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I Belong


Review: Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover

Title: Darker Angels

Author: M.L.N. Hanover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: The Black Sun’s Daughter (Book 2)

Publication Date: September 29, 2009

Format: Paperback, 360 Pages

ISBN-10: 1416576770 (Pocket Books)

ISBN-13: 978-1416576778 (Pocket Books)

Reviewed by: Rachael

Synopsis:

In the battle between good and evil, there’s no such thing as a fair fight.

When Jayné Heller’s uncle Eric died, she inherited a fortune beyond all her expectations — and a dangerous mission in a world she never knew existed. Reining in demons and supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has vast resources and loyal allies to rely on. She’ll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who’s taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic.

Working alongside Karen Black, a highly confident and enigmatic ex-FBI agent, Jayné races to track down the demon’s next intended host. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems. When shocking secrets come to light, and jealousy and betrayal turn trusted friends into adversaries, Jayné will soon come face-to-face with an enemy that knows her all too well, and won’t rest until it has destroyed everything she loves most….

Quick & Dirty: A griping story with hard-core action and suspense to keep you entertained.

Opening Sentence: “How long has this been going on?”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Darker Angels is the second installment in M.L.N. Hanover’s, The Black Sun’s Daughter series. I was a bit apprehensive when I began reading Darker Angels, because I was unsure what to expect. The first book, Unclean Spirits had me frustrated during the slow beginning but eventually redeemed itself in the end. I was hoping that Darker Angels would carry over the feeling and intrigue that I felt in the second half of Unclean Spirits.

Darker Angels has the same set of characters with the exception of Midian, whom I loved and missed in this installment. Jayne, Aubrey, Chogyi Jake and Ex have been traveling the world to catalog all of Eric’s proprieties and the magical resources they find. Jayne receives a call from former FBI agent, Karen Black, and the team all race across the world to New Orleans to help her out. We get a little more background information on some of the individual characters throughout the book and I began to feel more invested in them individually as opposed to the detachment that I felt in the first book. Jayne still struggles with the direction her life has taken and she especially struggles with leadership and trusting her instincts after she meets Karen Black. The relationship between Jayne and Aubrey is still hard to see and understand, while at the same time I can plainly see that Ex has feelings for her and personally I think that match would work out better than the thing with Aubrey. Jayne and the team itself have some obstacles to overcome on the journey to solving the problem they are faced with in New Orleans.

I absolutely loved the setting of New Orleans as the backdrop. Hanover used vivid descriptions of the city that really helped to pull me into the book. He uses the physical and emotional damage that Hurricane Katrina caused as a major component to the plotline. The connection of the riders to the city and particularly Voodoo is interesting and helps create a believable back-story.

I once again had a hard time staying interested in the beginning half of the book. There was action from the start but I think it was the setting up of the plot and reasoning behind everything that slowed down the pace for me. Once I got past that, I was hooked. There was more hard core fighting that was better described and detailed therefore making it easier to follow along with instead of the lost feeling I had at the end of some fights in Unclean Spirits. Darker Angels has several plot twists that I never saw coming and kept me guessing until the end. There was also a lot more detail and explanation on the “bad guys” and it was introduced that not all riders have to be wholly evil and that some serve a different purpose.

I was much more impressed with Darker Angels than I was with Unclean Spirits. The details of the world were expressed in a clearer manner and the characters were more developed and this helped with the overall flow and understanding. I am glad that I have the third book Vicious Grace sitting on the shelf waiting on me and I have high hopes that Hanover can maintain the momentum gained in Darker Angels.

Notable Scene:

Amelie came forward, leaning on her cane. Her drooping face was ashen and sour. The air around her seemed to crackle with power that her body alone couldn’t begin to justify. Her eyes shifted from me to Aubrey, from Aubrey to Chogyi Jake, from Chogyi Jake back to me with the intensity of a predator sizing up prey.

I felt the subtle shift in my body that I’d come to associate with the onset of violence. When Amelie spoke, her voice was Legba’s; deeper than a human throat could fashion, rich with threat and power.

“What the hell you think you doing in my city?”

I wanted to swing forward, to fight my way free, pulling Aubrey and Chogyi Jake along with me. My body almost vibrated with the need to strike, to scream. I forced myself to speak like I was using someone else’s mouth to do it.

“Carrefour tricked me,” I said. “I’ve come to you. I need help.”

These were demons. They were predators: tigers, wolves, sharks. I looked into Amelie Glapion’s eyes, and something else looked back at me. Something inhuman. Someone made a sound that was neither word nor whimper. I risked a glance. Daria Glapion, her face frozen with anxiety, held her sister’s hand.

“Well now,” Amelie said. “that’s more like it.”

The woman turned away, and the movement broke. The air itself seemed to slump back. Aubrey touched my shoulder, and I started. Around us, the cultists were starting to move. At the head of the stone steps that led down to Jackson Square, Amelie Glapion stopped and turned, looking over her shoulder at us.

“You waiting for something?” she asked. “Come on.”

The Black Sun’s Daughter Series:

1. Unclean Spirits

2. Darker Angels

3. Vicious Grace

4. Killing Rites

FTC Advisory: Pocket Books provided me with a copy of Darker Angels.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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2 Responses to “Review: Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover

  1. Doug KnipeNo Gravatar
    1

    Excellent review. I read the first book and it really didn’t grab me. Glad to see the view on the series is that it is improving.

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  2. RachaelNo Gravatar
    2

    Thanks Doug. It really does improve as the series moves along. The second book is better than the first and I just finished the third book, Vicious Grace and it was really good.

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