Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Published February 2nd 2010 by Berkeley Press

Author’s Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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…

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Review:

Another winner in the Guild Hunter series for me!  This is quite possibly the most inventive and well put together fantasy world that I’ve read in quite a long time.  There were a few things that kept me from being able to rate this a solid 5 stars however, but nothing major and I still am going through withdrawal symptoms waiting for the next book.  I have so many ideas of what I’d like to see and what story I want to see next that I can hardly help myself from picking up the next book right now!

The beginning of this novel was quite difficult for me to get into, and I had a hard time pinpointing why that was.  In the end I think it was a few factors that led to my disconnect from the first half of this book.  First, there was enough jumping around in the storylines to make my head spin!  One paragraph we were in the present, then suddenly in the past 20 years for a few sentences, then just as suddenly we were in a conversation from last night, then we were back in the present, then in the past by a year, then back to the present.  All of this within a few pages and it make my head hurt trying to keep up with it.  I felt like we weren’t sticking with one thing long enough for me to really be invested in it.  In addition we had 2 very different and distinct stories going on that were intertwining within all the timeline jumping.  I was interested in both of the plots, but they were so quickly presented and then passed onto the next thing I didn’t know quite how to feel about either of them.  In addition we add in things like flight training and weapons training and side stories with the other archangels and I felt like I needed a really strong drink.

Now, I know that all of this sounds very negative, and to a certain extent it was.  But the world and characters were still compelling enough for me to want to continue and I wanted to see how the two plots would come together and how everything would work out.  And I was certainly not disappointed.  Once the two stories really got going they couldn’t be stopped and I was glued to the page.   Both of these distinctly different plots came together in a way I hadn’t expected.  I vaguely suspected that something was off about the character who was ultimately the bad guy, but I wasn’t sure what it was and didn’t really see the ending coming.  Then right in the middle of the main plot, this secondary plot exploded into action and I was stunned and exhilarated!  I loved every minute of it.  And just as soon as we had resolution on that secondary plot the main plot burst into its finale.   That was even more exciting and thrilling than the first.  I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath and I couldn’t have been happier about it.  There were several times I found myself just staring at the page with an open mouth thinking to myself, “No way!  How did I miss that!?”  The ending made this book and bumped it from a 2 star to a 4 star book.

On a final note, I have to say one thing about Nalini Singh.  She is a skilled writer when it comes to a series.  Too often an author thinks that a series has to have a big cliffhanger in order to keep someone interested from book to book.  Sometimes this is the right approach, but not always.  And it’s gotten so prevalent in series that it’s almost predictable, what’s the cliffhanger going to be?  Ms. Singh doesn’t really give you a cliffhanger.  All the main plots are wrapped up and reach a resolution within that story.  But because the world and characters are so developed as soon as the plot ends you’re left wondering what the next story will be.  A series doesn’t always need a cliffhanger ending and this series is the perfect example of how to do it correctly.

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