SINS OF THE ANGELS (Grigori Legacy #1)
by Linda Poitevin
RELEASE DATE: 27th September 2011
FORMAT: Paperback, 336 pages
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
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. (Goodreads)
SINS OF THE ANGELS is like a pilot to a TV show – it has all the right ingredients but takes too long to capture the viewer (or in this case the reader‘s) attention. You battle through and hope it gets better. There is enough to make the reader eager for the next book, but not in a way that is expected.
SINS OF THE ANGELS is part of the growing trend of books that have Angels and Demons as the new paranormal romance subject. The author has managed to build a pretty intricate world, which makes references to the well-known stories in the Christian Bible, and turn them into something fresh. It means even if you’re not that familiar, or have forgotten the details, you don’t have to go and carry out research to see where the inspiration comes from.
Most of the book is taken up with building the sexual attraction between Alex and Aramael. Alex is a descendant from a Nephilim, the offspring of a Grigori, (who were appointed by The One or God as we know them as, to look after the first mortals) and a mortal. Aramael is a Power, an Angel who goes after the Fallen Angels. Together they try to solve one of the most important cases in Alex’s life, while Aramael is fighting growing feelings for Alex. This is a complication because Angels are not supposed to have any sort of feelings, especially for a descendant of Nephilim.
There is also a bit of a cat and mouse game between Caim and Aramael, which becomes rather repetitive. I know this may be to show how smart Caim is, but it becomes boring and prevents the plot from moving along.
It’s only due to the involvement of a fraud detective, along with the fact that Caim begins to lose his patience in making Aramael pay for sending him to limbo, that we see the pace pick up and we watch how Caim becomes unhinged, his need for vengeance over-taking the patience he has shown so far.
The book’s explosive conclusion gives the reader enough incentive to want to read the next book, if not for the loose threads then for the introduction of a character that appears in the beginning to be secondary, but as “Sins of the Angels” continues they become more important.
This character is named Seth and he appears to be a Power like Aramael, but we find out that he works outside most of the restrictions the Angels have to abide by. He is by far one of the most interesting characters in the book and his relationship and interaction with Alex is what ended up holding my attention.
Seth is the polar opposite to Aramael. While Aramael seems to want to build walls to keep out the feelings he has for Alex, Seth seems to embrace it. He’s more open with Alex and he gives Alex answers, making sure not to overstep any boundaries. His backstory is hinted at and one sentence near the end of the book opens a whole can of worms that I can’t wait to see the outcome.
I really liked Alex as a character. Her backstory is complex and you end up sympathising with her and her childhood. She is doing her utmost to try and not become like her mother, which shows how this affects her relationships with her sister and Aramael. Alex’s interactions with her sister and her niece, reveal a softer and more vulnerable side to Alex that other’s probably wouldn’t be privy too. She is trying her best to protect them from her fears that she is going down the same route as her mother but the reader knows she isn’t mad, but I can understand how Alex may think she is going down that road.
Now you may be wondering why I am mentioning Alex and Seth, but have yet to make any mention to Aramael, who is being set up as Alex’s happy ever after.
The reason why is very simple…
As a character, Aramael comes across as a typical, one-dimensional alpha male, who has his mind on the end goal. His constant, “I have feelings for this mortal, though I should not have feelings, but I cant… grr argh.” becomes really dull. He’s also constantly taking out his frustrations on Alex as if it’s her fault that she is a Nephilim.
What also bugged me was his inability to blend in, as a Power who has been chasing down Fallen for millennia, this seemed a little strange. He makes little attempt to appear to be a real cop, shooting down Alex’s explanation that this is how real police investigation works. It was a big failing that I couldn’t overlook.
The other character is a fraud detective, Christine, who appears throughout the book. Without giving any spoilers, because there is a twist that I saw coming, she comes across as a bit of a flake. I would have preferred to see a bit more development to her backstory as she seemed a bit of a means to an end or her main purpose was to cause the advancement of the plot.
The motivations of the main protagonist and their enemy to try and cause the apocalypse was really fresh and I couldn’t help but think there is even more to the tale. The fallout from this looks as though it could have some massive repercussions.
I have to mention how refreshing it is that the author stuck to the Urban Fantasy genre. I did begin to worry that it would verge into Paranormal Romance with the beginnings of a love triangle between Alex, Aramael and Seth. This may still happen in future books, but it was nice not to have the heroine falling head over heals for the alpha male just due to a particular bond.
For a first book SINS OF THE ANGELS was an above average attempt. The only things that let it down for me was the slow world building and unsympathetic alpha male. However, the ending did have me wanting to read more about the universe the author created.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
1. Sins of the Angels
2. Sins of the Son