Jan 28, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 15 Comments

Review: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #3)

Paranormal Romance
January 25 2011
Mass Market Paperback
324 pages
Berkley Sensation

Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Raphael
Kick Ass Chick – Elena Deveraux

From Goodreads
“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…”

Angels are sensual yet dangerous beings – especially those who have been around for quite some time.  There is no mistaking that fact while you’re reading Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh, the third book in her ‘Guild Hunter’ series.  This series tells the story of Elena, a Hunter who tracks down rogue vampires for their angel masters, and how she meets and falls in love with the archangel Raphael (yum!).  But Elena is not only a Hunter; she is also a newly-Made angel.

In book two, Archangel’s Kiss, we witness Elena adapting to her new immortal life as an angel at the Refuge.  In Archangel’s Consort, we follow her as she deals with returning to New York.  She still thinks like a human since she has only been an immortal being for a handful of months.  She has trouble with the idea of being ruthless and cold – as angels are known to be.  Something else she is not used to is being weak or being dependent on others to help her.

Elena is a pretty complex character.  She’s dealing with everything that I’ve mentioned and on top of that, she has an estranged family and a pretty messed up past.  Nalini writes complex characters well.  You easily feel for them and feel as though you’ve been with them through everything, including the parts of their lives we as a reader don’t actually witness but learn about through the character’s memories.   The range of emotion is spectacular and the characters true.  From book one to book three and beyond, you know these people and you feel like you will always know them.

Raphael is another character with a complex background.  He is feared and revered as an archangel.  Yet by meeting and falling in love with Elena, he is becoming a little softer.  Almost more human.  Almost.  Part of what makes Raphael’s past difficult is his relationship with his mother, Caliane.

Caliane is an Ancient – an archangel is who beyond old.  Sometimes, angels who have lived a very long life grow tired and even a little mad.  These angels often Sleep.  A long slumber that can both regenerate them and heal their madness…or not.  Caliane went to Sleep over one thousand years ago, and when she did, she was pretty bonkers.  And since she was nuts when she went to Sleep, the members of the Cadre (ruling archangels from around the world) are afraid she still will be once she Wakes, putting everyone on the planet at risk.  I really felt as though the concept of an ancient going to Sleep and the effects on the Earth as they Wake was really cool.  I just found it took a long time to get to the actual Waking.  In fact, it only happens in the last few pages!  The build up is well done…but a little too long.

In fact, that’s how I felt about most of this book.  I found it to be slow with not much going on.  Even Elena and Raphael’s relationship was a little stale for me this time around.  And that kills me to say because I love this couple!  Their dialogue, their banter, even their connection was a little lacking for me.  And there was one part of the story that flat out confused me!  In book two, an archangel’s daughter was very naughty and had to be ‘taken care of’.  There is a revenge side plot that pops up in Archangel’s Consort that you think is actually part of the main story, then you find out it’s not, then it fizzles and goes away.  Huh?  That threw me off a little bit.

But there are three parts of this story that stood out for me in a positive way.  I love how you get a tiny glimpse into the stories of some of the members of Raphael’s Seven (seven immortals, a mix of vampires and angels, who have taken a vow to serve and protect him).  I adore Illium, the pretty angel with blue wings and a soft heart.  And Jason is so dark and mysterious and…secretive.  Even Venom tweaks my interest.  We got just enough from them to make us look forward to more.  I also loved the ‘dancing’ scene.  The wording was so lovely, the writing exquisite.  I easily pictured that scene in my head and I could finally feel the love and passion Elena and Raphael felt for each other.  My other favorite Elena and Raphael moment in this book was in the epilogue.  Just the two of them, facing a personal demon side by side.  That was a very tender moment in a story that otherwise didn’t hold much ardor for me.

This series is on my Favorites page for a reason.  It is unique, interesting and well thought out.  The writing is impeccable and the characters are remarkable.  I just felt that this was the weakest of the three books.  I am in no way planning on not continuing on with this series though.  No way.  Next up, Nalini is placing Elena and Raphael on a little shelf and we are going to find out more about Dmitri, a vampire and member of the Seven.  His story, Archangel’s Blade (perfect title for his book), is slated for release September of this year.  Actually, Nalini says that if the story is right, she would like to write a book for each of the members of the Seven.  Yay!  I would love that.

3 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“This consort has a knife under the mattress that she won’t hesitate to use if you don’t give her an orgasm soon.”

“She threatened you, Elena.”…
“A lot of women have trouble with their mothers-in-law.”
“Hush, let me talk to the crazy lady.”

Books in the Guild Hunter series –
Angel’s Blood
Archangel’s Kiss
Archangel’s Consort
Archangel’s Blade (September 2011)

  1. That first quote seriously just cracked me up.

  2. Great review! Like you, I had a really hard time with this book. The entire build-up with Caliane’s Wake was SO anti-climatic. And some of the side plots left us hanging, like what’s up with Illium and his mom? Are we going to know more? I’m definitely looking forward to Archangel’s Blade.

    Oh I hope she writes a book for Bluebell. He is so awesome!!

  3. DL – It caught me by surprise when I read it. lol

    Marq – Each and every member of his Seven have such a story to tell. I really hope they come to her and she pens them! 🙂

  4. There is a revenge side plot that pops up in Archangel’s Consort that you think is actually part of the main story, then you find out it’s not, then it fizzles and goes away. Huh?

    I thought the EXACT same thing. I was doing some head scratching for sure.

    Your review is great, very genuine and well defined, I couldn’t agree more with you.

  5. I actually thought the same thing with Archangel’s Kiss. It was good, but took a little long to get to the action. I love paranormal romance, but I am an even bigger fan of Urban Fantasy. I love the action and fights that take place. There wasn’t enough for me in the second one, the first one there was plenty of action. Nonetheless, I love Singh and I can’t wait to at least check this out. Great review hon, thank you 🙂

  6. Couldn’t agree more. Nothing really happend. As I said in my review, I was never really concerned. The threats were quickly resolved and anti climactic. Still I like seeing Raphael & Elena so it was still worth reading.

  7. Jessica – And I’m still not sure why that side plot thing was there. lol

    Diana – That’s the thing with this. If you are a fan of the author or of the series, you really should still check it out. 🙂

    Karen – Quickly resolved is right! lol

  8. I hope to start this series one day 🙂 Oh that one day, where is it hiding?

  9. Excellent review!! As you already know, I had similar issues when reading this story. It took me a very long time to get through it all. And there were actually a couple confusing parts for me – made me go back and re-read earlier sections to see if I missed something. As I explained to my husband, this book, when taken a part in bits, is well written, full of beautiful descriptions and interesting. However, when you put all the pieces together, it just doesn’t flow as well.

  10. Wonderful honest review. Yet another one that isn’t very satisfied with this book but I’m still ganna read the series based on everyones positive comments about it. The first quote is very funny!

  11. blodeuedd – “Oh that one day, where is it hiding?” LOL!

    twimom – You said it. As individual story lines they were wonderful, but all together they just didn’t mesh. Well said!

    Deanna – The series is worth checking out. This is one of my fave couples, even if I didn’t feel the love as much in this particular book. 🙂

  12. @twimom – Exactly why I will continue to read this series. It is well written. I started with her Guild Hunter’s series first and immediately had to start her Psy-Changelings series because I fell in love with her writing quickly and had to get more. Julie is definitely right, there may be some issues here and there, but being a fan, I just can’t leave. This is one of my favorite series as well, but not everything can be perfect. Singh is definitely worth my money 🙂

  13. Juulieeeee – I can’t get in to this booooook *cries*
    I WAS happy when Blue Bell came back to the story, and I am enjoying more on the Seven. But I can’t read more than a few chapters in one sitting. I know I mentioned this to you on Twitter but the constant “Archangel.””Hunter.” call-and-answer is driving me bananas!
    Thanks for the honest review. Of COURSE I will still enthusiastically be waiting for Archangel’s Blade, but this feels like a lull in the series overall.

  14. Diana – As a fan, one must read it!

    Pamela – It’s gonna be okay. Just breath and get through it so you’re completely ready for the next books. 🙂

  15. Oh no! You thought Elena’s and Raphael’s romance was stale! While I agree that there wasn’t much going on in the way of suspense like book one and two, I loved that their romance took more of a center stage. I’m acutally a little bummed that they won’t be the main H/h in book 4, ARCHANGEL’S BLADE. But, like you too, I’m lovin’ the info drops on the Seven. Those are some scrumptious men right there!

    Great review!

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