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Review: Angel Souls and Devil Hearts, Christopher Golden

This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series, Of Saints and Shadows (my review).

Vampires have been recognized world-wide as allies of humans thanks to video footage of the fight against Liam Mulkerrin and demons airing on the television.  Their instinctive distrust, however, is not easily set aside, and many humans still not only fear them but desire to place the blame for the world’s ills squarely at the feet of the vampires.  Meaghan Gallagher and her partner, Alexandra Nueva, are the two biggest advocates for vampire and human friendliness, but they’re fighting a losing battle as not even all vampires want to cooperate.  One such is Hannibal, who still wants to hunt.  When Mulkerrin returns and Hannibal attacks, the vampires find themselves fighting a war on all fronts and struggling to maintain their ideology in the face of fierce opposition.

As with the first book in this series, I enjoyed this book – I actually think I enjoyed it even more.  The politics of it, particularly in the beginning, were quite interesting, and as I already knew all the main characters, I found it much easier to get into it at the very start.  I also knew what to expect in terms of violence, which I found made it a lot easier to take.  I knew it was going to get bloody, and probably fast, so when it did, I had no problem with it.

In this part of the series, Meaghan Gallagher really takes the lead.  I do cringe a bit every time I see her name – it looks almost like my name, enough to throw me off, but obviously not too many other people out there are going to have this problem!  She was one of the main characters in the last book, but here she’s settled into her role as vampire and taken charge as the one who negotiates with the government and appears as the public face of the vampires.  With her is her partner and lover, Alexandra, who mainly provides her with support and love.  There are a few more couples in this book as well, so again it maintains the same level of graphic descriptions at times, though there was more fighting and less romance in this book.

What I really liked about this book was that it introduced some different and interesting characters.  Golden uses a bunch of characters from history in different ways.  Sometimes I don’t really like this, but for some reason here it worked.  We have Buffalo Bill, we have Charlemagne, and we have another character I won’t name because I don’t want to spoil it.  Charlemagne doesn’t pop up until a bit later in the book either, but it was pretty obvious who it was, so I won’t consider that a spoiler.  They’re vampires, which means they’ve had an opportunity to change with the times and I can excuse their irregularities to some extent.  The new characters added something, I thought.

Overall this was another good, action-packed installment of the series.  It’s definitely perfect for those who enjoy fantasy and don’t mind a large number of battles – this series seems like the fantastical equivalent of Bernard Cornwell’s books, with stronger women.  So, if you enjoy that sort of book, you shouldn’t miss Angel Souls and Devil Hearts.

I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for free from the publisher for review.

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1 comment to Review: Angel Souls and Devil Hearts, Christopher Golden

  • If you like this book, there is an older series out there that I think you might enjoy. The first book is called Anno Dracula, and it is basically about an alternate universe where vampires are the same social equivalent as humans. The books deal with an alternate history, where famous historical figures come into contact and mix with the vampires. The first book deals with Jack the Ripper and the possibility that he may be killing vampires. They are really good books, and I had a lot of fun with them. There are three in the series, and they are written by Kim Newman.