Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark #1) – Engaging, and great world building!
Even for a PNR, I have to give Gena Showalter credit. The story overall is solid and engaging from beginning to end.
The main characters here are Zacharel, ruthless angel and leader of the most fiercest army of the heavens, and Annabelle Miller, a once ordinary girl who has been institutionalized for the past four years after being accused of her parents’ grizzly murder. Of course she is innocent, having been tagged by a demon who has plagued her constantly since that fateful day, but who’ll believe in monsters? Luck for her Zacharel knows the deal, and helping her may be his last chance at redemption lest he lose his wings forever.
This is the first book in the spin-off of the Lords of the Underworld series. Admittedly I have not yet read those novels, but this book seems to stand on its own just fine. The world building is great and the development of the pair is well done, making it easy to root for them. Zacharel is the epitome of arrogant and self-absorbed. He is a fierce fighter, but seeing as the only love he’s ever known was in the platonic sense towards his brother, his growing feelings for Annabelle present new territory to him.
It feels like young love at times which is something I don’t see all that often in PNR, so it was a little refreshing. Their awkward moments and banter are entertaining, but there’s also a fair amount of action to keep the book from being overly sappy. Annabelle doesn’t want to be a damsel or a victim, so I found her to be admirable at times.
One of my favorite aspects was reading about the angels’ typical living quarters. The can live on the ground, but they can also live in the clouds, literally, and I felt like Showalter put this to good use. I enjoyed the scenes there just to see what she could cook up.
The final villain came as no surprise to me, and neither did the ending of the book. But I wasn’t really anticipating too many crazy twists. You don’t always need that for a good read.
I like the writing, so I think I will continue to follow this series as well as eventually read her Lords of the Underworld series in due time. Perhaps in 2013. I don’t know if this is the right book for every PNR fan since it isn’t too heavy on the sexual content (with a few tweaks this could probably be classified as Urban Fantasy), but as someone to generally prefers UF to PNF, it worked for me.