Friday, September 11, 2015

REVIEW: "Archangel's Kiss" by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2)
(Guild Hunter #2)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Violence, Sensuality)
Urban Fantasy

Berkley Sensation -- Published on February 2, 2010
Ebook, 340 pages
Read in September 2015
Purchased from Amazon


Alternate Universe, Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Mystery

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel, Raphael, is used to being in control—especially when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority.

They've barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel, Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena.  

"Elena gripped the balcony railing and stared down at the gorge that fell away with jagged promise beneath."

Warning!  This review contains spoilers for the first book in the Guild Hunter series, Angels' Blood.

I finally took the plunge with Nalini Singh's urban fantasy series earlier this summer and was super excited to dive back into this fascinating angel-fueled world.  The last time readers saw Elena, she had just been turned into an angel by her lover, Raphael, which has now made them a target.  Archangel's Kiss continues Elena and Raphael's story while diving deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Cadre of Ten.  While it was not as engrossing as its prequel, I really enjoyed this book and am anticipating the next one.

Elena continues to be an admirable heroine especially since this book forces her to readjust her entire being.  Her journey in this particular story involves learning to be an angel as well as learning some of the finer points of angelic politics.  I liked the training scenes since they allowed her spirit to shine through while also showing how she deals with adversity.  Raphael is still a ruthless, overprotective, alpha, but he allowed Elena to learn some of his secrets including how vulnerable he is around her.  I thought this book really helped make him a more sympathetic character though he is far from a cuddly, super-romantic.

Elena and Raphael's romance was an important aspect of Archangel's Kiss though it did feel like it got shoved to the background at times.  They have things they need to work through in order to be a strong couple, but their interactions show that they are moving towards a happy ending.  My favorite scenes between them were the ones where they just sat around the Refuge and talked.  They are getting more comfortable with one another outside of the bedroom which is always a good sign.

I thought the biggest development in this book was the way that Nalini Singh amped up the world building.  Readers already knew about the Cadre of Ten, but now Elena is interacting with them and seeing how they work as a governing body.  Elijah and Hannah seem like they will be good allies while Michaela and Lijuan are just plain terrifying.  I also loved getting to know more about Raphael's Seven especially Illium, Dimitri, Jason, and Venom.  I can see a ton of great stories coming out of these characters and look forward to reading them.  

Archangel's Kiss is an important installment in the Guild Hunter series though it does suffer from "middle book syndrome".  The character development and world building continue to be impressive while the romance develops nicely.  I do wish the love story hadn't gotten lost in the greater plot, but it was still entertaining and has me begging for more.

“Fathers and mothers,” she found herself saying, “leave their mark, no matter if we’ve known them a lifetime or only a day.”
1. Angels' Blood
2. Archangel's Kiss
3. Archangel's Consort
4. Archangel's Blade
5. Archangel's Storm
6. Archangel's Legion
7. Archangel's Shadows
8. Archangel's Enigma

Goodreads -- Author Website

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1 comment:

  1. I had so much fun with this book as well. It just rocked for me. And I really love what Singh is doing with this series. I think I am on book four, but I swear each book gets better and better.


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