Sunday, April 24, 2011

Angel's Blood & Archangel's Kiss - Nalini Singh Review

ANGEL'S KISS by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux is hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael. But this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other - and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break.

      My thoughts and views :   Relatively new to Nalini Singh (this year) the author has wowed me with the clear cleverness of her world-building, the depths and strength of her characters, and how expertly she weaves the plot line.
    As people probably noticed I am now familiar with Singh's Psy-Changeling series. I had planned to read this series next; however I had a change of plans when I was chosen to champion this series.  I did have to bump Play of Passion for this book and the next.
  Elena Deveraux is the epitome of the heroines I like.  She is hunter-born - which means that she was born with the unique skills to hunt vampires.  The word that comes to mind whenever I think of Elena is "Ballsy", her snark and mouth, especially the way she interacts with some minor characters along with the Archangel Raphael pleases me.
  She grabbed me from the beginning. Here is a woman, with a unique beauty, but with a painful secret.  The tortured aspect of her character makes her interesting, to bond. She is "beyond" perfect

 Now Raphael was a harder sell for me. To put it lightly, he was a straight up, cold, asshole. His interactions with Elena left me floundering. Then, the more Elena worked on him, the more I started to like him.
ARCHANGEL's KISS    By Nalini Singh

Like with most books I started to like a side-character more. Illium's character was just so loveable.  I do have to mention this... I really like the twist Singh did to her vampires in this series, the difference of it refreshing. Vampires are not really what I am interested in, but this turn, struck me as clear brilliance.

Overall I am eternally thankful to the Goddess that I decided to read this author. It pains me that I did not read this author sooner.  Do I plan to read and continue with this series? You bet.


Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan's power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena...

    My Take: Archangel’s Kiss starts off a year after Angel’s Blood. The epic fight against the sociopathic bloodborn Uram has left its mark on both Raphael and Elena. The Archangel and Hunter may be bruised but they are very much alive. They are also adapting to the recent changes in their lives:

Elena sprouting beautiful, midnight-dark wings. Warrior wings as Raphael fondly describes them.

This rare metamorphosis from human to immortal had not really changed Elena’s kick-ass, snarky attitude. She may be Angel-made however Elena still thought like a human, like the Hunter she was born to be.

Elena is still the tough-as-nails, strong-willed woman from the first book; she just needs to adjust to the new changes in her body and come to terms with the memories of the past resurfacing. Luckily for her she is not alone, but had the help and protection of her beautiful, blue-eyed Archangel and his trusted Seven at her disposal.

She is not the only one that has changed, has grown since the fight with Uram. Elena’s influence has continued to “humanize” Raphael. Some in the angel and vampire circle see this as a weakness to exploit, but Raphael sees this more as a strength. Elena grounds him, keeping him from ever becoming the monster they witnessed with the other Archangel.

Singh is a true “Bard”, a skilled story-teller with no real parallel. She does not “feed” or “tell” the facts of her unique and beautiful world. It literally blossoms inside your head from the characters on the page that you understand it a bit more, letting it digest way easier than the telling.