Wicked Nights is the first book I’ve read by Gena Showalter. I know, I know, I can almost hear the gasps. I’ve heard a lot of great things about her other series, Lords of the Underworld, so I dived into this one since it is the most recent book. I was happy to discover that it reads as a standalone book. I do have mixed feelings about this first book in her new series.
This one is a definite romance, with a story that centers on the hero and the heroine in a setting, with demons and bad-ass angels. We meet Annabelle who is in a mental institution being tormented by demons that only she is privy to. In comes Zacharel, leading an army of once rogue angels to abolish the demons, but he also meets Annabelle, and, you guessed it, saves her and falls in love. There is a natural progression in which those feelings manifest and build for each of them which I enjoyed.
Zacharel is this cold, robotic angel who hasn’t felt any emotion in centuries. I like that Annabelle was the one to help him melt, but as I mentioned it was just too quick for me. Showalter does a great job in her characterizations. I really disliked Zacharel and his inability to show emotions, even though he was feeling them. His physically awkward interactions with Annabelle were endearing and sometimes funny. He did have a great character arch, and by the end of the book I had fallen for him too!
Annabelle is typical in her snarkiness and tough girl attitude. She is an abused soul, and Showalter really explores those aspects about her character. The reader is able to understand and empathize with Annabelle and what she has been through. I could have done without some of the snarky comments during what I thought should have been poignant moments between Annabelle and Zacharel. Some of the dialogue was unnatural because of this.
The angel world is different than any of the other angel books I’ve read, and Showalter explains it enough for me to understand it. The prose was decent, but I did see a variance when reading about gore and rape, and then later, seeing oddly placed vague expressions like “her bottom” and “his length”.
I found the plot solid, but the world building spotty. I suspect this is because I don’t have the net of information from the other series to fall back on. There is a confusing part, halfway through the book where we meet many characters that have no relevance except that they are from other books. Fans will be happy to see this set of characters. It’s a very confusing but brief chapter. This is very minor blip and wouldn’t impede a new reader from enjoying the overall book.
The secondary characters, especially Zacharel’s band of angels were intriguing to me but unfortunately underdeveloped. I guess that’s what other books in the series will be for. Koldo’s book is next, and he was intriguing enough for me to want to read the next installment.
There were a few parts in the book that were unbearably boring to me. It wasn’t until past the halfway mark that I wanted to come back to the book to finish it. The last third of the book is satisfying and action packed.
While this is very predictable, the conclusion is not. I was surprised by some of the revelations in the end, which I loved.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada