Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Nalini Singh - Archangels Kiss

Guild Hunters Series:

Book 2:

Archangels Kiss: Elena Deveraux and Archangel Raphael


Elena has just woken up in the Refuge from a year long coma, only to find out that she is now sporting wings. An ambrosia laced kiss from Raphael has Made her an angel. This is the first instance of a Made angel in so many millennia, that no one can even remember an instance of a Made angels, it has become a myth among angels. Almost immediately after Elena’s waking she is again thrown into the vicious world of angels. She has two months to get ready to attend a “ball” in her honor hosted by the exceedingly creepy Archangel of the Far East, Lijuan. The rumor is that Lijuan has created an army of animated dead. If that is not enough there is a killer running around the Refuge, killing and attempting to implicate the other Archangels in a mislead attempt to become the next Archangel of the Cadre. So now Elena’s hunter skills are being utilized in between grueling training sessions with Raphael’s Seven.


What is unique about this situation is usually with a tale of paranormal romance once the author has figured out how to make the mortal immortal the tale ends and we move onto a new couple. With this series the first three books focus on Elena and Raphael, so we get to see the struggle that Elena goes through when it comes to her newly found immortality. As Raphael’s mate she has become the focus of many and instantly gained may adversaries that would love to see her dead. She does not have the luxury of getting used to her new body, she has to get in fighting shape like yesterday, and it’s not young vampires she would have to defend herself against but powerful vampires and angels as well as archangels. Then there is Raphael himself who is still autocratic and has never really been in any sort of relationship as is the same as Elena so the two struggle to figure out how two such strong personalities can find a comfortable middle ground where Elena can feel like an equal member of the relationship when the power base between the two are so disparate.

Elena more than ever is facing her personal demons in this book. She has awaken from her healing with her horrific childhood memories close to the surface. Her nightmares have surfaced so that they are even invading her waking moments as well. In this book she is literally going to have to face her demons. This is not the time that Elena can deal with this, right now she needs to get into fighting shape and flying ASAP. With the threat of Lijuan looming over her head, she is also being stalked by Michaela, the Archangel of Europe and vampires keep turning up either dead or brutalized with a Guild Hunters knife. Everywhere she turns there is a threat. She is just trying to keep her head above water yet retain her humanity as well as keep Rafael from crossing that very thin line he is straddling.

Raphael is straddling that thin line between truly losing himself, he knows that both of his parents went mad and that is never far from him mind. He greatly fears that one day he will finally lose himself, but now he has Elena who is determined that he will never go that far. Raphael is used to blind obedience from most people in his life, only his Seven have earned the right to question him. Now he has Elena questioning him at every turn, wanting to be his equal in the relationship, as if a baby immortal could be his equal. He definitely has to get used to this relationship thing. At one point when Elena asked him what she was to him and he says you can call me “Master” I about died laughing. I could almost visualize Elena reaction and it was not good. But his worry over Elena’s well being and her survival is really endearing. It is good to see such a powerful immortal care so tenderly about someone other than himself.  I continue to love Raphael.

Since this book primarily takes place in the Refuge we see a lot more of Raphael’s Seven. They are a a seriously intriguing bunch of males. They are seriously bad ass and kind of scary. They have little humanity left if they ever had any to begin with at all. Blue Bell is the only one that seems to embrace his humanity and even he has some serious fighting skills, he can behead with the best of them. Dmitri continues to torment Elena with his scent and is a brutal trainer. Venom is often present, and I can’t wait for his back story and we get glimpses of the other Seven as well. Aodhain will be really interesting but it is Jason that continues to intrigue me the most.

As with other Nalini Singh novels she knows how to keep a story moving so that you will never be bored. I enthusiastically recommend a N. Singh novel to anyone and this one is no exception.


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