Review: Archangel’s Shadows by Nilini Singh (Guild Hunter #7)
October 28 2014
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Janvier
Kick Ass Chick – Ashwini
From Goodreads –
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.
This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…
Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.
Archangel’s Shadows is the seventh book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. This series is a paranormal romance series with a twist. The first three books focus on the Archangel Raphael and Elena so in that respect, the beginning of the series is almost urban fantasy. The fourth book is Dmitri’s story, the vampire who is Raphael’s right hand man. Then we read about Jason only to go back to Raphael and Elena in the sixth book. But to be fair, the sixth book was really more of a ‘let’s get you up to date on all the non-couple things the books have been focusing on’ sort of book. Finally, we have this, book seven. This one mostly focuses on Janvier, a vampire, and Ashwini, a Hunter, but there is also some side-story stuff that is taken care of.
This isn’t the first time Janvier and Ash are together in on the page. We first see them together in the short story Angel’s Pawn, which can be found alone in eBook form or in Nalini’s Guild Hunter antology, Angel’s Flight. I don’t think it’s necessary to read this story before diving into Archangel’s Shadows but if you have a chance, do it. You see this couple’s very beginnings and even then, upon their first meeting, their chemistry was explosive.
Holy cow…the chemistry! It’s palpable and some of the strongest I have read. Ash is a Hunter (she goes after rogue vampires who are trying to skip out of their century long contract after they are Made and other such things) so she’s tough and snarky. Then enter a smooth-mouthed Cajun vampire who is as tough as her but with a velvet tongue to boot and you can imagine how the sparks fly. I have loved Janvier and Ash together since I read their novella and even mentioned in my review that I would love to see their story told further. I was over the moon when I heard that this book would be theirs.
I absolutely love how Janvier treasures Ash. Yes, he’s a relentless flirt and when you first meet him in the short story you wonder if he is ever sincere but there is no questioning that anymore when you see him with Ash in this book. He is lethal and smart, loyal and amazing. I really love Janvier’s character.
Ashwini is the type of kick ass heroine I love to read. Like Janvier, she’s smart and loyal and snarky but she’s also soft and vulnerable when she feels she can be. In the blurb, ‘Ash’s secret’ is mentioned and let me tell you, her secret is heart wrenching! I have to admit that I did cry a little bit at one scene in particular. It’s a very sad scene but so touching. And how Janvier was with Ash after this scene made me love him even more.
The women in this series are in no way weak – I like that about the series – but Nalini is not afraid to show them as utterly human. The characters are certainly one of the best parts of this series.
The world is pretty phenomenal too. How archangels rule and vampires are actually created by these angels. Very unique and still, after seven books, manages to impress me.
While reading, I was surprised to find myself thinking ‘JR Ward’ from time to time and what I mean by that is just when things were getting good with the main couple, bam the next chapter was about someone or something else. At first that sort of bugged me but then I noticed that these chapters did in fact benefit the story and they also brought some of our favorite characters to light or some newer ones to focus on. Once I noticed that, I quickly forgave the writing.
One such ‘new-ish’ character is Naasir. OMG I LOVE him! He’s like a child and a cat and a predator all rolled into one. A vampire but not like any of the others. Such an interesting character. I’m looking forward to learning more about him because there are MANY questions when it comes to him. I wonder if the next book will be his because there was a lot of focus on him in this latest book.
Some new questions came to mind about Illium too. He’s a favorite character who is yet to have his full story told. I know that when it’s his turn for his story to be shared that it will be heart-wrenching and awesome all at once. There is a new sadness to Illium in this book that makes me sad. He’s usually such a happy-go-lucky angel! But much has happened and it’s weighing on him. I do hope we either continue to see him in each future book or that his book comes very soon because I want his story.
I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this book. Ash and Janvier are looking into a series of gruesome murders that point to vampires yet not. The ‘whodunit’ is very well done. You think you figured it out then you find out you did not but then you question that too… Very interesting.
Overall, I really enjoyed Archangel’s Shadows. It is actually my favorite installment in some time. It tells the story of Ash and Janvier well and keeps us up to date to various smaller storylines and to characters from past books. No title yet for book eight but we know there that it’s slated for a September 2015 release. So that, for now, is enough to keep me happy.
Books in the Guild Hunter series –