Author Topic: "BloodAngel" by Justine Musk  (Read 1746 times)

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"BloodAngel" by Justine Musk
« on: November 03, 2005, 09:14:16 AM »
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Roc
ISBN: 0451460529 See Front Cover

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.

Reviewed by R. J. Crowther Jr., San Diego CA