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Monday, January 24, 2011

ARC Review: Nalini Singh - Archangel's Consort

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (January 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425240134
ISBN-13: 978-0425240137
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book #3 in Guild Hunter series
Main Characters: Raphael and Elena
Buy at: Book Depository Store

Cover Summary:
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…

Archangel's Consort gives us a third chapter to devour in the romance story of Archangel Raphael and Guild Hunter Elena. With that I cannot guarantee a spoiler free review and only advice readers to start at the beginning with Angels’ Blood and work your way to this release which I can tell you will be quite the ride!

From the beginning there was an undeniable attraction simmering between Raphael and Elena and this had not diminished in any way in Archangels Consort. Next to their deepening relationship they both have to deal with family issues as well. From the get-go I fell hard for the synergy between Raphael and Elena. Their dialogues are full of wit and barbs, their personalities clashing at times in dominance and the sensual vibe is like a live wire between them. Over the course of the evolving storyline I witnessed their trials and tribulations, their strength, vulnerabilities and flaws, but at the foundation a love grew that encompassed them wholly.

In Archangels Consort, Nalini Singh demonstrates how utterly good she is at bringing characters to life and exploring their personalities. Raphael is a male character who isn’t quite the anti hero nor “just” one who can be branded an Alpha, he transcends these character type’s with his attitude that is born from his ancient age and view on life. He is without a doubt “other”. He is an Archangel who makes me shiver with all of his personality traits and each reader should experience his personality first hand to understand what makes Raphael, Raphael.

To be the love interest of such an Archangel takes quite a woman but Elena holds her ground in her own unique way. She knows how to get through to Raphael when he goes all Archangel attitude and makes him more accessible to the softer side of emotions. Even though Elena has a strong backbone, even when she goes all warrior woman, she also is a sensuous woman and has her vulnerabilities. It is the sensual and emotional interplay between them as a couple that shows this the most. This story definitely created room for the romance part, for conflicts and the fiery passion that often set the pages ablaze. When two angels choose to dance the skies it is a sight to behold!

The one thing that was subdued was the mystery. Practically up front did I know what was going on and it lessened the thrill of the suspense. It made certain events less dangerous and I missed the one-two punch Nalini Singh can deliver when romance and suspense work as one and I can’t read fast enough to know what’s happening. Of course I did get a few small surprises in the end, creating possibilities for future installments but in this story it was the interpersonal relationships that did it for me.

Next to murders, some dangers, romance and challenges there was also Raphael’s Seven. Each of these Seven is a compelling and intriguing character but like many avid readers of this series I have my favorites. My heart skips a beat with the uber powerful vampire Dmitri, I have a wicked grin on my face whenever Illium aka Bluebell, enters the stage, my curiosity is piqued with Aodhan, but it is Jason who yanks all of my chains. In this installment Nalini Singh tantalizes me with small snippets of mystery revolving his, and many other characters, from the Seven. I can’t wait for her to start writing up their stories!!

Nalini Singh’s is one of the powerhouse authors who rule in the Urban-Fantasy genre. Her imaginative writing never fails to invite me into her dynamic world. I get to go on adventures with her characters, enjoy the temperamental dialogues and feel every single shred of emotions sizzling between them! Archangel’s Consort was a wonderful return again to the Guild Hunter world!

Quote Elena:
Now, she was one of those angels, perched high atop a balcony that had no railing, nothing to prevent a fall. Except of course, she would no longer fall. Her wings were stronger now. She was stronger.

Flaring out those wings, she took a deep breath of the air home. A fusion of scents – spice and smoke, human and vampire, earthy and sophisticated – hit her with the wild fever of a welcoming rainstorm. Her chest, tight for so long, relaxed, and she stretched her wings out to their greatest width. It was time to explore this familiar place become foreign, this home that was suddenly new again.

Diving down from the balcony, she swept across Manhattan on air currents kissed by the cool bite of spring. The right green season that thawed the snows that had kept the city in thrall this winter , and now held court, summer not even a peach-colored blush on the horizon. This was the time of rebirth, of blooming things and baby birds, bright and young and fragile even in the frenetic rush of a city that never slept.

Home, I’m home.

Quote Illium/Elena:
“I know I’m your favorite.” He brushed his wings over hers when she didn’t reply. “I swear to god,” she muttered, fighting a laugh, “If you’ve dusted me with blue , I’ll tie your balls in a knot and hang you up by them on the nearest sharpest object I see.” The last time he glittered blue angel-dust over her wings, Raphael had – eventually – seen the humor in the situation. She couldn’t guarantee Illium’s health if it happened a second time. Illium dipped low, stroking back up with movements that looked lazy but took considerable muscle strength. “Be nice to me or I won’t give you your present.”

“Idiot.” But he was her favorite of the Seven. How could he not be when he saw her human heart not as a curse, but as a gift. When he would lay down his life for the archangel’s who was Elena’s? When he laughed with the same easy joy as the children from the Refuge?

The extended posse

Meet the Posse





Calendar October:

We celebrate our fourth anniversary YAY


1 star: Too many flaws and not worthy of your time.

2 stars: An average story with no surprises.

3 stars: An interesting and entertaining story.

4 stars: A riveting and gripping reading experience.

5 stars: A story that is the ultimate reader's high and very addictive.

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