I love Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series and after reading the second Guild Hunters novel, Archangels’ Kiss, I don’t know if I could say which one is my favorite. This new series of her is mindblowing.
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…
Angels are starting to become popular in the urban fantasy genre and Singh is definitely showing people how they should be done. The relationship between Raphael and Elena is further developed, all the while working around the fact that she’s been in a coma for the past year. Raphael may be a very old angel with the mentality of an omniscient ass, but he definitely shows that his feelings from Archangels’ Blood were not fleeting, but solid and all encompassing.
I hope you can forgive me a little, I was lucky enough to read Archangels’ Kiss a few weeks before it’s release, but due to some personal issues, I’m just now getting around to writing the review. However, even after all this time, this new story of Elena and Raphael’s is still in my mind and it still makes me hunger for the third novel. Even though she’s been in a coma for the past year, Elena hasn’t lost any of her edge, but has actually gained a few things (obviously the wings) that not only make her a more formidable foe, but a hunter that no one wants to mess with. The only issue is, she’s been in a coma for a year and her body hasn’t caught up with her mind yet. Elena is very much annoyed that she tires easily, but she doesn’t let it rule her. I think that’s one of my favorite things about Elena – when she’s made up her mind, she sticks with her decision, and yet, she actually thinks before going off all helter kelter.
Elena isn’t the only character that we get to see developed more, but we finally get to meet more members of Raphael’s Seven and they are a bunch of very interesting characters. It’s not hard to see the loyalty they all feel for Raphael, but they are making Elena earn it from them and they are definitely giving her a little hazing. Some of the most amusing scenes tend to occur between Elena and a member of the Seven. If you’re a fan of Bluebell’s (sorry, I can’t remember how to spell his name and since I haven’t picked up my print copy yet, I’m not about to surf my ereader for it), there are a few revelations about him that I wasn’t expecting. I have a feeling his presence is going to either complicate or help various situations Elena will find herself in and I can’t wait to see more of him.
The plot of Archangels’ Kiss is one that definitely kept my attention. This time around, we stick within the Refuge, an area entirely occupied by angels, and we get to learn more about these “heavenly” beings. The Refuge is neutral territory, so there are appearances from a few other archangels and we’re given more insight into them as well as an angel-centric plot that gives quite a few twists that I wasn’t expecting. Not everything occurs in the Refuge, obviously, and the story moves from point a to point b seamlessly and engulfed me so well that I want to say Ian had to physically move it to get my attention.
Overall, we’re given another great story by the talented Nalini Singh with Archangels’ Kiss and if you’re not already a fan, you’re going to be after this one. Singh has such a way of developing her worlds that it’s hard to not want to go back to them time and time again. Her characters are developed in such a way that we are constantly learning more about them, including Elena and Raphael, and we want to know what they are up to. I simply can’t wait for the third Guild Hunter novel and I really hope we don’t have long to wait (but I know that is probably a futile hope).