Tag Archive: elena


Angels’ Flight by Nalini Singh

Angels’ Flight by Nalini Singh

Published February 28th, 2012 by Berkley Sensation

Synopsis and cover from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at: B&N / Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis:

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.

In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…

Plus FIRST TIME IN PRINT

In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…

And NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED

In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

Rating (out of 5):

Review:  I loved this book almost more than Archangel’s Storm.  Almost but not quite, Jason is still my book boyfriend and I love him the most out of all the characters presented so far.  But that doesn’t diminish the fact that the characters presented in these stories are excellent, and these were stories that needed to be told even if I didn’t know it prior to reading it.  The best way for me to review this is to address each story individually.

First was Angels’ Pawn, this is a story set prior to the first Guild Hunter book and follows Ashwini and her connection and relationship with Janvier.  She is asked to help in the kidnapping of a vampire, she asks Janvier come along because he used to belong to the court of the angel she is visiting, Nazarach.  I had a huge fangirl moment over this story.  I have been hoping to hear more about Ashwini and this vampire she has a love/hate relationship with.  But we have also heard a lot of rumor and interesting tidbits about Nazarach, so I wanted to see him first hand too.  Not only was this story exciting because it introduced me to characters I have longed to meet more intimately but because the story surprised me as well.  The case of the kidnapping isn’t at all what it seems and it gets Ashwini into some hot water.  I was really happy with this story and it wet my appetite for more about Ashwini in the future, fingers crossed!

Next up was Angels’ Judgement, the story of Sara becoming the Guild Director so this was also set prior to the beginning of the Guild Hunter series.  This story was an unexpected enjoyment for me.  I never really thought that I wanted to know more about Sara and Deacon and how they met or how she became the Director.  But I enjoyed it tremendously and it made me ask a lot of fascinating questions.  It revealed how involved and concerned the Cadre of Ten is with the selection of the Guild Hunter.  It also reveals that the Guild has a Slayer, one who’s job it is to hunt down hunters who go rogue.  This is what brings Deacon and Sara together and it was fantastic to watch.  But it also made me wonder…who did Sara choose as the new Slayer now that Deacon is retired to being a weapons maker and daddy and husband?
Third on the list was Angel’s Wolf where we get an introduction to two new characters Noel (one of Raphael’s vampires) and Nimra (the angel who rules over Louisiana).  She is concerned that someone is trying to kill her and asks Raphael for assistance in trying to sort out who the traitor in her court is.  Noel has been viciously attacked and seeks to escape so Raphael asks him to go help Nimra with her problem.  Nimra is greatly feared about the other angels and vampires alike, so Noel is surprised and intrigued to discover that she has a softer side too.  I wasn’t expecting this story but I did like it.  If I was forced to choose a least favorite it would probably be this one, but that’s just in comparison to how passionately I loved the other three.

Last was Angels’ Dance, the story of Jessamy meeting the mysterious Galen and becoming intrigued with him despite her refusal to become romantically involved with anyone for centuries.  I have liked Jessamy and Galen both from the limited time we have seen them.  And I vaguely recalled mention (ok, someone reminded me of the mention) that Jessamy and Galen were romantically linked in one of the other Guild Hunter books.  Another great point was their early relationship.  They started out not really even liking each other that much, but then circumstances force them together and they discover that there is much more to the other’s character than they first thought.  It was a touching, sweet, and romantic story that I thought was a perfect addition to this collection of short stories.  Jessamy got her story and I loved it.

Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh

Published: September 4th, 2012 by Berkley

Picture and synopsis from the Goodreads book page

Buy this book at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.

Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

Rating (out of 5):

Review:

I absolutely loved this book!  I have been having mixed feelings about the last few Guild Hunter books, but this ended with this book.  Jason is a character that I never expected to love and his story is one that I wasn’t too terribly interested in knowing.  Mainly, I looked forward to reading this one to learn more about Neha and how she is coping after the death of her daughter, and now her consort.  She was teetering on the edge of madness after losing her daughter, to lose her consort too I suspected might push her over the edge.

This is where Jason enters.  He is Raphael’s renowned spymaster, who has the ability to literally blend into the shadows and go completely unnoticed.  He offers to help Neha find the killer, hoping to stave off a rage that could end in war with millions of casualties.  She demands from him a blood vow to her niece, Mahiya, basically meaning that anything he learns he cannot reveal to anyone else about her family or how she runs her court.  This story intrigued me and I wanted to see what we would learn about Jason and Mahiya, and what would ultimately be the result of his investigation.

I was apprehensive when we got the first few chapters that continues the stories of Raphael and Dmitri, but excited to see what is going on with their characters at the same time.  I was concerned that these chapters were added because Jason’s story was going to be very thin and needed some buffer material.  Thankfully that turned out to not be the case, and Jason’s is my favorite story so far. Like all of the angels (vampires too) that we’ve met, Jason has a very troubled background.  It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on with his flashbacks and what his story would end up being.  Although, even though I guessed it, it was still heartbreaking.  Mahiya has also had a hard life and has her own reasons for wanting to appear invisible.  But she’s not invisible to Jason and he is not invisible to her.  They find themselves drawn to each other and drawn to the darkness they recognize in the other.

In a way the story of the murder of Neha’s consort was secondary to the story of the budding relationship and trust between Jason and Mahiya.  Though I was much more interested in Jason and Mahiya, my jaw still dropped in shock when the murderer was revealed.  I don’t think I would have ever seen it coming, and I appreciate a story that can surprise me.

I appreciate Jason for being a flawed character and for having very dark demons that haunt him.  But he’s not looking for someone to save him and Mahiya knows she can’t save him.  Neither is trying to change the other and that makes their relationship all the more special.  They each hold to the other out of love and trust that the other will stay despite their flaws and that perhaps together they can begin to make a new future and leave behind their dark pasts.  When we arrive at the final paragraphs and Jason flies away on assignment, my eyes filled with tears.  Jason found a way even through his darkness and pain to show his princess the things he couldn’t say.  I have found this book entering my mind constantly for the past few days and I need another Guild Hunter book.  I can’t stop thinking, who is next?  Who’s story will we discover after Jason?  Aodhan perhaps?  Venom maybe?  We haven’t seen much of Galen of Illium lately.  I want to know what happens next and I look forward to reading it when it gets here.

 

 

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Published September 6th, 2011 by Berkeley Sensation

Author’s website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/blade.php

Photo and synopsis from Goodreads book page

 

Synopsis:

The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…

 

Rating (out of 5):

 

Review:

As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.  I have breezed through the first four books in just a few months and already have the book of novellas and 5th installment on order.  Even with how much I had loved the series so far, I admit to being a bit apprehensive at the idea of a book about Dmitri.  I was intrigued with Dmitri and wanted to know more about him but an entire book?  I wasn’t quite so sure about that.  Yet, even though apprehensive it turned out spectacularly and I think I might like Dmitri more than Raphael!

Dmitri is a character unlike any that I have read recently.  He is a hard man, a dangerous man.  But there is a depth to him that I admit I wasn’t expecting.  I loved getting a glimpse into Dmitri’s life before he was a vampire and at the same time it was heartbreaking to watch it unfold.  I understand his character in a way I never thought I would, and I absolutely love him.

Honor is another character that I found both heartbreaking, real, and inspiring at the same time.  She is another flawed character but with an inner strength that makes her a great character as well.  I enjoyed her story no matter how hard it was to stomach at times.

The plot was one that was more predictable to me than the previous ones.  I enjoyed watching it play out and was surprised a few times, but ultimately there weren’t any earth shattering reveals.  But not everything needs to be about the surprise.  It was still a great story!  Someone is targeting Dmitri and essentially sending him a challenge.  He partners with the traumatized hunter Honor to figure out who wants to come after him.  It is quickly revealed that this is connected to an angel that Dmitri killed, Isis.  Since that was a thousand years ago,  grudges are something that near-immortals can hold for a long time it seems.  I liked the idea between the parallel plots.  First we were trying to help Dmitri figure out who wants revenge on him.  And we are also trying to help Honor get her own revenge for the horrific attack on her just months earlier.  The stories were similar enough that it was easy to follow them both and see the connection.  But they were different enough that they were engaging in their own right.

My only real disappointment with this book was the villain.  I have found all the villains from previous books to be terrifying.  I would get goosebumps and shivers when they were mentioned in the book and they had an air of menace that couldn’t be ignored.  This villain didn’t give me that impression.  Mostly I found him, and his story of revenge, to be rather pathetic actually.  He was a weak and petty little thing that didn’t really make me feel that Dmitri or Honor were in that much peril.  Not having your characters in mortal danger is not the hallmark of a good villain.

Regardless of the lack of a decent villain, I loved the story a lot.  The intricacy and engaging stories about Honor and Dmitri more than compensated for where this book was lacking.  It easily gets a four star rating from me and a nod to my new favorite character, Dmitri.

 

Review: Archangel’s Consort

Archangel’s Consort By Nalini Singh

Published January 25th, 2011 by Berkeley Sensation

Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/consort.php

Picture and Synopsis from Goodreads

Synopsis:

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…

Star rating (out of 5)

Review:

Time for an embarrassing confession.  When I read the above synopsis, I think I might have actually squeed like a fangirl.  Just for a minute, and that is something I have not done since I was quite firmly in my teen years.  I had thought that kind of enthusiasm was past me, but I was wrong.  I am so in love with this series that I just couldn’t contain myself.  We have heard tales of Caliane for two previous books now, and the very thought of her started to give me shivers of dread.  I was so excited that she was going to be involved in this one.  And more or less it was a satisfying book but not quite as spectacular as I had anticipated or hoped.  Let us begin with the disappointments.

Disappointment One: As much as the synopsis makes it sound like Caliane is a major part of the plot, she really isn’t.  Now, granted, she manages to cause some apocalyptic bad weather and really put a cramp in angel’s flying style.  And she appears to be responsible for some of the vampires having issues with being unable to control their blood cravings.  Her increasing power is also responsible for causing some mood instabilities with the archangels, most pointedly Raphael.  But Caliane herself is not actually present, just the looming threat of her.  Yet, when we finally do see her, it was mostly in a totally sane and normal kind of way and it failed to live up to my expectations of her as the “monster to the monsters”.  Maybe she gets more crazy later, but it definitely wasn’t in this book.

Disappointment Two:  The synopsis makes it seem as though Caliane finds Elena to be a threat to Raphael and she intends to do something about it.  Since she’s not really even conscious for most of the book I failed to see that.  Even when she is somewhat conscious and able to influence things directly, her threat to Elena was minimal compared to other characters.  Mostly I just felt let down.  I wanted to see her present more of a threat to the characters and the plot and it just….didn’t.

Disappointment Three: The sex scenes in this book lost their spark.  The last two books were steamy and sexy and awesome.  This time it just seemed like a requirement.  Is there a checklist somewhere for where they’ve had mad, passionate, rough sex?  Air, got it.  Bathroom, got it.  Bedroom, got it.  Maybe the local park will be next I don’t know.  I just didn’t think there was much point to it and most of the time I found myself thinking, “Wait, why do they feel horny at this moment again?  Oh right, they haven’t used enough possessive sentences toward each other yet this chapter so we much be possessive this way instead.”  I just didn’t care as much this time.

However, I still enjoyed the book just not as much as the previous two.  We learn much more about the seriously dysfunctional relationships with Elena and her father and with Raphael and his mother.  This was interesting to me and I enjoyed learning this but really just made me wonder why we should care about these people?  Why does Elena care about her father?  Why does Raphael care about his mother?  Because they’re “family”.  No, family doesn’t try to kill you Raphael and family doesn’t abandon you Elena.  But we did get a few teasers in there about Elena’s family and I am very anxious to find out more about that, hopefully we’ll address that in a later book.

I also liked the progression of Elena and Raphael’s relationship.  They made a lot of progress toward not being completely dysfunctional and I liked that.  Though I was frustrated with Elena a lot.  Raphael knows this world honey and he’s trying to protect you and all you can do is stomp your feet about how you’re not going to allow it.  Now a few times Raphael might have been a bit too protective and a tiny bit controlling but he is trying to keep her alive in spite of herself, and she has a history of being painfully unreasonable.  So I’m on Raphael’s side on this one.

The twist of having Lijuan be using Caliane’s wakening as a cover for some bad stuff was really good.  I enjoyed that a lot and didn’t suspect her at all.  I thought someone might be using it as a cover, but my bet was on Neha.  Having it be Lijuan was a twist that I didn’t see coming.

Overall the book was a good one and I am happy that I read it, but I enjoyed the previous two books much more than this one.

Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

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.