Angel Arias is filled with action, much more so than in the previous book. While Burn Bright concentrates a lot on the world-building and getting readers familiar with the creatures and gangs, these things are already established in Angel Arias and so we're really able to begin a thrilling adventure. The characters are constantly on the move, escaping killer rebels, hungry blood hounds and torturous wardens. Grave is a place riddled with evil, where the Elders may not be looking out for the best interests of their people like they say they are. You'll get a good dose of mystery in this novel - I dare you to guess what will happen! With Marianne, anything is possible, and isn't that exciting?
The characters in Burn Bright seemed untouchable with their strange language, quirks and behaviours, but in this novel they develop some more human-like qualities and become characters to which we can relate. Naif becomes a leader, making difficult decisions and keeping her team together in hard times. I really loved her because she was so different to the way she was at first - introverted, naive and somewhat helpless. We also meet some new characters, including deformed children who had a faulty transformation from human to Night Creature. Liam, a boy with Night Creature limbs, plays a big part in Naif and Markes' survival and is actually one of my favourite characters!
If we want to talk about the romance, I am still completely undecided about which couple to ship, or even which couple will actually form! On one hand, Lenoir truly cares about Naif, even though she's a "mere human" compared to his Riper self. His followers question where his loyalties lie but nevertheless, he continues to support and guide Naif using their psychic connection, formed by the bond made when he saved her life. On the other hand, the handsome musician, Markes, shows an interest in Naif, which she finds herself reciprocating. At times, the romantic tension between them builds intensely before reality hits and Naif begins feeling guilty. She cares deeply about Renoir and Markes was betrothed to Emilia, another character I'm a fan of, before he ran away to Ixion. What's she to do?
Angel Arias is an electrifying novel with great world-building, characters and plot. I found it to be much more exciting that the first and it completely exceeded my expectations! You won't be able to put the book down because something important is always happening and it is a fantastic continuation of a truly unique series. I cannot wait to read Blaze Dark to see what will happen next! Marianne loves her cliffhangers and is determined to torture us until next year...
Another beautiful cover, right? Which couple are you rooting for?