Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Review: Revelation by Erica Hayes

REVELATION (A Novel of the Seven Signs)
by Erica Hayes

PUBLISHER: Berkley US

RELEASE DATE: 14 February 2013

GENRE: Paranormal Romance

A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who's lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near future Manhattan ...

Blind faith is for fools.  That's what Dr Morgan Sterling believes.  And she's going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging here city's slums. She's certain it's not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease - until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.

Luniel is not just a fallen angel.  He's a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He's after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath that, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth. 

To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan's help, and her faith.  But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse - and if Luniel is true - he'll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to love or his soul to hell ...

My thoughts:

In an alternate - and somewhat futuristic - Manhattan, we meet the Tainted Host; a group of fallen angels who were cast out of Heaven by the Archangel Michael and who continue to carry out Heaven's bidding in the hope of redemption and a chance to return home. 

Naturally, we're talking hard-drinking, hard-loving, hard-slaying and hard-sinning fallen angels here (apart from Japheth who's trying way too hard to be way too pure). They're a group of bad boys - and women - all flawed and each with a story to share; someone for everyone.

I was excited to start reading this book, as I was interested to see how well the angel and zombie themes would merge together but I found the first few chapters heavy going and nearly gave up on a couple of occasions. 

There's a lot of swearing and in my opinion, it's completely unnecessary. It's obvious that the characters aren't pure, angelic types and it's also obvious there's a lot of banter between them so the swearing doesn't add anything, it just feels over-the-top and after the millionth time of a demon being referred to as a "hellshit", it was incredibly irritating. 

The chapter in which we're introduced to the Archangel Michael and his hedonistic lifestyle also felt too much; although I am looking forward to finding out why Michael is doing what he is doing and whether he will get his comeuppance at any point.

However, as the book progressed, I found myself easing into the story more and more. 

The characters are tried and tested types that we've all met before. 

Luniel is a man of faith who's terrified to get close to a human woman because he failed to protect the last woman he loved and he can't take any chance that the same thing will happen again. Dr Morgan Sterling is a woman of science who's terrified to put her trust in a man of God - let alone an Angel - after she saw how so-called religion stripped her mum of everything, including her life. They're immediately attracted to each other and we all know they'll have found their way to each other by the end of the book. That knowledge doesn't make you want to stop reading though - you want to see how the story will play out.

Talking of the plot, I really like the idea behind these novels. Basically, there are seven vials, each filled with God's Wrath,and each looked after by an Angelic guardian. It's not known what has happened to one of the guardians but another has been murdered and both of their vials have been emptied, releasing the first 2 "plagues" and beginning the countdown to the apocalypse. I wonder how the author will interpret the other 5 signs?

The main storyline obviously belongs to Luniel and Morgan. It's relatively strong and very fast-paced, even if it is slightly predictable. I mean, as soon as you hear about Luniel's past, you know that at some point he's going to have to go up against the demon prince that stole his last human lover's soul. They do have great sex though and it's well-written!

We also start to see the beginning of some of the other character's stories; particularly Jadzia's and her infatuation with the demon, Shax. I liked the fact that the book wove the start of these storylines in as I felt it gave the supporting characters more substance and the book felt like it was "more" than just a romance novel.

There were some descriptive passages that caught my attention, like this one:
She expected him to take the chair in the corner, but when she laid her head on the pillow he lighted on the dark wooden bed end, wings flaring. He crouched there on his toes, perfectly balanced, wrists crossed on his knees. His black hair tangled, windswept. His feathers twitched, black and silky, a golden spark or two dancing, and his deep blue gaze settled on her. 
And serious heart felt moments like this:
"Screw you okay?" Sweat trickled from Jae's hair, and he shook it away angrily. "If it's so damned simple, why don't you just flit back off to heaven whenever you f--"
"Because I'll never forgive myself!"
 Japheth's breath drained cold.
 "Okay?" Dash's dark eyes flamed scarlet with shame. "I can't forgive the things I've done, or the way I feel. I've drowned my soul in blood and screams, and it felt so fucking good that I deserve to burn in hell. Forever".
And there are enough loose ends left dangling to make you want to read the next books in the series and find out what will happen. 

One final gripe though, the dark-haired warrior with the blue flaming sword on the cover of the book is NOT Luniel. His hair isn't long enough, his breastplate should have buckled leather straps and those leather trousers are ill-fitting and quite appalling. Shame on whoever designed it for not paying enough attention to the author's writing!

Okay, so I know it probably sounds like I've mainly complained about it but I actually think this book will appeal to a lot of readers. Certainly, if you love paranormal romance, long-haired angst-ridden heroes, sizzling sex scenes and you fancy a change from vampires and werewolves, then this is one for you!

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