Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

Book Description:

Can a love that transcends death survive a war between angels, vampires, and lycans?

An angel with immense power and insatiable desire, Adrian Mitchell leads an elite Special Ops unit of the seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen--angels who have become vampires--and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.

But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals--losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her: Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body that doesn’t remember him. This time he won't let her go.

With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson knows only that she can't help being fiercely attracted to the smoldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught between her angel lover, her vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There’s more at stake than her love and her life--she could lose her very soul...


I might be the only one that hadn't read Sylvia Day before, but I'm definitely glad that I had the chance to review this book from NetGalley. I liked the voice so much that I'm interested in reading from her backlist, including the historicals, something I feel will add a freshness to my reading lists. She writes very solid characters with a great deal of thought to backstory and development, each being based in a detailed and complex world that I found to be unique and original.

After looking back on my notes I was reminded of the very complex mythology that mixed the ancient history of angels with a edgier, dangerous modern world. Before this book I wasn't exactly the biggest fan of angels or the Fallen, but in this case I enjoyed the combination of vampires and lycans being created as part of some cosmic angelic punishment, and the angels didn't seem typical to me. Adrian and his crew reminded me of Castiel from the television show Supernatural, born on the idea of obedience and lack of emotions, remaining separate from the humans they watch over and coping with an eternal struggle between duty and desire. It also helped that I wasn't getting any super religious overtones, something that doesn't work for me as part of a paranormal romance.

The relationship between Lindsay and Adrian was another strong point for the book. The depth of love and need that Adrian carries with him is almost frightening because I cannot ever imagine what that type of soul deep dependency feels like. My thoughts were conflicted as I tried to make sense of how this relationship would work. We are all capable of such feelings but love shouldn't consume, as Adrian's did at the beginning of this story, and it's hard to comprehend how he even survives Shadoe's cycle of death and reincarnation. It is his evolution and growth that makes this a journey worth reading about, especially when the truth was revealed and decisions could be made based on free will, not some misguided loyalty to the past. It's also worth noting that the sexual tension was a tangible thing, carnal and raw...primitive.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines:

"Does she truly bring you solace?"
"Solace and torment, pleasure and pain. All of it in the extreme. It is sublime and it is hell, and I need it to exist. I need her."~ Adrian talking to a fellow Sentinel

"Don't worry, neshama. Nothing can stop me from finishing what we started today."
"Are you ever going to tell me what you're calling me?"
"Ask me again," he purred, "the next time I'm inside you."~Adrian to Lindsay


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