Title: Archangel’s Heart
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…
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.
Source: ARC from Gollancz (Orion Books) via NetGalley
It’s been two years since the events of Archangel’s Enigma and all has gone quiet. The Cascade seems to be on hold, Lijuan remains in hiding and Elena isn’t the only one getting restless. This book starts with a definite sense of lurking menace and like many Guild Hunter novels, who knows where it will head next.
Except, this is kind of an odd one. Nalini Singh is a master at threading overarching plots throughout her books, while also focusing in on new romances to keep each book moving. So as this is an Elena/Raphael book, I was expecting it to be all about the big picture, but it’s really more about the small details and instead of romance we get politics. We get lots of Cadre fencing and some interesting exploration of Archangel political power – and why it’s a bad idea for anyone to live outside their control – but the main plot itself doesn’t really advance much. I was expecting a big showdown at some point. I didn’t get it.
However, this isn’t entirely a bad thing, because there is so much Aodhan in this book. I loved getting to know him better, seeing him come back to life and make bonds outside of his wonderful relationship with Illium. That is hands down my favourite aspect of this book.
We also get to see more Hannah. I loved seeing her friendship with Elena develop a bit more. She’s so very different but has her own strengths and I really like her. It was also interesting to see what’s been going on with Alexander and his people too. Oh, and Elena also goes hunting for more information on her family with results that I’d been expecting for a while. Plus more scenes between her and her big bad archangel, which will always be wonderful for me because I love them together.
The main plot of the book is more mystery-solving than action, which definitely led to a quieter book overall. However, I still devoured it because it’s a detail rich world that always leaves me wanting more. Overall it might have felt like the quiet before the storm, slowly creeping towards the next showdown, but since I will read absolutely anything Nalini writes and love everything to do with these characters, it still worked for me. It may have been a touch more predictable than this series tends to be, but I cannot wait to see where it all heads next.
Archangel’s Heart is Out Now.
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