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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

REVIEW: "Archangel's Blade" by Nalini Singh


Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4)
(Guild Hunter #4)

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Berkley Sensation -- September 2011
Mass Market Paperback, 310 pages
Read in May 2016
Library

Goodreads -- Author Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past...but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality...the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting...and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more...


THEMES & TROPES
Alternate Universe, Angels, Vampires, Bad Boy Hero, Tormented Heroine

MY THOUGHTS 
Archangel's Blade is the fourth book in the Guild Hunter series.  It is the first installment in the series that doesn't primarily focus on Raphael and Elena.  The spotlight has shifted to Raphael's Seven with the vampire Dmitri taking center stage first.  I found this book to be engaging, dark, and seductive.

Dmitri is Raphael's second in command and spent much of the series emphasizing his bad boy reputation.  He is almost one thousand years old and has the physical and emotional scars to prove it.  He has gone through most of his immortal life doing what he wants when he wants and thrives on the danger of his position.  But, he is turned upside down by meeting Honor and he then has to decide how deep he wants to let her into his life and heart.  I loved his characterization and the way that the author allowed him to be a romantic hero while still retaining the ruthlessness that is key to his personality.

Honor is a Guild Hunter who is an expert at deciphering ancient languages and symbols.  Her life was changed forever when she was kidnapped and tortured by a group of vampires.  She is now free and is trying to get back to her normal life as best she can.  She knows that the last person she should rely on at this time is the famously dark Dmitri, but he seems to understand her hesitations and makes her feel like herself again.  I wasn't sure what type of heroine Nalini Singh would develop for Dmitri yet I was very happy with Honor.  She stands up for herself and, while her childhood and recent years were difficult, she is determined to keep living.

Dmitri and Honor meet when she is assigned to assist him with an investigation into a mysterious and violent vampire death.  They have immediate chemistry and force each other to evaluate what they really want out of life, alone and together.  I loved their interactions and how slow-burning the romance actually was.  While they flirted a lot, they got to know one another as colleagues and then friends before jumping into bed.  I did think the revelation at the end was a little obvious and tied a bow on their situation too nicely, but Singh's writing helped me get through that issue.

In conclusion, I found Archangel's Blade to be a wonderful combination of darkness and romance.  Dmitri and Honor were really interesting to read about and I was rooting hard for their happiness.  I also enjoyed the tidbits we got of Raphael, Elena, and the other members of the Seven.  Ilium continues to be my favorite and I want his story soon!

FAVORITE QUOTE
“Illium seems far too pretty to be dangerous.” Dmitri’s male beauty, by contrast, was a darker, edgier thing.“No one ever expects him to take out a blade and slice off their balls,” he said with lethal amusement in his tone as he drove them toward the George Washington Bridge. “He does it with such grace, too.”
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)

2 comments:

  1. I've have heard such amazing things about Nalini Singh's paranormal series, and I do want to try them out, but I'm nervous, too. Paranormal isn't normally a subgenre I'm interested in, but I do think it's good to venture outside my comfort zone.

    Do you recommend I start with this series or the Psy-Changeling series?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would start with the Psy-Changeling books because they are more romance-y than these. And I highly recommend you read the Psy books in order. The world is complex and is introduced beautifully in book one. Apparently, they are really good in audio so that might work for you.

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