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.
Let me begin by saying, even I’m surprised at my rating for this book. Historically, I have not just loved this series, but been wrapped up, slutty obsessed with this series. Tragically, that all went out the window with this read . . . .
I generally don’t get up in arms about the price of books because I love books and am willing to pay for the books I want to read. With the advent of ebooks, books have gotten far less expensive except for those that come from the big publishing houses. There are a few authors and series with big publishing houses I am willing to pay the higher prices for every time, and Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is one of those. I have never been upset by the price because I have always gotten a quality read. This time, however I got nothing of the sort and that left me quite angry.
What Archangel’s Heart amounts to is, at best, a novella length read of new information spread across 350+ pages. I have never had to force myself to read the books in this series and I found myself having to do so with this read. It took me a week to get through this book when I generally must force myself to put the book down and sleep. There is just so much repetition in this book where Elena and Raphael are concerned and I was expecting something so very different. Oh sure, the threat to the power couple is new to this book, but it mostly revolves around each reminding the other of how much they love one another and how each would be lost if the other were hurt or died. At some point, that just gets old and I want to see real evolution in the characters and the overall series plot, not just repetition of an old theme. Furthermore, the whole Elena’s past resurfacing is played out and repetitive as well. Again, there is some new information that comes out in this read, but not so much that it couldn’t have been covered in a between the major books novella.
So, was there anything about this book I did like? Yes! There are some plusses to this read, but not enough or in great enough quantity to balance out the repetition. As with so many readers, I was expecting this read to be either Aodhan and/or Illium’s story. Like Illium, Aodhan has long been dangled before readers, and while his role was the largest it has ever been in this book, it is beyond time for his full and complete story to be told! Aodhan is stronger than he has been in 200 years, and it’s high time he gets to spread his wings and make a real impression on the immortal world. Another plus in this read is the gathering of the Cadre. It’s not often this group gathers in one spot and it is impressive when they’re all in one place. The dynamics between the members, the alliances, the nuances, the playfulness (yes, there’s some of that!), and, of course, the violence is fascinating. With two ancients now awake, the balance of power is shifting and, it is with great hope that more ancients rise and more books will be added to the Guild Hunter roster.
The Bottom Line: More than anything, I expected to love this book as I have all the others in the series. From a technical perspective, I have no complaints for, as always, Singh’s writing and editing are damn-near flawless. It is wholly and completely with the book’s content that I have issues. I won’t bore you with repetition and rehashing, but I will leave you with this. . . . I’m not done with this series as it has a very good track record, but one more book like Archangel’s Heart and I’ll have to seriously revaluate my relationship with the series.
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars (and one gorgeous ex-rugby player). If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong. Nalini 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 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. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.