Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter, Book 7
Publisher: Jove
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780425251171
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot—should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

Archangel’s Shadows goes from fun and flirty one moment to dark and dangerous the next, all without losing that smooth rhythm that is inherent in Nalini Singh’s writing. This seventh Guild Hunter novel keeps the action hot, the sexual tension high, and the intensity fully charged. There isn’t a dull moment in Ashwini and Janvier’s story, and readers are sure to be entranced until they reach the end and are begging for more.

Ash and Janvier have been circling each other for years, but their dance reaches its climax in Archangel’s Shadows. The sense of history imbued in a relationship already begun at the beginning of the book adds depth to their romance from the start, even as the two of them flirt and tease one another. Every couple in the Guild Hunter series has been unique so far, and Janvier and Ash are no exception. I loved how absolutely head over heels Janvier is for Ash. The sexy, smooth-talking Cajun vampire is lethal, but his devotion to Ashwini is both sweet and heartbreaking. Ash is a Guild Hunter with a talent that may cost her everything, so she keeps part of herself held back from Janvier. But after they team up during the battle in Archangel’s Legion (the previous book), it’s impossible for Ash to keep her distance from Janvier. When a shared assignment involving unusual deaths puts them in close contact once again, Janvier begins to break through the walls Ash has put up. There’s a quiet intensity to their romance that I adored, and I was rooting for these two every step of the way.

The mystery of who is killing humans in a way reminiscent of the series’ big bad means there is danger lurking around every corner. I loved watching this storyline unfold and Ms. Singh wraps this part of the book into the overarching series plotlines extremely well. Though Ash and Janvier’s story is the center of the book, the overall world of the Guild Hunter series continues to develop in the background of Archangel’s Shadows. I absolutely loved this, and truly the only (small) issue I had is that the supporting characters – from Raphael and Elena to Illium to Naasir and beyond – often stole the show from Janvier and Ash by virtue of being such bright and powerful presences on the page. This is by no means a bad thing, but it niggled a bit that I was so taken with all the other characters that at times I’d forget this was Janvier and Ash’s book.

Archangel’s Shadows is an exciting and beautifully written story. There’s heartbreak, humor, hope, and endlessly fascinating worldbuilding. I cannot wait to see where Ms. Singh takes our beloved angels, vampires, and Guild Hunters next when the utterly irresistible Naasir meets his match in Archangel’s Enigma.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.