Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter (#9)
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
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.
(Summary from Goodreads.)
Another Nalini Singh book!! *little celebratory dance* I pretty much always look forward to reading Singh’s books. They’re always at the top of my reading list and I fall in love with her characters every. single. time. Archangel’s Heart goes back to the original Guild Hunter characters, Elena and Raphael, and it was nice to have another book focusing on them. After Archangel’s Legion (book 7) I was desperate for more of them and not so keen to read book #8 but Archangel’s Heart was worth the wait.
The latest Guild Hunter book has Elena and Raphael again dealing with Lijuan’s mess but also getting tangled up with the Luminata. I have to say, the Luminata absolutely made the plot. At the start of the book the Cadre are summoned by the Luminata, a secret group of angels dedicated to finding inner peace, and that’s when it really kicks off. I won’t bother explaining much of the plot because it’s all in the book description but I loved the addition of the Luminata. Different from the usual battle-filled stuff, I liked the tangle of secrets that encompassed the book, giving it a bit of a DaVinci Code sort of vibe. It’s pretty obvious from the start that the Luminata are going to be corrupt and creepy as heck but the way Singh weaved in information about Elena’s past really added to the story.
Having said that, I don’t think there was much development with Elena or Raphael. The way they were described at the beginning felt a little same-y and that put me off a little. Part of it is meant to act as a reminder since the last book in the series didn’t feature Elena or Raphael but I would have liked something different, some sort of event that shook up the dynamic between the two. Part of me was hoping Elena would become pregnant because from the rest of the books it seems like angel births are extremely rare, so that would have really added a twist. It was briefly addressed, which makes me think maybe later we’ll see that? But Singh made the right decision with regards to Raphael and Elena’s relationship. She presented them as an indomitable force and that is what they are. The trust between the two has grown over the last couple of books and seeing them together as a force to be reckoned with made me happy.
My only criticism is that I would have liked a little more heat to the romance. Usually I have absolutely no complaints about the heat level to Singh’s romance (basically it’s usually off the charts) but I thought Archangel’s Heart was a little more reserved. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it shakes things up a little, but I wouldn’t have complained about more sexiness :) Also, I wanted a super intense, all guns blazing sort of fight scene where Elena got to kick ass and show off. Sadly that didn’t really happen because the plot didn’t call for it. Hopefully in the next book she’ll really get to show off what her amazing kick-assery.
Overall, if you’re a Singh fan of course you need to read Archangel’s Heart and if not, go check out her books! Archangel’s Heart isn’t the best in the series but it’s still a great read and if you follow Elena and Raphael, it’s a good chapter in their story. I always say it but it’s true, her characters are ones you can’t help but love and I’m super excited to meet new ones, although I’m not sure when that will next be.