Review: Archangel’s Sun

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: Archangel’s SunArchangel's Sun (Guild Hunter, #13) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Published by Berkley on November 24, 2020
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 368
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: This was definitely not a pairing that I expected, but it worked so well. Titus is sweeter than I expected with him playing the long-suffering brother of four sisters. Sharine is a woman who is finding herself with a vengeance, reconciling her past, and showing the strength that she lacked in the past. Loved these two and enjoyed being reoriented to the aftermath of the archangelic war.

THE STORY: In the aftermath of the archangelic war from the last book, the new version of the reborn continues to threaten the continent of Africa. Titus is a powerful archangel, but he cannot stop the scourge alone. Instead of the warrior help he thinks he needs, he is sent the Hummingbird, an unworldly angel known as a great artist. Sharine has only begun to find herself after emerging from her broken mental state. The two must join forces to prevent the reborn from overtaking the world.

OPINION: This book is a lovely mature story with characters who have led full lives. That gives this book depth and interest. This book had the feeling of a woman’s journey. It is Sharine who is the focus here. She is finding herself after being the beloved Hummingbird who is vague and not of the world because her mind was broken. Here, she is rediscovering herself, dealing with the heartaches of her past, and building a new life and purpose for herself.

Titus is an archangel who has enjoyed life and then is quickly devastated by an angel he did not expect. Titus is amazingly loyal and strong, but there is an incredible sweetness to his relationship with Sharine. These two have strength and I enjoyed their interaction.

The aftermath of the war is not a pleasant place, but this book has more hope and comfort than I expected. Indeed, while there are still bad secrets, this book feels much lighter after all the death and destruction in the prior two books.

I also enjoyed that his book marks a change in the series as we get a whole new cast of characters whose stories can be told in future books. That bodes well for the series continuing.

WORTH MENTIONING: Raphael and the Seven are not main characters here, they only make small appearances.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S SUN is the thirteenth book in the Guild Hunter series. The romance here is self-contained, however, the world and the characters assume familiarity with the other books in the series. Do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley which was used to prepare this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-half-stars

Review: Archangel’s War

Review: Archangel’s WarArchangel's War (Guild Hunter, #12) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Published by Berkley on September 24, 2019
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 478
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION: Fabulous book that was with action and heart from the first page to the last. Singh just gets better and better. Highly recommend!

THE STORY: Beginning immediately after the events of ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY, this book reveals what has happened to Elena and Raphael after they attempted to defy fate in making Elena a blank vessel for Raphael’s power.

OPINION: This is a book where it is infinitely better to stop reading reviews and just get to the book.

Just about everything that can be said is a spoiler, so my comments will remain general.

I loved the scope, the action, the romance, the heart of this book. It fulfills all the promise of the prior book. It is a long book, but it never drags and I can’t imagine any moment, any scene, any character that could have been excised. I loved every moment and immediately went back to re-read whole sections.

Singh is a master of these complicated multi-character worlds and this book brings the entire scope of the series to New York. The threads of the story are multifaceted and it manages to be amazingly fulfilling to those who have committed to the series. Singh knows her characters inside and out and each one sparkles on the page.

This book had high stakes and it was better than I could have wished.

This book was the best new book I have read this year. It was such a great reading experience, I can’t imagine that any other book will be able to top it.

WORTH MENTIONING: I wish these books were available in hardcover.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S WAR is the twelfth book in the Guild Hunter series. This series should be read in order.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: Archangel’s Prophecy

Review: Archangel’s ProphecyArchangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #11
Published by Berkley on October 30, 2018
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 368
Goodreads
five-stars

“One must die for one to live.”

FINAL DECISION: Fantastic book which turns everything upside down. Dramatic and powerful, this book is a game changer in the Guild Hunter series, and left me screaming at the end for the year’s delay before finding out what happens next, but I believe this could be one of the most amazing books in the series because it challenges the reader rather than keeping to a formula.

THE STORY: Elena is the only mortal in memory to have been made into an immortal angel by the ambrosia kiss of Raphael, the Archangel. But something seems be going wrong. Elena is regressing and becoming more mortal. Raphael and Elena are in a race against time to discover what is happening. At the same time, Elena is tracking a murderer who is threatening her family. Even worse, the Cascade is at work again with sinkholes filled with Lava and flocks of mysterious birds approaching Elena.

OPINION: Eleven books in and a series can become predictable and stale. Singh tosses all the rules away with this ending of this book. Some readers might be upset by the cliffhanger ending and by what it portends, but it worked in ways that I didn’t expect when I first finished it. I ended up re-reading the last quarter twice and I loved it more each time. The last quarter of this book was intensely dramatic and powerful.

This book is an interesting mixture of an big and important Cascade story and a more mundane murder investigation. This book allows readers to see all of Elena — the mortal and immortal parts — and things begin to change in big ways. I was happy to get to see several of the secondary characters in this series, but this is very much an Elena-centric book. This is about her journey.

Things in the series seemed to be going on an expected path and I thought I knew what was going to happen. This book upset all those expectations and thus brought confusion and anger and quite a bit of disorientation by the end. But ultimately that is why I ended up loving it.  This book asks a lot from the reader and I, too, had to sacrifice predictability and security along with the characters.

Elena and Raphael are not characters who will be bound by fate and prophecy. They make their own path — even when that path is unclear and uncertain. I’m just along for the ride now.

This is the only book since the first book in the series where I have no idea what is going to happen next. There is something wonderfully creative and fascinating about being in this place of uncertainty.

I also need to re-read it in total as soon as I finish this review.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book ends on a cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S PROPHECY is the eleventh book in the Guild Hunter series. This series is meant to be read in order. While each book is an episode, there are significant overarching storylines in this series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

 

five-stars

Review: Archangel’s Viper

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: Archangel’s ViperArchangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10) by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley on September 26th 2017
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

“They let you drive now?” he said in a wondering tone of voice calibrated to get under her skin. “I leave for a couple of years and miss kitty’s first steps. Did anyone take photos for the baby album I sent you?”

“It’s full of pretty pictures.” Holly bared her teeth at him in a caricature of a smile. “Honor is a little concerned about how I keep drawing you with your head cut off,” she said in a deliberately thoughtful tone, “but an artist must follow her instincts.”

FINAL DECISION: Awesome, I loved this book in a way I never expected. Feeling fresh and young and yes, even a little weird, this book’s tone matched the strange, unique, and fun that make up Holly and Venom.

THE STORY: Four years ago, Holly Chang’s world was fundamentally altered when she and her friends were kidnapped by a blood mad archangel. Her friends were all murdered; Holly survived but ended up changed when the archangel put “something” of himself into Holly. She gained some qualities of vampires but she is neither fully vampire nor human. In the years since her abduction, Holly has been under the observation by various members of Raphael’s Seven.  Now the one who irks Holly the most, Venom, has returned to annoy her some more. Venom is a unique vampire who also possesses viper qualities and eyes. While Venom and Holly have much in common as to their abilities, they seem to rub one another the wrong way — until someone puts a bounty on Holly to kidnap her and the “otherness” inside her seems to be asserting itself. Venom and Holly must work together to discover what actually happened to Holly four years ago.

OPINION: The problem with loving a series is that sometimes a new book doesn’t live up to the hype and excitement. Having just completed a re-read of the Guild Hunter series, I had a worry in my stomach that I was too excited about Venom and Holly’s story (which has its origins in the very first book). I’m so happy to report that this book exceeded all of my excited anticipation. It was so different in its voice and tone and the characters lived up to the strange and mysterious origins. Their funky, weird and quirky natures bored into my heart (ha, ha) and they are definitely one of my favorite couples in the series.

Can I admit something? I often tend to take glances at the end of books as I get distracted during the story. (It’s a way of urging myself forward). This book I read cover to cover without even being tempted to read the ending. If you have similar tendencies or like to read spoilers, I urge you to let this book flow out in front of you instead. The story and relationship builds in such a wonderful fashion that I think that knowing the secrets in the ending will diminish the first-time reader experience.

Story feels young and fresh in a manner that I didn’t expect. One of my all time favorite books is FIRE AND ICE by Anne Stuart. This book has a similar feel in the characters and pacing (although there is really little similarity). The characters are younger than others in the series.

Although Venom is over 350 years old, he is the youngest of the Seven and the one character who has been the most mysterious in the series. This book peels back his layers and gives us his backstory.  He’s got a secret (not a deep dark one but an interesting one) that makes him adorable and perfect for Holly. Sexy and raw in a way that no one else in the Seven is, he has a different personality than I expected once his “gameface” is off.

Holly (who for a time called herself Sorrow) is quirky and funny and incredibly strong. We haven’t seen her progression for a while, and it was especially satisfying to see how she has grown and struggled and managed to reinvent herself after the horror of her “Making”. (I’ll also confess to having a total love for Dmitri and Honor and just adored seeing them with Holly). Holly makes this book for me. Her needling of Venom as the two find the rhythm of a relationship between them. Her strength in facing the reality of what her “making” might actually mean. And her determination to keep true to herself and her humanity put me on her side from the start. Of all the characters in this series, she was the only one from the present day who was 100 percent human and normal until she was forcibly dragged into the immortal world.

The funniest part for me is that I expected the quips and arguments and the humor, but I didn’t expect how heartwarming I would find their relationship. The observation that these two will grow together hit me with so many warm fuzzies. Their story is one of acceptance and appreciation and love for a person “because” of who they are rather than “despite”.

The story is more focused on Holly and Venom than in normal in this series (in many ways this book and ARCHANGEL’S HEART are part of the same story) and as a result, I was simply gutted as the book reached its conclusion as no part of this series has since the very first book.  The romance between these two is uniquely their own. The two seem to find joy in annoying one another, testing one another. There is a similarity to the relationship between Ash and Janvier, but this is no repeat of that romance. Venom and Holly have an acidic sweetness that matches their natures.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book overlaps with the events in ARCHANGEL’S HEART.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ARCHANGEL’S VIPER is the tenth book in the Guild Hunter series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

five-stars

Review: Archangel’s Heart

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Review: Archangel’s HeartArchangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Published by Berkley on November 1st 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“He was hers. She was his. And together, they were something far better than either one of them was alone.”

FINAL DECISION:  Goes deeper into Elena’s background in unexpected ways.  This book is a tightly drawn suspense story, political thriller and a very human story about surviving and rising above the past.  Plus, there is a very settled and sexy couple: Elena and Raphael.

THE STORY: This book continues the focus on guild hunter turned angel Elena and her archangel lover Raphael.  Things have been quiet since the disappearance of Lijuan, the Archangel of China (who also happens to be crazy dangerous).  A year has passed and because no one knows whether she lives or has withdrawn from the world and is sleeping, there is uncertainty.  An ancient order of angels called the Luminata calls the Cadre together to make a determination of what to do with Lijuan’s territory.

Attending the Luminata requires Raphael and Elena to travel near the place of her grandmother’s birth.  There, Raphael and Elena must deal with dangerous archangels, mysterious threats, strange events surrounding the Luminata. Elena also hopes to find out more about her past and that of her family.

OPINION: The Guild Hunter series returns to focus on Elena and Raphael.  I have to admit that I love the Elena and Raphael books most in the series.  This book, thankfully, doesn’t involve problems in the relationship between Elena and Raphael (that remains increasingly strong) but rather Elena’s own history.

This book continues the overarching series story regarding the Cascade, Lijuan and the possible end of the world.  While this book doesn’t have a romance as its organizing feature, it doesn’t need one.  This book delves into the adventure and politics of the Guild Hunter world — but reserves its emotional core for Elena’s discovery of her own family’s past.

There is a dark suspense story involving the Illuminata who are a mysterious addition to the series.  Elena ends up investigating what is going on with this mysterious group and their connection with her own family.  That story keeps the pace of this book quick and the pages turning.

While the suspense story keeps the books hopping, the theme explored in this book is about how the past makes us who we are and how one can overcome the pain of the past to go forward.  Multiple characters in the book have to deal with their past — the question is how will they respond.  This is most present in Aodhan who is recovering himself after years of separating himself from those he loves.  The events in this book challenge his recovery and he must make a choice.  The series has been an increasing interaction between those of Raphael’s world and Elena.  In this book, we see the developing relationship between Elena and Aodhan, which has its own contours.

Singh goes deep into the emotions of her characters and even as the events feel dark and dangerous, her characters possess a lightness and beauty that gives the book heart.  I always love reading Singh’s books because even when things seem bad for her characters, they maintain a likeability and a lightness of spirit that overcomes all the darkness.

The events of this series appear to be approaching a crescendo and this book provides a little breather that allows the exploration of character and relationships.  Elena finds out the truth about her mother’s family which has been shrouded in mystery.  I’m glad I didn’t know where this book was going because I enjoyed the resolution which provided a happy ending in an unexpected arena.

Without giving away the secrets of this book, I can say that this book is about survival and overcoming darkness.  So many characters express this theme and it leaves such a good feeling that I dread that more darkness is on the horizon for these characters.

For fans of the series, this book gives more background on the characters you love and gets everyone in the right place for the next stage in this series.  There are no new romances but much happens in this book that illuminates where the characters are now and where they have come from.

WORTH MENTIONING:  We learn more about Aodhan.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ARCHANGEL’S HEART is the ninth book in the Guild Hunter series.  This series builds upon each of the prior books in the series and thus should be read in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Archangel’s Heart Cover Reveal

by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal

Simply gorgeous cover for the next book in the Guild Hunter series!  I’m especially excited that this book focuses again on Raphael and Elena.  How amazing does Elena look here?

Archangels Heart Cover

Archangel’s Heart is the 9th book in the

Guild Hunter

Archangel’s Heart releases November 1st!

Now Available for Pre-order HERE: http://bit.ly/28P4Qel

Add it to your TBR: http://bit.ly/GoodreadsArchangelsHeart

Blurb

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

Author Information

nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing.

If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts and free short stories on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. The Rock Kiss books are all stand alone and can be read in any order.

STALK HER:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: Archangel’s Shadows

Review: Archangel’s ShadowsArchangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter #7) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #7
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on October 28th 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 378
Goodreads
four-stars

The Story of Ash and Janvier

“She is my eternity.”

THE STORY: Ash and Janvier have a history. Ash has hunted Janvier down because she is a Guild Hunter and he is a vampire. Janvier, however, has always managed to resolve his problems such that Ash is never able to take him in. For several years the two have been involved in a strange courtship. They both know that they have feelings for one another. Ash, however, is determined to stay apart from Janvier because she knows that they have no future. When the two work together to track down a dangerous killer, the sexy flirtation gets more serious.

OPINION: I liked this story but I never connected with Ash in the way that I have the other women in this series. I really liked Janvier, but I just didn’t feel the connection with her. I also thought that the story was not as interesting as others in the series. I quickly figured out the villain and because I didn’t connect with Ash as much, I didn’t like this one as much. That being said, there hasn’t been a bad Guild Hunter novel and the continuing story of the other characters kept me interested in the novel until the end.

WORTH MENTIONING: I completely adore Naasir and can’t wait to find out who he tracks down as his mate.

FINAL DECISION: I liked this story because Janvier is a sexy Cajun who adores Ash. I just never connected with Ash as much so it is not one of my favorite stories in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S SHADOW is the seventh book in the Guild Hunter series. This book can be read apart from the other books in the series, but I recommend reading the novella ANGELS’ PAWN before reading this novel because it features Ash and Janvier when they first worked together.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

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four-stars

Review: Archangel’s Legion

Review: Archangel’s LegionArchangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #6
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on October 29th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Goodreads
four-half-stars

War Has Finally Arrived

“Eternity would mean nothing without you. For no power on this earth would I trade my Elena.”

THE STORY: Guild Hunter turned angel Elena and her lover Archangel Raphael begin preparing for the archangelic war that is coming. Strange, destructive occurrences begin happening: angels falling from the sky, rivers filled with blood and vampires dying of diseases that should not exist. It will take all of their friends and allies together along with their strong relationship in order the defeat the evil that is overshadowing New York.

OPINION: After two books about the people around Elena and Raphael, this book returns to the power couple of New York. Powerful, dramatic and sexy, this book shows the growth that Elena and Raphael have made in their relationship. This book is filled with action because war is coming to New York and this book doesn’t shy away from depictions of the battles. While not overly graphic, it is more so than other books in the series. I was also very interested in the developments in Elena’s relationship with her father and siblings. Revelations about the past provide context and understanding for Elena’s father. I liked that Singh is still finding new information to give us about Elena and Raphael.

WORTH MENTIONING: My new favorite character is Naasir. Singh has done such a great job tempting the reader with the mystery surrounding this guy.

FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Powerful, I especially like that real progress is made on the overarching story of the series at the same time Elena and Raphael’s relationship evolves. Also loved seeing all the characters in the series make an appearance.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S LEGION is the sixth book in the Guild Hunter series. This book is the culmination of the storyline of the other books in the series and therefore depends upon the knowledge gained in those books. I think that readers should just start at book one and read on.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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four-half-stars

Review: Archangel’s Storm

Review: Archangel’s StormArchangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #5
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on September 4th 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 315
Goodreads
four-stars

The Story of Raphael’s Spymaster Jason

“She wanted to run her finger over the blade of him even if it made her bleed, wanted to dance too close to the flame, wanted to take a risk that could destroy her.”

THE STORY: The angel Jason is the Archangel Raphael’s spymaster. He agrees to go to the court of the Archangel Neha to help discover who murdered her consort. In order to be trusted, Jason agrees to a blood tie with Princess Mahiya who has a shadowy function in Neha’s court. Jason and Mahiya attempt to uncover a violent murderer while a passionate attraction blooms between them. While Jason will never tie himself to anyone, he is fascinated by Mahiya who isn’t who she appears to be.

OPINION: I liked this book, but not as much as others in the series. The emphasis on Neha’s court made me miss the energy of New York and the more aggressive Elena and Honor. Mahiya is not the weakling that she appears to be, but her strength is more subtle and she puts up with a lot from others. I liked how Jason empowers her, but I did not find the story plot as interesting as the others in the series. I want to emphasize, however, that this book is still good, just not as compelling to me as the others. In fact, my favorite parts of this book are about Dimitri and Honor.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is the second book where the focus of the story is on one of Raphael’s seven rather than Raphael and Elena.

FINAL DECISION: I liked this story, but I was not as interested in the workings of Neha’s court as I am in New York.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S STORM is the fifth book in the Guild Hunter series. This book can be read independent of the others in the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

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four-stars

Review: Archangel’s Blade

Review: Archangel’s BladeArchangel's Blade (Guild Hunter #4) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #4
Published by Berkley on September 1st 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 336
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Dimitri, the Vampire, Meets His Match

“I will love you even when I am dust on the wind.”

THE STORY: Dimitri is the second in command to Raphael, the archangel. Dimitri is a sexy often cruel vampire. After losing his mortal family, Dimitri allows no woman close to him. He meets Honor, a guild hunter, when she is brought in to consult on a murder. Honor was viciously attacked by vampires and wants nothing to do with them even though she cannot help being fascinated with Dimitri even as she is repelled by him. Dimitri decides to help Honor gain justice and also intends on taking the hunter to his bed.

OPINION: This is a story about violent pasts, about loss and love. Honor’s assault is well depicted and her slow journey to reclaim herself was heartwrenching and powerful. I loved the story between Honor and Dimitri as he is determined to never love again and yet he cannot resist Honor. Singh always gives her heroines great strength and power and gives them companions who appreciate those strengths. I enjoyed this book as a break from the Raphael and Elena story. I hope to read more about the other characters in the Guild Hunter world.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is the first book in the series to not focus on Raphael and Elena. I was glad to read about the other characters in the series even though Raphael and Elena remain my favorites.

FINAL DECISION: I liked the story of Honor and Dimitri but it took me a while to accept the big twist in the story. It struck me as a little too pat a resolution, but I still liked the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: ARCHANGEL’S BLADE is the fourth book in the Guild Hunter series. It can be read independent of the other books in the series without missing much.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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four-half-stars