Reviews

Review: Guild Hunter series part 1 – Nalini Singh

Review: Guild Hunter series part 1 – Nalini SinghAngels' Blood
by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #1
Also in this series: Archangel's Blade, Angels' Flight, Archangel's Storm
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: March 3, 2009
Genres: Romance
Pages: 339
Source: Library
My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

USA Today bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a world of beauty and bloodlust, where angels hold sway over vampires…

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she’s the best—but she doesn’t know if she’s good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is not an option…even if the task is impossible.

Because 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…

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I started reading the Guild Hunter series when it first came out in 2009, but promptly fell off the wagon once the kids were born. I had very fond memories of the books I had read, though, so in preparation for the latest book’s release, I decided to bust out my old paperbacks and do a full series reread. Guild Hunter, much like Psy-Changeling, is one of those series with deep world building where it’s a ton of fun to read them back-to-back. So, here’s some quick rambly reviews of the first three books. Mad spoilers ahoy!


Ah, Angels’ Blood! I distinctly remember this book coming out. I’d been a fan of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, and was a bit miffed that instead of getting another shifter romance, we were getting one with, of all things, angels. Well, I definitely changed my tune once I read the book – over and over and over and over again. I loved Elena and how strong she was – how adamant that her humanity was a strength and not a shortcoming. I loved her found family and her insistence on protecting them, and the uniqueness of the minor characters. Most of all, I loved the fascinating world building and the world that was just slightly off from our own. Yes, Raphael trods over the alphahole line frequently – something I’m pretty critical of in contemporary and historical romance – but in this setting, it worked. No, their relationship isn’t perfect, but I already know they have a lot to work on in the next eleventy-billion books!


Review: Guild Hunter series part 1 – Nalini SinghArchangel's Kiss
by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Archangel's Blade, Angels' Flight, Archangel's Storm
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Genres: Romance
Pages: 323
My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of angelic rulers, vampiric servants, and the woman thrust into their darkly seductive world…

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

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Alrighty, let’s see here. When we start out, Elena’s been in a coma for a year and, thanks to Raphael’s actions at the end of the last book, she’s now an angel. As the only Made angel in living memory, she’s naturally a curiosity and, because this world is delightfully bloodthirsty, a target for pretty much anyone who has a beef with Raphael. I loved the setting of the Refuge and getting to meet the angel kids and more non-combatant angels. I LOVED the crazy sexual tension of this book, though it did sometimes overshadow the “Lijuan’s completely batshit and probably going to kill us all” subplot. This is another book I read multiple times when it first came out (still pre-kids, lol) so I remembered pretty much all of the plot points, but it was still fun seeing many of the Seven and the Cadre through Elena’s eyes for the first time.


Review: Guild Hunter series part 1 – Nalini SinghArchangel's Consort
by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #3
Also in this series: Archangel's Blade, Angels' Flight, Archangel's Storm
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Library

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…

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At this point in the series, the cover art is now decidedly bad ass, and so is Elena. While she’s still nowhere near as powerful as your average angel, she’s starting to hold her own physically against the Seven and continues to hold her own relationship-wise with Raphael. A big part of this book is her returning to her Guild work and how that fits in with her relationships with her new “family” (Raphael and his people), her found family (the Guild Hunters), and her birth family. Not to be left out, Raphael’s crazy ass archangel mother is reawakening, seemingly causing mass madness and crazy weather patterns.

I think at this point in many series that focus on a single couple, the relationship can start to feel like they’re just rehashing the same arguments over and over, and while in some ways that is true, Elena and Raphael’s relationship continues to grow and change. I liked how Elena and Raphael continued to explore how their relationship worked, in terms of Elena’s independence. My main issue with the book is that there’s so much setup for the relationship stuff that, after a big bang of a beginning, the non-romance plot meanders around for a while before finally picking up again at the end of the book. Very much a “middle” sort of book, but still enjoyable, but I’m also glad that this is where we take a break from Elena and Raphael for a while and go have crazy vampire fun with Dmitri.


The end of the first trilogy focusing on Elena and Raphael seems like a good place to take a break. Coming up next are Archangel’s Blade (Dmitri’s book), Archangel’s Storm (Jason’s book), and the story collection Angels’ Flight.

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