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Friday, June 3, 2016

ANTHOLOGY REVIEW: "Angels Flight" by Nalini Singh


Angels' Flight (Guild Hunter, #0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 3.5)
(Guild Hunter #0.4, #0.5, #0.6, #3.5)

Urban Fantasy
Berkley -- February 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 345 pages
Read in May 2016
Library

Goodreads -- Author Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
In Angel's Wolf, a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels' Judgment, a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all...

In Angels' Pawn, a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless...

In Angels' Dance, an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court. 


THEMES & TROPES
Alternate Universe, Angels, Vampires, Alpha Hero, Bad Boy, Kick-Ass Heroine, Tortured Hero, Tormented Heroine, Teacher

MY THOUGHTS 
Angels Flight is an anthology that is considered to be part of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series.  This collection of stories takes place in an alternate world where angels, vampires, and humans live alongside one another with angels being the rulers.  Each novella takes place at a different time within the series, but they can all be read as stand-alones.  Nalini Singh is an expert at figuring out what stories work for shorter page lengths and that is evident in this anthology.

Angels Pawn
This story features Ashwini, a vampire hunter, and Janvier, a vampire that she always seems to find herself chasing down.  This time they find themselves having to work together in order to establish order in an angel's territory.  I thought this novella was more of a character study than a romance.  Ash is tough and determined like many Guild Hunters.  She also highly values her humanity and has difficulty with her growing feelings for a vampire.  Janvier is a sexy Cajun vampire whose past is a mystery, but seems like someone who gets what he wants and what he wants is Ash.  There is a lot of circling around with these two and I am anticipating what it will be like when they get their own story. (4 STARS)

Angels' Judgement
In this story, readers get to see how Sara, the tough-as-nails Guild director, and her sexy weapons master husband, Deacon, met.  Sara is clearly in line to become the head of the Guild at the beginning of the novella and she is dealing with a lot of pressure due to this position.  She is given a mission to find a possible hunter gone rogue and ends up meeting Deacon along the way though he has a mission of his own.  I just loved the way that the author played with gender roles in this story.  Both protagonists are tough yet vulnerable in their own way and are very important to the Guild.  There were also some fun cameos from Ash, Ransom, and Elena in this prequel. (4 STARS)

Angel's Wolf
This novella takes place after the events of Archangel's Kiss which left Noel, a powerful vampire warrior, recovering from a near-death experience.  In order to help him adjust to working again, he has been sent to New Orleans which is ruled by the angel Nimra as part of Raphael's greater territory.  While in New Orleans, Noel is tasked with figuring out who is trying kill Nimra.  I enjoyed the angel/vampire pairing and how the court of New Orleans was developed.  The love story was quick, but I also found it to be sweet and easy to believe.  Nimra and Noel need each other to remain stable mentally and I thought the scenes between them were very cute.  I do want to warn potential readers that there are incidents of beloved animal death in this story.  (3.5 STARS)

Angel's Dance
Galen and Jessamy are already a loving couple when they first appear in Archangel's Kiss.  This story takes readers back a few centuries to see how the stoic warrior and beloved teacher with a twisted wing met.  This was easily my favorite of all the novellas in this collection because of the fabulous characterization and the entertaining romance.  Jessamy is very cerebral yet her relationship with the brawny Galen works perfectly.  There is a small mystery surrounding someone who is trying to hurt Jessamy and the repercussions do end up being important later on in the Guild Hunter series.  I just loved seeing the members of the Seven during the early days of Raphael's reign and I especially liked seeing how Illium got the nickname Bluebell.  This is the longest of the stories and the perfect length for Jessamy and Galen's romance to develop. (5 STARS)

Nalini Singh is one of those rare writers who excels at novellas and I think this whole anthology shows why.  She has a good sense of how to properly develop a story without making things feel rushed or overwhelming.  I think this collection could be a good introduction to the epic Guild Hunter world though I do think readers would benefit from at least reading books one through three to fully appreciate the world building and characters.  Now I'm off to continue my binge of this series!

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge
2016 Spooks, Howls, and Fangs Reading Challenge

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1) Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2) Archangel's Consort  (Guild Hunter, #3) Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4) Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter, #5) Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6) Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter, #7) Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8)

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