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Despite moving things on in the Unseen trilogy, Pocket Books have returned to a pre-Hero setting with the latest Angel nove, Bruja.

Although it really is about time Pocket Books finally put the Doyle era behind it - if nothing else, the sheer number of novels they're trying to cram in in between City of and Hero is getting a bit ridiculous now - the character is one of the novel's highlights, with the half-demon given some decent material.

Elsewhere, however, there's more than a sense of deja vu.  The fact that the current case reminds Angel of his own past was mentioned rather too often for my liking, rather than allowing the reader to make the connection them self, and once again, there's a Hollywood producer involved which has Cordelia dreaming of stardom.

The plot itself is nothing particularly original, with Doyle's vision of a young woman in trouble leading him to get a bit of a kicking, while Cordy's desire for fame and fortune leads her to accept a case from a producer who's searching for his missing wife.

As you'd expect both plotlines are linked, as are the attack on a priest at the start and the mysterious woman in black.  Unfortunately, it's all a little too predictable.  Cordelia and Doyle appear amazed when Angel explains things to them towards the end, but it was all too obvious from a long way out.

This might sound totally negative, but Bruja is pretty readable and is a competent, if unspectacular entry into the Angel novels series.


Written by MEL ODOM



RATING: 6/10