August 9, 2011

Book Review: Archangel's Kiss

Archangel's Kiss
Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Creature Feature: Angels and vampires
Rating 4

Archangel's Kiss is a riveting sequel to the thrilling Angels' Blood. Elena, the first ever angel-Made is getting used to her new life with wings. While Elena enjoys the seemingly peaceful confines of the Refuge, a vampire is found mutilated with a knife bearing the Guild's seal, buried deep within his chest. Someone is not happy with Elena's new status as Raphael's consort and has some plans of their own. Meanwhile another, larger threat gains power in the Forbidden City. Lijuan has some new pets; the Reborn; the walking dead.

This volume of the Guild Hunter series was a great read that evoked emotions from both sides of the spectrum. We get to see Elena become accustomed to the culture and life-style changes of angel society. I've never read about a main character with wings. I forgot they were there half the time and I feel like this made the reading experience more real for me. I was confused right along with Elena and felt her frustration at the unfamiliar appendages and her joy when she finally learned how to use them. One of the best parts of this book is Elena going to school with the child angels. The beautiful innocence of the young angles she interacts with brings a new depth to the angelic world that Singh has presented to us thus far. The adult angels have a hard, cold edge, but even the cruelest of angels is humbled and warmed by the young.

Another part I loved about this book was Elena's growing friendship with Illium. He is such a vivid character to me with his exotic coloring and wry humor that is absent in most of the angels we have met in the series. His obvious affection for Elena is blooming into something more as he shamelessly flirts with her making us fans worry for Bluebell. Hopefully he doesn't push Raphael too far, I would miss him!

On a darker note, Elena's childhood trauma is brought to the forefront through nightmares and flashbacks that are interfering with her daily life and at times distracting her to the point of danger. I'm not creepy and sadistic or anything, but I enjoy a darker tone to books like these. The chilling events add substance to a character and bring us as readers closer to them, having known their difficult pasts. Elena suffered witnessing the deaths of her sisters and the gruesome torture of her mother. The disturbing things she was forced to see and participate in at such a young age have scarred her psyche, but have shaped the deeply moral person that she is. The surfacing of these memories provide a gateway for Raphael and Elena to trust and open up to each other, making them a more relatable couple. Raphael remains the dark, stoic, sexiness that he is, but now we get to see a more human side of him that just makes him that much more endearing.

Finally, the intense creepiness of Lijuan's Reborn is just well...damn creepy! We are left not with a cliffhanger, but the promise that it is nowhere near over between the Archangel of New York and Lijuan. I will be continuing this series for sure. All you Raphael fan girls out there, you know I love you! As for me, I think I'm pretty much in love with Illium.

Happy reading everyone!

<3 Jess

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