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Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series, Book 2

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 09574 8

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, May 2010

WARNING: Possible spoilers for Angels’ Blood.

Elena Devereaux, the best Guild Hunter there is, has survived the biggest job of her life, but only just. She’s been irrevocably changed, and not only because she’s in love with an Archangel. Can Elena adjust to her new life, or even survive it?

This is quite a different book to Angels’ Blood – the first book focussed mainly on the Guild and the hunting aspect which made Elena come across as such a strong character. The second novel is less action-oriented, although the element of mystery is still present. Fortunately, Singh’s writing stands up to the challenge of a more relationship-driven story, and while the “adult” elements still feel less natural than the rest of the scenes, they are not as obtrusive in this book than in Angels’ Blood.

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Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series, Book 1

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 09572 4

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, May 2010

I purchased overseas versions of Angels’ Blood and Archangel’s Kiss earlier this year after reading a Guild Hunter story in an anthology. I became so involved in the characters and world that I was delighted to be able to get more depth immediately. Gollancz has now published new versions of both books and I’m delighted to see the covers are far more elegant now than the original versions; new readers will be far more likely to pick these up and want to have them on their shelves.

Elena Devereux is a vampire hunter with a past that makes her better at her job than anyone else. In her world, vampires are made by Angels and owned by them until they fulfil their debt for being turned. Vampire hunters aren’t necessarily killers – more often than not they are simply retrieving vampires who have run away from their Angel masters. But Angels have bosses too. Elena finds herself on a job for one of the scariest of all, the Archangel Raphael. It’s not a regular job either, but one so dangerous that her chances of surviving are lower than ever before. And even if she does survive, will she still have lost her heart?

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James Norcliffe

Allen and Unwin (2009)

ISBN: 9781742371160

Reviewed by George Ivanoff, March 2010

Confined to the Great House along with other unwanted children, Michael longs for freedom. One day, an enigmatic stranger calling himself the loblolly boy offers him a chance for escape. The loblolly boy says he can teach Michael to fly, so that he can get over the wall that surrounds the Great House. But things don’t turn out quite like Michael expects. In order to fly, he needs to change places with the loblolly boy — in fact, he must become the loblolly boy. And at first he loves it — the exhilaration of flight, the freedom to go anywhere he wants and the ability to go unseen by all but a few ‘sensitives’. But he soon realises that there are disadvantages, not the least of which is an obsessive collector who wants to add a loblolly boy to his collection. It’s not long before the new loblolly boy is longing to get his old life back. The problem is how to do it.

The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe is an entrancing, exciting, unexpected read — a kids’ book that really does have the potential for much wider appeal. Although set in the modern world, it has a wondrous, magical fairy-tale ambience. And even though the story is quite simple, I never quite knew where it was going or how it would be resolved.

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