First in the Thorn St. Croix Series.
Buying it I was scared that this was going to be similar to Sharon Shinn's Samaria series (which I stopped reading after Book 2. I understood that the god they thought was god was a computer and that there was a god beyond that god, but the entire logistics of it was strange. A society that was God-fearing, suddenly introduced to modern science which to a medieval mind feels like God's miracles... but enough about that.) A few pages into it, I revised my opinion and thought it had the feel of Lilith St. Crowe's Dante Valentine series, such that mages (neomages in this book) were regulated and forced to wear bands with a GPS tightly monitored by the seraphs. But others are less tolerated in Faith Hunter's book than they are in St. Crowe's version. At somepoint, it also reminded me of Robin D. Owen's HeartMate especially since T'Ash, the lead male of the book is also a stone working/jeweler mage like Thorn St. Croix.
The POV in this book is a bit strange, shifting from first person perspective to third perspective when the heroine wasn't in the scene. Strange, I understood it was to keep the characeter blind, and the reader, more aware, but it was a bit disconcerting. If the author was going for the reader knowing all aspects of the story, then a third person all throughout would have been more consistent... But if it works for her...
Thorn is a neomage hiding in plain sight, in the middle of humans. While she's trying to remain inconspicuous, her ex-husband Lucas gets kidnapped. Suddenly everyone in her ex-husband's family is in danger, and she has to find a link between what Lucas was doing and the appearance of dark creatures. She has to do this, while keeping the higher ups away from her city, so she won't get discovered and sent to punishment by death.
As for story line... for me it had more politics than I want in my paranormal romances. Sometimes politics is good sometimes, it's just plain boring (or maybe it's because I picked this up hoping for a romance)... anyway... The mystery part, is intriguing. A lot of questions on a lot of coincidences popping up, and no close to solving it 3/4 of the way through.
As for romance, it doesn't deliver it (which leads me to a bang in the head, why the HELL is it classified as a romance if it doesn't have any? I wouldn't have procastinated with this had I known that because I would have known that I should stay away until I had TIME). There's a healthy dose of attraction, but nothing beyond that since it's that type of forbidden can't be together type of love. I was really sad that Thaddeus couldn't possibly end up in more books, which probably puts off reading the next few books for me for later. Although I'm hoping Raziel might be present for some more books in the future.
World building though, that is great. The setting is in a post-apocalyptic ice age. (After the angels came down and set the plagues upon the earth starting in Paris). There is no technology unless you recycle and recycle and religion and government is bound together as one. The otherworld includes mages, seraphs and dragons, but are kept away from humans for their own good. And god has declared that mages don't have souls. Similar to Shinn it deals with religious figures, unlike Shinn, she really does quote Bible verses and the like and uses it in some incantations. Mages are called prime-unforseen (unforseen by the prophesies) and a child, a halfbreed born of a mage and a human was called a second-unforseen. There'r kylins (sp?) too, which are children half seraph and half human. But inter-species relationships have been banned for some time now.
Finally, the book cover art. The angels are nice. But really, in this book the seraphs only appeared really late (chapter 18) and they aren't the story's protagonist. When I see a cover like that, you'd think epic battles. It wasn't not really. It was more urban fantasy or maybe dark fantasy. (SOmething I should never read for procrastination because I end up reading the entire series and forget about studying). Maybe it would work for book 2, but certainly not in book 1. I have to admit though, the covers get better looking seraphs as it progresses. Look at book 3: Host and book 2: Seraphs in Amazon.com to see. But still, doesn't really reflect content. ALTHOUGH, I take it back. After finishing the entire thing, the Angel cover was all right and in context. Pretty late in the context of all things, but still all right.
All in all I'm excited to actually finish this and start on the next book, but am stopping for a while because I really really need to study. (I'm in Chapter 19)
Quote from the book:
Portents never helped. They offered only a single moment to catch a breath before I was trounced by whatever they foretold.
You are a stone in my river of eternity.http://faithhunter.net/