Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter #7) by Nalini Singh

From Goodreads:
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot—should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

Archangel’s Shadows focused on Ashwini, Janvier, and Naasir. They are now known as Raphael’s “shadows” because during the battle against Lijuan and her army of angels and undead, these three were in enemy territory trying to cause havoc any way they could. Join me after the jump for a non-spoilery review. 


It saddens me to say that I didn't enjoy this book that much. I really don't know if it's me that's changed or this series. I'm leaning toward it being the series and the way that the books are being written. On the other hand, have I changed? Have other books I have read in between Guild Hunter releases conditioned me to enjoy a different style more or expect a different book?

In a nutshell, I like the characters. I still like their personalities and their interactions. I have no complaints there! The one book mystery in Archangel's Shadows was also great! It's much like previous books' mysteries in that someone is creating mayhem, and the Guild Hunters need to find out who, with the help of the Tower. 

I think the main change in GH that I’m noticing is the increase in POVs. I think rather than making the series more interesting, it’s splitting the focus of the book. To me, this book’s main couple, Ashwini and Janvier, had to share too much time with Raphael and Elena.

I am over the repeated concept in these books in which the characters save themselves for their “one true love”, and/or plan to commit suicide when their human “one true love” dies. I just don’t find it appealing or realistic. It doesn’t make me swoon. 

The flowery prose and endless details is too distracting to me as a reader. Maybe it's meant to create drama? I don't know, but it just bores me. It seems like filler to me. It was worse in this book with Janvier and Ashwini, than I've ever seen before. For example, at about 19% into the book, we had these quotes all within the same moment:
"At that instant, she knew she could strike a blow that would be a sledgehammer to the strange, nameless, precious thing between them, the connection that had formed the first day they came eye to eye. He'd grinned at her as she notched a crossbow bolt in place, then blown her a kiss and moved with the rapid grace she'd come to associate always and only with him. She'd almost smiled in return before remembering she was there to bring him in to face a very irate angel." 
This, I liked. Sounds great! Then, on the next two pages, we had these quotes:
"...unable to destroy their relationship with a lie that would forever alter the honesty at its core." 
"The words were a lie wrapped in a devastating truth but this one secret she couldn't share. Not today. Not until she no longer had a choice." 
This is just a small example of the melodrama. And then when you find out what it was, it's really not earth shattering. It's hard, a rough past, but nothing that would upset Janvier or make him not love her or want her anymore! 

Please! Let's not even mention her name again.
I also don’t want to hear another word about Lijuan. They don’t know if she’s dead or not. God help me, she better be dead. This big, bad villain is old news. I felt like the fight at the end of Archangel’s Legion was a perfect end to that storyline. Let’s find a new big, bad villain, or better yet, let’s just deal with the one book mysteries. I enjoy those in this series.  


Although it seems like I'm complaining a lot about this book and the direction of the series, I think that I’m not going to give up yet. Singh’s other popular series, Psy-Changeling, also had a few books in the middle that I didn’t like as much. By book 9, Psy-Ch came back with a vengeance and has been fantastic ever since! By the next release, I'll be ready to try again. Let's not forget, we haven't had an Illium book yet. I would bet good money that Illium's book will be one of the best of the series because he is awesome!

My rating for this book:


Have you read the Guild Hunter series and what did you think about Archangel's Shadows?

2 comments:

  1. Amanda, this review is spot on. When I saw the title "Archangel's Shadow" it honestly took me a few minutes to remember the book. It was uneventful and forgettable.

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    1. Thanks, Shau. :) Yes, that's exactly how I felt too.

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