the other angels in Zachael’s army and what a great cast of characters. Koldo, Jamila, Axel, Thane, Xerxes, Bjorn…I can’t wait to read about each and every one of them. Koldo’s book, Beauty Awakened, is up next and is due out early-mid 2013. I do feel that Thane is the character most will feel drawn too and his book is the book I really want to read.
The sex is done a little differently in this book than in Gena’s Lords books. Don’t worry, it’s there, but it’s not as described as in the other series. More is left to the imagination, but you are guided in the right direction. It’s totally hot and really sexy and almost a little more sensual when written this way. And a hint: Zacharel is a virgin. An absolute and total virgin. *grin*
The angels live in clouds. I know, shocking right. But they are no ordinary clouds. They are super neato cool clouds! Ask as you shall receive, that is how these clouds work. I found this really neat. The robe the angels wear is neat too. I also liked how there are different types of angels and how the heavens is governed and divided. Basically, I liked how Gena wrote her angels. I liked them from the first time I met them in her Lords books and I find them even more interesting now that I have read a book only about her angels. Also, her demons are always a treat for those of you who like things a little creepy. And this book isn’t for the faint of heart either. A bit or gore here and there to add to the creepy but really, it makes us care for the characters all the more, to know what they have all endured and survived.
I know I’ve mentioned the Lords books a few times now but don’t worry if you don’t read them. You will still definitely enjoy this book and you will not feel lost in the least. But a little warning if you do read the Lords books but are not completely caught up (like me, who has yet to read the last book): there are a few things that will make you go “say what now?” and will make you want to go and pick up the book you need to read to see how all of this develops.
All in all, I really enjoyed Wicked Nights. I like Gena’s voice. It’s dark and original yet there’s lots of snark and heart thrown in. It suits this new series perfectly. Fans of Gena’s work will enjoy this one and newbies can use it as a way to finally discover the awesomeness that is Gena Showalter.
Giggle worthy quotes –
“Her head tilted to the side as she looked at him. ‘What?’
‘What do you mean, what?’
‘You’re frowning at me.’
‘I frown at everyone.’
‘Good to know.’”
“’Well?’ Annabelle prompted. ‘And don’t think I was complaining. Your wings are very pretty.’
Pretty? The word should not have offended him, but it did. They were magnificent, thank you.”
“’I want you to tell me you’ll let this go, Zacharel…whatever your last name is. Do you even have a last name?’
‘Come,’ he said, ignoring her boast, her demand and her question. He released her wrist, only to snake his arm around her waist and draw her closer.
‘Zacharel Come. That’s a terrible last name. I feel sorry for your wife, if you ever decide to marry.’”