The Embrace of Life and Death

Liz Strange
The Embrace of Life and Death
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MLR Press
Release Date
June 2011
Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

Kieran is a hundred-and-twenty-year-old immortal, originally hailing from the harsh, famine-stricken life of 1880s Ireland. He has surpassed death and thrived, gaining wealth, power and knowledge. Azrael is the angel of death, but his mission is far from ominous. He is the protector of the grief-stricken, and the champion of lost souls. The two are polar opposites in mission and nature, yet are inexplicably drawn to one another.

The Supreme One sees all, and when he discovers the truth about the relationship he is enraged. Their commitment to be together must be stronger than his determination to keep them apart.

Book Review by Musingbookworm
Oct 07, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
109 people found the following review helpful
Can love between an Angel of Heaven and a Vampire really exist? Can one so pure care for one so depraved?

THE EMBRACE OF LIFE AND DEATH is a tale about love transcending all things. The Angel of Death, Azrael, falls in love with Kieran, a hundred and twenty year old vampire. The story follows their relationship as Azrael is torn between his need for Kieran and his dedication to his Lord. Add to this the Supreme One's dedication to keep the lovers apart and you should have an interesting tale.

I say should have, but for me this story did not work. In fact, I could not make myself finish the book. My attention wandered, and I became frustrated to the point of anger with the characters and in the end I had to give up.

The premise reminds me very much of Memnoch the Devil, but does not deliver on its promise. The pacing drags in some places and rushes in others, leaving the reader with little concept of time and space in the writer's world.

The story is written in the first person (Kieran's) point of view. Personally, I find that the first person style fails more times than it works and that was definitely my impression with this novel.

Also disappointing is the lack of explanation as to why Azrael falls in love with Kieran. The vampire's character is flawed in nearly every way but the angel loves him with a passion bordering on desperation. This dedication is never explained, the moment when Azrael finds some action, word or thought that allows him to overlook his lover's flaws remains hidden.
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