Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Archangel's Legion


Collage by Olga Daniels
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.


Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.


Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…


My job when I review a book is to convince you why you should read it, if I liked it, or why you should not read it, if I did not like it. As it turns out, I liked this book, but I have slightly mixed feelings about the series as a whole. I'm an old Guild Hunter fan, so I've given this book and this series a lot of thought. Join me after the jump for some mildly spoilery thoughts on this latest installment of the Guild Hunter series. 


I was pretty excited about Archangel’s Legion’s release. It was the first Elena & Raphael centered story we have gotten since # 3, Archangel’s Consort. I fell in love with this series because of Elena & Raphael, and I was hoping that Elena & Raphael would make me fall in love with this series again.  

In this book, I enjoyed getting to see more of Elena & Raphael’s relationship. As we've seen in the past, Raphael is a big, bad alpha archangel, and Elena is the only one that he bends for. Similarly, Elena is a stubborn and headstrong alpha woman. Elena has finally realized in this book that she needs to let Raphael be her rock and her weakness, both. She’s been dealing with the nightmares of her past on her own way too long. We see in this book that when she wanted to just put up a wall and shut him out, he didn't let her.
Picking up her favorite blades, he threw them at her. Hands snapping up, she caught both. “I said”-spoken through gritted teeth-“I don’t want to.”
“And I say you've sulked long enough.” He stripped off his formal wear and pulled on a pair of pants suitable for sparring.
Eyes of silver-gray slitted in frigid outrage. “I just dreamed I had my sister’s severed hand in my own. Sorry if that inconveniences you.”
Raphael shrugged and very deliberately used the one thing he knew would infuriate her enough to cut through the apathy. “I’ll see if Tasha is up for a session, then,” he said and reached for the doorknob. “Be ready to leave in two hours.”
The knife quivered to a stop on the doorjamb an inch from his face.
I think this scene represents how immature their relationship still is. She’s shutting him out, as usual, and he’s done with it. So, he throws another woman’s name in her face to make her jealous and get her to snap out of her brooding. Of course it worked. She wasn't about to let him go spar with an ex-girlfriend. After the sparring session, they have a little discussion about Raphael’s tactic of using jealousy to provoke Elena. 

Grinning, he bent his head and kissed her, half expecting her to slide the blade in, she was so pissed. But she returned his kiss, hot, wild, and wet, her tongue rubbing against his own. “You ever taunt me with Tasha again,” she said in a harsh whisper when they broke the kiss to gasp in air, “and I will geld you.”  Raphael winced. “That would take at least a day to repair. Are you sure you want to lose my…attributes for that long?”
As always, we can depend on Elena & Raphael to be hot as fuck, even when they’re pissed off. Especially when they’re pissed off! While this scene lent some juicy drama to the book, I’d really like to see their relationship continue to grow a lot more in future books.


One thing I’ll tell you, I was worried when the blemish appeared on Raphael’s temple. I was as scared as Elena! It sounded way too much like the disease that was afflicting the vampires. The coincidence was concerning! I thought it was a pretty clever plot twist when I found out what that blemish really meant.

I really enjoyed that there was so much packed into this book besides the usual mystery that needs to be solved. The Illium scenes were great, as always! I’m happy to see how powerful he is becoming, especially at such a young age. He’s still our fun and sexy Illium that we all know and love. Also, Elena’s talk with Aodan gave us some fresh insight into this mysterious member of the Seven. Vivek being Made (into a vampire) was surprising! I'm looking forward to seeing him in future plots. Finally, the addition of the Legion should make for some really great fight scenes in the future.

Now, about those mixed feelings...
Lijuan. I am so done with Lijuan. Her not being confirmed dead is tiresome. Enough already with the crazy, old bat! Elena complains, and I have to agree:
“Fine, fine, we’ll be civilized and let them retreat, but damn it, I don’t like it. They’ll be back as soon as Lijuan has recovered, because it would be just too much good luck if the Queen of the Zombies was truly dead.”
The bad news is that I’m mildly concerned that this series is past its prime. The first four books were so fantastic, with #4, Archangel’s Blade, being the best one, in my opinion. Then, book #5, Archangel’s Storm, was such a disappointment. Why? It was just plain boring. I wasn't sure if it was the book or if I simply thought Jason, one of Raphael’s Seven and the main character, was boring. I was hoping that Archangel’s Legion would ease my fears, and it has some, but not completely. There’s no question that this Elena & Raphael centered book was much better than the last book. The downside was that it just seemed to go on and on with the old story of Elena dealing with the memories that haunt her. Enough already with Elena's memories! Thankfully, I think we have seen new growth in this area, and I'm hoping that we’ll never hear of it again.

One thing I need to keep in mind is that Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series seemed to wane at a certain point too, with #7 Blaze of Memory and #8 Bonds of Justice to be exact. Then, #9 Play of Passion, rocked, and so has every book since! So, hopefully this little lull in the Guild Hunter series will pass. Remember, we still have Venom and Illium's book to look forward to! (Please Please Please!!!) So, the verdict is that I’m sticking with this series, and you should too!

My Rating for Archangel's Legion:




So, what did you think about Archangel's Legion? Are you a devoted Guild Hunter fan or new to this series?

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