Justine Musk,
(Roc, 2005)

So many reviews of Bloodangel have focused on comparing author Justine 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 bestselling 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), followed by plenty more action. This book is fast-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.

by Jessica Lux-Baumann
1 July 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.