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Blood Angel

(Book #1 in the BloodAngel Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

In downtown Manhattan, a rising young painter is haunted by disturbing dreams...In small-town Minnesota, a teenage orphan struggles with a knowledge beyond his years-and a destiny he wants no part... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Works its way into your blood

Justine Musk's "BloodAngel" is a dark fantasy, yes. But it's not just a sugar-coated treat that dissolves on your tongue and is quickly forgotten; it's filled with images and themes that will linger long after you finish the book. This, in my mind, is what elevates it above many of the dark fantasy novels on the shelves. Most are filled with plenty of sex, violence and supernatural happenings--but don't have anything of real substance to say. The sex, violence and supernatural happenings are mere window dressing, meant to titillate. And granted, that's all some readers want. But again, there's a depth in "BloodAngel" that makes it much more satisfying, giving all these traditional titillations (and a few not-so-traditional ones) more meaning. You'll find blood pulsing throughout this book in all its literal and metaphorical forms (all the more satisfying, since this is NOT a vampire novel). Literal blood is here, for fans of the horrific. But Musk also explores concepts tied to this central image--blood oaths, blood lines, blood feuds, blood pacts, blood atonement. The plot revolves around Jess Shepard and, to a lesser degree, Ramsey. But in my mind, the most haunting character is Lucas, a man who embodies the human condition: wanting to do what is honorable and right, yet giving in to base desires, and refusing to pull himself out of his fallen state because he, on some level, feels he deserves to suffer. And even though the author creates a mix of so many disparate elements (everything from grunge rock to drug culture to ballet), she never lets it overpower the story or the message. Musk is an author in total control of her material. Her style is something to behold: her writing has a rhythm, a cadence, that adds to the story's sense of darkness and foreboding. In short, "BloodAngel" is a bloody good read.

Angels and demons with sex, drugs, and rock n' roll

So many reviews of Bloodangel have focused on comparing author Musk to other horror talents. I don't read the genre, so I am approaching this book as a work of fiction, without knowing whose words are echoed or which best-selling horror writer Musk can be best compared to. Bloodangel starts with a great hook, an opening scene full of sex, drugs, and blood (the rock n' roll is to come a little later!), which is followed by plenty more action. This book is faced-paced despite the fact that Musk has the challenge of filling the reader in on the centuries-old history and culture of the ancient sorcerer Summoners. The age-old story of the demons and the Summoners is rich with political strife, revenge, feuds, and battles to the death. The point-of-view in Bloodangel moves seamlessly between two people who are being awakened to their destiny: New York painter Jess Shepard, haunted by images and dreams that don't seem to be tied to tangible memories, and a Minnesotan foster kid, Ramsey Doe, who is the subject of Jess's dreams. Ramsey is a poet and music fan who has always known there is something different about him, about his lack of a past, about his power, but he's never been able to get a handle on it. The third point-of-view we see is that of heroin addict and slacker musician Lucas, who comes under the spell of beautiful demon-woman Asha and forms a new band (here's where the rock n' roll comes in, complete with a demon singer!) as he does her bidding. The lives of these three people gradually converge as the battle between angels and demons is brought to a head again in the modern day. Musk delivers vivid characterization of her human and otherworldly characters, delivering an action-packed apocalyptic story line full of self-discovery and empowerment. This was a thrill ride of a read, and it comes highly recommended.

Taut, original story-telling

No complaints here. These are NOT vampires - it's more reminiscent of the Gilgamesh story or "fallen angels versus demons".

BloodAngel Soars

Every few years a new voice rises from the cavern of horror fiction, and like a sandstorm blasts away the detritus of mimicry and convention. Justine Musk is that voice. Her new novel, BloodAngel, is a gripping tale of beauty, terror, and empowerment. Winged with a vision all her own, she rises above the many writers who have in past years ridden piggyback on the success of Lauryl K. Hamilton and the Buffy the Vampire franchise. Don't let BloodAngel's stylish cover fool you into thinking that this is just another Kim Harrison or Sherrilyn Kenyon novel. This is not another romance dressed up in Goth chic. Do pay attention to the cover blurb by Poppy Brite. BloodAngel is as strikingly original as Brite's "Lost Souls" and as wildly imaginative as the novels of China Mieville. Her characters are fully-fleshed and mesmerizing, you either fall in love with them or love hating them. The story starts and ends in the blasted desert, the Mojave wasteland held up as a mirror to the urban wasteland of modern day America-the drug culture, the cult of personality, the self-induced anesthesia of a drug-addicted youth culture. In the desert, everyone is looking for the next messiah. And the next messiah is coming in the form of Asha, a blonde femme fatale and literal devourer of hearts. Asha is, a refugee from the war between Heaven and Hell, and she has come to offer not redemption but judgement. The cast down goddess, rejected by her immortal family and degraded as a slave, has had centuries to nurse her rage. She seduces Lucas, a down and out heroin addict from a rock band that never made it, and replaces his addiction for the drug with addiction to her power. She has the voice of a fallen angel, an inhuman voice haunted with the sighs of the abyss, and the music she creates with Lucas possesses legions of fans-- legions that will become host to demons when Asha sings open the doorway to Hell. Enter Jess Shepard, a gifted painter from Manhattan, who has become obsessed with the image of a beautiful boy, a tragic Kouros that haunts her dreams. Her blood culls his image from the void between the worlds, the Dreamlines. Jess soon discovers that she is the descendent of the Summoners, a race of noble sorcerers with immortal blood in their veins. The boy, like Asha, is an angel in a human husk. He is Asha's ancient enemy, the only one with the power to stop the blood apocalypse. The war will be fought on Tantric grounds, the cosmic annihilation of the masculine joined to the feminine. From destruction comes creation, but if Asha gets her way, the new universe will be an inferno of fire and endless suffering. In Jess' quest to find the boy, she discovers her own power--the power of creation. Her guardian, Kai, who has secretly protected her from her youth, opens doors within her that lead to magic, ecstacy, and a forbidden love that transcends worlds both mortal and immortal.

will appeal to fans of Karen Koehler and Poppy Z. Brite

Painter Jessamy Shepard is having her first showing in a New York City art gallery and seven of her best pictures are of a fifteen-year-old boy that she never has seen; she believes she was inspired by her imagination. She is wrong as the boy in the painting does exist. He is the orphan Ramsey Doe who lives with his foster family in Dearmont, Minnesota. The time has come for both of them to know their destinies. Kai enters Jess's life quite abruptly and tells her how she is the descendant of one of the world's most powerful Summoners, beings who are the descendants of the mating between humans and angels. He is seven centuries old and has plenty of magic, the same kind that is locked within Jess that he will help her release so she can locate Ramsey who is hunted Bakat Akisa, an evil Summoner who escaped from prison after being locked away for five centuries. She wants revenge, she wants the world to burn and become a hell-world where she and the demons she lets loose will rule and she needs Ramsey to make that happen because hidden inside him is a being who can open the realms of the Dreamlines and let the demons come to earth. Kai and Jess intend to stop her or die trying. Justine Musk is a great new writer on the horror scene and will appeal to fans of Karen Koehler and Poppy Z. Brite. The characters, especially the Summoners, have an interesting perspective on life as they have walked the earth for centuries. The history and culture of the Summoners is also fascinating and even Akisa elicits reader sympathy having been a sex slave at one time. It is hoped that there will be future books featuring the Summoners. Harriet Klausner
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