Saturday, February 26, 2011

If Angels Burn Review

If Angels Burn
by  Lynn Viehl

Back of book's blurb:


Dr. Alexandra Keller is Chicago's most brilliant reconstructive surgeon.


Michael Cyprien is New Orleans's most reclusive millionaire--and in desperate need of Dr. Keller's skills.


Beneath the foundation of a mansion in the heart of the Garden District, Alexandra will perform an illegal surgery. Her patient's disfigurement is beyond medical repair. But his body's ability to recuperate from his wounds borders on the miraculous.

Alexandra knows Michael Cyprien is no ordinary patient. Intrigued by how his remarkable physiology might benefit medical science, she is even more compelled by his presence--and the mystery surrounding him and his associates, a cadre of immortals who call themselves the Darkyn....

My review:

   I really didn't know what to expect with this one because I have only read one book of Lynn Viehl's, the science fiction novel Afterburn, under the pseudonym S.L. Veihl. It was a romantic science fiction and was very creative. When I found out she had a paranormal romance series, I decided to go ahead and see what I might be missing out on. I can say that I like how she put her scientific/medical approach to the vampire fiction genre and it's very orginal.

  Very different from most vampire paranormal romances, she suggests that the mythology of cursed immortals forever to roam the earth is really just an undiscovered disease. It's a hypothesis her character, Dr. Alexandra Keller comes up with when she survives her plastic surgery patient Michael Cyprien's thrall and rapture (or attack and share of immortal blood). Michael needed Alexandra for her super fast surgery skills because of his inhumanly high healing rate. So, he kidnaps her and forces her to perform the surgery.

  Upon revealing what she looks like and the surgery a success, he attacks her in a desperate need to feed. Miraculously she survives to everyone's bewilderment, as Darkyn's blood is extremely fatal to mortals. Darkyn are a remnant of the Templars of medieval times that rose from the dead. Somehow this all leads to the suggestion that their kind are struggling with an uncured disease. As Alexandra suffers the effects of her 'human death,' that she tries to keep in remission until she finds a cure, she tries desperately to keep herself from finding any warm feelings of her former captor and attacker Michael at the same time.

  I liked Alexandra's strong personality and her humor, but at times I was kind of ticked off.  I just found her extremely annoying and childish, especially with her great big grudge against her priest brother John Keller, who somehow gets caught up in the mix for the opposing Brethren's (or vampire/Darkyn hunters) strategy to get a hold of her. I just wanted to shout, "GET OVER IT ALREADY!" For a doctor, she wasn't so mature.

  Michael wasn't so easy to fall for, either. Besides maybe being a billionaire, handsome seven-hundred-something years old vampire, there wasn't anything to have me easily swoon. He was very patient with Alexandra, even though he was just so pissed he couldn't thrall her or have her as a zombie slave like most other women in his control. I didn't find much past the master/fatherly personality he had.

Though this novel was meant to be a paranormal romance, from my understanding of it it was very dark and haunting. There were some sexual scenes but not short of being very traumatizing at the same time. There was even a short scenario where Father John Keller, Alex's brother, was nearly raped. It's not the warm fuzzy vampire novels out there, for sure. 

 But I definitely liked the change of pace and structure. It was filled with struggles of personal emotions, mental choices as well as physical battles. Plenty of twists in the story that have you taking double reads over towards the end just to make sure you didn't miss anything. I'm already on the search for the second of this series.

If you're not the faint of heart, like a little creepy darkness on the edge of horror with your paranormal romance, then get this book!

Book Details:
ISBN: 0-451-21477-3
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Pages: 304
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Point of View: Third person
Series / Stand Alone: 1st in Darkyn series

Purchase information: Amazon

**This book listed on my book shelf on PaperbackSwap if you're interested in reading.**


Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

Nice review! I have had this one on my shelf for a year now, I may get to it one day..

Amanda said...

I just started reading this series. I stared with the 3rd book because I wasn't aware that it was an entire series when I got it from a used book store.

I liked Dark Need, so I started reading backwards (the first book hasn't arrived yet, but Private Demon is here.) Anyway, your review is great! I am not a Dr. Keller fan. She seems so childish and annoying and very rude. The Darkyn obviously have a very honorable, feudal way of life and show considerable amounts of respect to their superiors and she just bypasses that because she doesn't agree with it.

I understand she is a "modern" woman, but she should show some type of respect for their way of life. If not for herself, at least for Michael who can be punished for not doing so. I'll still check it out, however, after your reading your take on it :)