Review Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

HaloOftheDamnedFINALCover2ndpicTitle: Halo of the Damned
Author: Dina Rae
Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance, Horror
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publication Date: February 7th 2012
Author Website | Amazon | Author Blog | Book Trailer

A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship…
“Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement.
Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power.
Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy.
Both worlds collide.
Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

Halo of the Damned is intense, and not like what I expected at all, which is a good thing. When I heard ‘paranormal romance’ and ‘angels’, even with the words ‘dark’ and ‘horror’ added in, I immediately jumped to conclusions. I love paranormal romance, but I’ve seen all the clichés one too many times to enjoy them anymore. Halo of the Damned isn’t your typical paranormal romance. It doesn’t throw around clichés, instead it works with them and features them in a new spotlight.

The story starts out with one of the bad guys, Andel, and what an amazing start it is. I immediately fell in love with this villain, although he is, without a doubt, eviler than most of the villains you see nowadays. I liked him because there was a certain dark passion behind his motives, and a surprising amount of originality. The author wasn’t scared to shy away from violence and some gory scenes, but I personally didn’t mind. I see how some people could find it disturbing, but it is horror. While I usually tend to prefer my horror more of the psychological kind, this book offered more than enough balance between blood and gore and psychological horror to be entertaining.

On the side of the good guys, we have Joanna and Kim. While I wasn’t particularly fond of them at first, they grew on me as characters. The most intriguing part behind the story is the brainwashing though, and the cult doing these things, no matter how horrifying, because of something they believe in. The author clearly did her research, and it shows. I thought the scenes of the rituals were, although gruesome, very fascinating as well, and it shows us the human pscyhe in a new shape and form. Even though there’s a romance storyline in this book, the book doesn’t depend heavily on it – it’s more of a side story.

I must applaud the author for bringing together a mix of genres that don’t always match well together: romance, horror, paranormal, mystery and thriller. This account of fallen angels is one of the most refreshing books I’ve read in a while in this particular genre. The book grabbed me from page one. It reads like a true pageturner, and kept me up till late in the night to finish reading. If you’re a fan of dark paranormal romance and/or horror, Halo of the Damned needs to be on your TBR list. Right now.