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    Review of RAZIEL by Kristina Douglas

    Pocket Books, January 2011

    Allie Watson was running late and interested in grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor. Getting hit by a bus and killed was not on the agenda. Nor was getting scooped up by a beautiful angel and delivered to her final destination. Yes, Raziel, the angel, is better looking than any male deserves to be, but really, Allie has better things to do than be dead. As for Raziel, delivering souls for their final rewards is a chore, but a chore that needs to be done if he doesn't want to provoke a war with Uriel, the archangel who never fell and who feels nothing but contempt for humans and those angels who fell because they couldn't let the humans die. Logic says Allie's fate is her problem, but when Raziel sees what's in store for her, he reflexively pulls her back... and into his own world.

    The world of the fallen angels is not a pleasant one. Allie doesn't like white, the color Raziel picks for her, isn't sure about the other angels (or Raziel), and has a hard time believing that she's dead. Raziel spends a lot of time listening for Lucifer, which is annoying when Allie wants him to spend his time listening to her, and outside the narrow safety of their home, the mad Nephilim test the wards and seek to destroy their ancient enemies--the fallen angels.

    Author Kristina Douglas mixes angel and vampire myths with blood-eating fallen angels, their canibalistic cousins, mysterious women whose blood can heal, and an indifferent god who has abandoned both his angels and his creation. It's an ambitious effort. Allie makes a sassy romantic heroine, torn from her ordinary life, resented by the fallen angels because her arrival means a break in the uneasy truce that protected them, and simultaneously self-absorbed and sympathetic. Raziel is the standard dark and powerful male, wrapped up in big-picture causes and unable to determine exactly why this female fascinates him.

    Making the romantic heroine dead is an interesting twist, particularly because one of Raziel's issues is that human wives age so quickly, leaving him alone once more. Could things be different with Allie, who is, after all, already dead and who, therefore, may not need to age? As far as we know, no dead human has ever been saved before, and I anticipated that Douglas would explore this. Instead, she seemed content to create a mash-up of black dagger brotherhood and Betsy, Queen of the Vampires. Frankly, I was hoping for a bit more. Still, Douglas is a competent wordsmith and RAZIEL drew me into the story, made me care about this band of fallen angels, and made me invest in the story.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/03/11

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