Monday 7 June 2010

ARCHANGEL'S KISS by Nalini Singh

Welcome to a dark new world where lethal, beautiful archangels hold sway over immortals and mortals both, with the Guild Hunters caught in between, tasked with retrieving those vampires who break their contracts with their angelic masters. Elena Deveraux is a Guild Hunter. She was hired to do the impossible - to hunt down a rogue Archangel - and she suceeded where none had believed she could. But in the process, she fell in love. And not just with anyone: with the Archangel Raphael. It a love that's as powerful as it is terrifying and dangerous. But the world won't stand still while Elena and Raphael enjoy their new-found love. Vampires and angels still go rogue and it's still Elena's job to hunt them down and return them to their angelic masters. For all that she is exceptional, Elena isn't invulnerable - and the more obvious her talents become, the bigger a target she could find herself...
***Before I start, I just want to mention that there will be spoilers in this review. If I'm going to talk about this book, there's no way to get around it.***
Well, this is the second book in the Guild Hunter series. Unfortunately, it took me a little longer to read than I intended. It had nothing to do with the actual book, because I liked it from the moment I started to read it. I was just distracted by my own writing. But as soon as I was done, I got back into it and finished it very quickly.
After the events of ANGELS' BLOOD, Elena's life has changed drastically. She's no longer just a hunter. Actually, she's no longer human. When she came close to death, Raphael did whatever it took to save her. Which means he made her into an angel, and so she finds herself in a place she didn't even know existed. A place called the Refuge, where only angels reside. A place where she slowly starts to learn about the history of angels, their politics, and how to adapt to being an angel herself.
Except, now that she's here, the Refuge doesn't seem so safe. She might be an angel and have the wings to prove it, but she doesn't even know how to fly yet. And she's caught the attention of others--some who are willing to do whatever it takes to destroy her. As well as an archangel so ancient that no one knows what a ball in Elena's honour will mean.
Although at first this book doesn't seem as action-packed as the first one, the pace of the story is still very impressive. It hooked me in right away, and I couldn't wait to see how Elena's life would change now that she'd evolved. Being in the Refuge also gives Elena and Raphael a chance to get to know each other, a chance to find out each other's hidden secrets, and allow their mutual connection and passion to thrive. Of course, there are plenty of problems thrown in their way.
I was also intrigued by Elena's backstory, so it was great to see all the pieces fall into place. The images of guilt, horror, and sadness that she's carried and kept hidden about the day her sisters and mother died, all come out here. And the twist in the end that relates directly to the vampire who ruined her happy family life was the icing on the cake.

Archangel's Kiss is an excellent book. A book that takes the reader to a place we've never imagined possible, yet had a chance to experience very vividly with the words Nalini weaved so beautifully. I know I said this in my last review, but I love her writing style. Nalini's got a lovely narrative style, and I know that I'll be reading more of her work in the future.
But for now, I really enjoyed this book!
Archangel's Kiss: Guild Hunter #2, May 2010, ISBN 978-057-509574-8, Gollancz Paperback

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