Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan’s power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…
Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #2)
February 2, 2010
Paperback, 323 Pages
Today the lovely Kati, from Katidom is guest blogging!
If Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series is a multi-part symphony, her Guild Hunters series is rock opera. This is a dark, moody, operatic series, where the author is utterly unafraid to go “there”. You know where I mean? No? Let me explain.
Elena Devereaux is a born vampire hunter. One who fell in love with the archangel Raphael, the angel who oversees North America. Except that, she’s recently been turned into an angel, and awakened from a year-long coma. She’s in the Refuge, an angel safe haven, and she’s struggling to learn how to deal with her new body, which includes midnight dark wings that she has absolutely no idea how to use. Apparently, she’ll also come into her strength, which will one day be superhuman.
In the mean time, concern for Elena is weakening Raphael, and his Seven, his personal guard, are concerned that this weakness will make Raphael lose stature and power within the cadre of archangels. Plus, Raphael and Elena have been invited to a ball, given in Elena’s honor by Lijuan, the oldest archangel and Elena must be at full strength to survive the experience. To top it off, young angels are being brutalized, kidnapped or even murdered within the Refuge. Elena will need all of her skills as a hunter to help Raphael get to the bottom who is committing these atrocities.
When I read the first Guild Hunters book, Angel’s Blood, I was blown away at the world that Nalini Singh had created. There is a ton going on in this story: court intrigue between the angels who rule over mankind; Elena’s struggle both to master not just her new body, but her role in Raphael’s world; Raphael’s struggle to hold himself back from hurting the much more fragile Elena, and to learn to deal with his overwhelming emotion for her; and the violence which is occurring against young angels within the one realm where they should be safe, the Refuge. The glue that holds the strands together is the growing love between Elena and Raphael. While other aspects of this compelling book are fascinating, it’s the love story that makes it a keeper. Elena is a fantastic foil for Raphael. She’s strong-willed, feisty and very smart. And she never fears that Raphael will hurt her, although he worries constantly about it. More squeamish readers should note that this book is violent. It does not shy away from violence that is never gratuitous and always serves to establish the difference between Elena’s former world: humankind, and her new world: angel-kind.
Intricate without being complicated, emotional and dark without being manipulative, Archangel’s Kiss is a brilliant, if violent installment in the Guild Hunters series and should not be missed by fans of darker paranormal romance.
The Booksmugglers – 7/10, 8/10
Dear Author – A-
The Book Lush – Absolutely Loved
The Book Binge – 4.5/5
Babbling About Books and More – A
Lurv a la Mode – 4/5
Lovin Me Some Romance – A-
Rex Robot Reviews – 5/5
Nalini Singh’s Website.