Thursday, April 24, 2014

Angel Kin (Angel Assassins #1) by Tricia Skinner

Katie Logan breaks into a home in order to steal enough to pay off the vampires who demand payment for protection.  In the process, she gets more than she bargained for when she witnesses a murder. Katie cannot go to the cops because she has no way to explain how she managed to witness the murder without incriminating herself. For her own protection, Katie's brother sends her to the Bound for protection.  The Bound are a group of assassin nephilim, who work to protect the innocent. Katie quickly finds herself caught in a sibling rivalry between the bound Cain and his vengeful brother Abel of biblical proportions.  In this battle of brothers, Katie has to worry about losing her life and her heart.

There is nothing to distinguish Angel Kin from anything else in the paranormal romance genre.  It's the typical boy and girl meet and don't like each other but are forced together through circumstance and then fall in  insta -love. Angel Kin might as well have been written by the numbers as far as I am concerned.  I will however admit that I do like the idea of assassin nephilim. Cain tells Katie that he is a killer repeatedly and even admits to taking out a vampire mob. He is even physically aggressive with her in parts of the story but Katie is of course is overcome by his attractiveness and suffering.

What would a paranormal romance be without angst?  Every single emotion is absolutely over wrought.  I think coming face to face with a brother one thought was long dead would make anyone upset but no character experiences even a small emotional even keel for the entirety of the book.  Everything is the end of the world but somehow, though  Cain and Katie are the run for their lives against dangerous forces, they have time to have sex. What else would you do when a dangerous assassin is trying to kill you and your family is in danger?  Skinner did have a moment of subversion when she made Cain a virgin.  Normally when we see a gently used protagonist, it's the woman.  This is where the subversion ends because Cain, who has never had sex before, turns out to be a good and attentive lover.  Really?  Does Skinner even remember her first time?  It's awkward and passable at best and no one is an awesome lover their first time, even a nephilim.

Cain is also extremely over protective and constantly reminding Katie how much larger than her he is.  He is further quick to claim her as his.  So much so, that after their first kiss, Cain thinks, "Whoever had taught her how to kiss best remain a mystery. He would soon be in enough trouble with Tanis without needing to explain why some guy's lips were pinned to the dashboard of the Stronghold."  Keep in mind that at this time, Cain has known Katie for a New York minute but is already jealous of any other man she has kissed.  Um yeah, that is a run away screaming situation and is certainly not romantic. 

Along with the angst, there is the purple prose to consider.  With lines like, "His body was as exotic as an undiscovered tropical island," and "Katie. Her name rolled out of Cain's mouth like a divine mix of resistance and submission," I think Barney would be a little jealous. Further, I couldn't help but wonder why we had to read about how super sexy Cain smelled constantly? We get it already.  

There was very little inclusion in this story.  At the very end of Angel Kin, we are told that Rainia is a bisexual werewolf.  Beyond being a member of the same band as Katie and being her best friend, we learn nothing about her.  I would be surprised if Rainia's inclusion in this book amounted to more than a paragraph or two.  Ione is Black and though we are told she is an unofficial member of the team, she has nothing to do with the story beyond playing wise negro sage to Katie, by explaining who the Bound are and what they do. Iona and Rainia read as inserts in a desperate attempt to avoid accusations of erasure.

The best thing that I can say about Angel Kin, is that at 180 pages, it's short.  Angel Kin is absolutely forgettable at best and not even worth whiling away a lazy afternoon reading.  There are countless books in this genre that read exactly like Angel Kin because Skinner did nothing in her story to differentiate it.  The purple prose moves Angel Kin from just being a meh book, to one that at moments induces eye rolling and scorn.

Editor's Note: A copy of this book was received from the publisher