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Archangel's Consort Mass Market Paperback – Jan 25 2011
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About the Author
Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. For contact details and to find out more about the Psy-Changeling series, please visit her website.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are already completely engaged by the storyline, witnessing Elena's work to improve her skills as an angel while demanding equality in her relationship with Raphael is a pleasure. The tension between them in the previous two books is not there in this one, they are very much a couple. They argue, laugh, hang out and have a lot of sex. After some confusion on both their parts Raphael defines Elena's role to both their satisfactions. She is Raphael's "Consort" and as such has an essential place in their home and among the other angels.
This book has an engaging story line and provides peeks into the background of some of the other characters such as Dimitri and others in the Seven we have previously encountered.
Elena's relationship with her mortal family becomes even more complicated once she learns her youngest half-sister is also hunter born. All in all, "Archangel's Consort" holds its own with the previous two, and while it might not stand up as well if read on its own, it definitely earned a place on my bookshelf and a second and likely third read. I only hope this is not the final book in this series. It is always a great thrill to fly with these angels.
I'll be really honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this third installment in the Guild Hunters series. I really like this series and maybe my expectations were too high, but I was slightly disappointed by this book. I think the main reason I felt that way is because I didn't feel any evolution in the relation between Elena & Raphael. They argued every now and then about Elena's protection, but overall their relation was a straight line of supporting each other while they both relived painful memories. While it's what you'd hope from a real relationship, it lacked spice for a fictional one. Even though there was also a couple of sex scenes, I didn't feel the fiery passion I felt between them in the previous books.
That being said, the secondary characters of this series are fascinating and I'd like to see them have their own spin-off books. I'd really like to know their past, their motivations, their dreams and desires. Raphael's seven are an intriguing bunch. I read Nalini is currently working on a Dmitri book, so my wish might come true! A new character was also introduced.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Like the other books in the series, Archangel's Consort had some great twists and turns, keeping me on the edge of my seat (especially towards the end!) I couldn't put this book down. It's a great mix of intrigue, suspense, action, and romance. The character development is top notch. In this latest installment, it was great to see many of my favorite characters from the earlier books. I loved seeing more of the Seven, especially Aodhan and Illian. They are such interesting characters and I hope they will have larger roles in upcoming books.
Elena as a character is very intriguing. While she's a tough, kick a$$ heroine, she is also loyal, caring, hard working, and honest. She's a strong woman who went through a traumatic experience as a child and who has a difficult relationship with her father as a result of that experience. No 'mary sue' character, she struggles as she adapts to her new body. She also is challenged with her relationship with Raphael, who is so much older and stronger. She seeks to find equal ground between them. One of the strongest beings on the planet and a member of the Cadre of Ten, Raphael is used to getting what he wants. He is not only powerful, he is cruel at times. But Elena makes Raphael more human in his love for her.
Only area for improvement for me was some parts seemed a little repetitive/draggy. That could have been improved with a good editor. But they weren't a big part of the book. All in all, I love this series. Definite keepers!
If you've read Singh's Psy Changeling books, her Guild Hunter series is darker but just as well written. If you like Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward or the Demonica series by Larissa Ione, you'll enjoy this series. Raphael is the ultimate alpha and the dark plotlines, intriguing characters, and disturbing enemies will pull you in.
Also I wanted to complement the artist on the wonderful cover. Very beautifully done!
Other books in the series:
Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter) - book one
Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, Book 2) - book two
Archangel's Consort - book three
Archangel's Blade - book four (Dmitri's story; Singh's blog reports a release date of September 2011)
There are also two novellas: Angels' Judgement in Must Love Hellhounds & Angels' Pawn: A Companion Novella to Angels' Blood. The novellas are not necessary to the main storylines of the books, but they are entertaining reads.
If you are on the hunt for more books like this, check out this list of 40 other PNR/UF series I enjoyed:
They survived Uram and fell in love. They survived Lijuan and deepened a bond the likes of which makes even an archangel a little mortal. Now, back in New York following the events of Archangel's Kiss, Guild Hunter and newly angel-Made Elena and her archangel consort Raphael feel the effects of an unimaginable force rising from Sleep. As an archangel eons older than even the unearthly Lijuan, Raphael's mother Caliane is a being that has the sort of power beyond the imaginings of even the oldest of the Cadre of Ten...and a madness to match.
Fierce natural disasters and bizarre weather patterns roar wildly across the surface of the planet and vampires and angels start acting erratic and homicidal as the Ancient slowly starts to regain consciousness after a millennium of Sleep. When she wakes, not even the combined force of every angel and archangel, Made and human in the world will be able to make her pause...let alone stop her.
And Mommy Dearest seems to be focusing her still slumberous attention on her son...and his newly Made consort with a still-mortal heart.
Picking up where Archangel's Kiss left off, Nalini Singh continues the epic romance of Elena and Raphael and broadens their lives as they return to a more normal modus operandi after her recuperation in the Refuge. It was great seeing Elena return to her Guild Hunting, even the little bit we see here, and Raphael is ever so potent as the Archangel of New York, holding the reins of North America from his aerie in Archangel Tower.
Their relationship is masterfully and powerfully written, and Singh has adeptly kept Elena and Raphael as individual and unique as they each deserve to be even as their bonds deepen. The depth of emotion between them is gripping, yet the stubborn, fiercely independent Guild Hunter and the commanding, utterly autocratic archangel are in full force. That Singh maintains the inherent nature in both these incredible characters while bringing together their hearts and souls says much about her skill as an author.
Actually, Singh has really set herself apart with the complexity and depth in all her characters, from the most primary to the ancillary and everyone in between. I have a tremendous fondness for Raphael's Seven, each with their own stories that are often alluded to but never explained, with Dmitri and Illium being obvious favorites...though I have to admit an almost obsessive curiosity about the icily ethereal Aodhan. Each of Singh's characters are fiercely compelling in their own right, and so fully realized that they seem to step out of the pages and breathe deep. Since the beginning, that gift remains one of the driving forces of my interest in this layered and complex series.
Unfortunately, this third book disappointed in ways that neither Angels' Blood (one of my favorite reads in 2009) nor Archangel's Kiss (one of my favorite reads in 2010) did, and most of those disappointments are centered around the plot. After the first two books, I think I got spoiled. Singh had an exquisite, layered, deadly plot arc in both books, with multiple plot threads beyond the main characters and their relationship. There was such a fluid definition in them that the first book lead seamlessly into the second, building threat and danger to ferocious intensity, culminating in the conclusion that left Bejing a wasteland.
So much of that wonderful depth and complexity was missing in Archangel's Consort that the plot aspects of the book were intensely disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I love this series and these characters with unimpeachable devotion. That's fact. But when I look at this book and compare it to the previous two, I had some major issues. Not the least of which was that the major conflict of this book, the build up to the awakening of the Ancient, went largely unresolved by the end, and what resolution there was ended up being tragically anticlimactic. Over eighty percent of the book was full of impending doom, and yet it ended with a bit of a whimper. And where the previous books had those layers I mentioned in the plot, this book suffered from a very limited and abrupt issue with the Archangel Neha that never really went anywhere, and some gruesome but ultimately half-hearted pot-stirring by a character for which that stirring, given the ending of the last book, seemed totally against character.
And not to be unsympathetic or anything, but by three books in, I'm a little over the depth of Elena's trauma over her childhood. It was grievously horrendous, yes. And I understand that something about being angel-Made and the year in which she was in a coma recovering from her fall has stirred that all up again and made the losses and trauma screamingly fresh. Still, each book has had so much of it that it gets to be a bit much for me, and when coupled with Elena's loathsome family, Jeffrey in particular, I end up wishing Elena would just get over it all and let Raphael kill the bastard - preferably in a long, painful manner. I just hope there's some measure of emotional resolution coming in the future.
Then there's the sex. Believe me, I'm stunned that I felt this way, but for me, there was too much of it and not enough of anything else. Not enough of the Seven, not enough of a comprehensive and layered plot, not enough realized threat, danger, or damage...nothing. It seemed like every time Elena and Raphael were in the same room they were getting groiny, and believe me, I'm all about loving the groiny, but with this rich and tasty a world, and this epic a cast of characters, I'd have happily given up a few of those sex scenes to get more development in other areas (except the one in which my two favorite angels danced - I'll keep that one, thanks).
This is such a fantastic series. The world is so unique and deliciously detailed. The creativity of the mythos and history amazes me. The characters are breathtaking in their reality and intensity, even as they heartily embrace their fantastical natures. I love this world and the people in it, and I highly recommend this entire series for fans of the genre. That is unequivocal. But in this case, and hopefully only this case, the story could have been better.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
Even after three books I still really love Elena and Raphael, individually and together. Despite the more urban fantasy feel of some of the early offerings, there's lots of one on one time for Elena and Raphael this time round to swing Angel's Consort firmly into the PNR camp. A fair amount of that time is really really steamy, including an "angel's dance" which in itself adds that something extra to the wonderful elements that winged beings bring to Singh's world. Fortunately, even though the passion remains explosive between the pair, Raphael still is otherworldly and at times frightening - I would have been so disappointed if he'd suddenly turned fluffy and cherubic - he is softened only by the 'touch' of humanity his love for Elena lends him. So despite the disparity between the eons old Archangel and the newly made angel, that love does give Elena a power with Raphael, and Elena is not going to meekly surrender to her beloved immortal - luckily she's got an eternity to bridge the difference.
While I do truly love the passion between Elena and Raphael, I would have been willing to give up a couple of their love scenes - yes, sacrilege to romance readers everywhere to even mention it - in order to have seen just a bit more of some of the supporting players in their world. They are all so wonderful. Here there is just a taste of Ashwini, a mention of Janvier, and only a moderate amount of Illium, Dmitri, Venom and Jason - along with teasing whisper of hints at their stories. I think that Singh provided all the intense face time with Elena and Raphael to get us ready for the shift in focus from Elena and Raphael - though she promises more of their story - as Archangel's Blade, coming in September, will move vampire Dmitri to the spotlight.
This book takes us back to New York and all the family and friends that Elena hasn't seen since being Made. I've been eager to see the reaction to Elena's wings since the end of the first book, so this was pretty exciting for me. Unfortunately for her, not everything goes smoothly, despite her new prestige. Her family hasn't improved--although we do see glimmers of possible better relations--and not all her old acquaintances are pleased with her new status.
I'm very glad that the author hasn't made Elena's journey easy. She doesn't automatically gain status because she's the consort of an Archangel. If anything, she's scorned even more for it. She struggles to learn the rules of her new life and to find acceptance, even with Raphael's Seven. Nothing comes easily for her. She's used to being the baddest Hunter on the block, but now she finds herself back to square one. She also struggles to master flying tricks and works to build muscle so she won't be so easily fatigued. Seeing Elena work step by step to adjust to her new life makes any achievements all the sweeter for me.
Elena continues to jockey with Raphael for cooperation and control. Neither of them are really used to a partnership, and trust comes hard for them. The love is there, but there are plenty of bumps along the path to happiness. Elena and Raphael both slowly open themselves to each other and it's lovely watching them strengthen as a couple. Raphael still has a hard time trusting himself with Elena when he's in a mood and trusting Elena to protect herself well enough to ensure nothing will happen to her. But Elena values their relationship enough to keep working at it.
We get some nice details about various members of the Seven here. Before rereading the first two books (right before I started this one) I wasn't that interested in Venom. I don't know what happened, but all of a sudden he drew my attention like a lodestone. I really liked watching his fighting techniques and hope that we get more of him soon. Illium was someone I've been interested in from the start. I like his flirty, fun-loving attitude, but it's also nice to see a little more depth too.
I had heard that the next book focused on Dmitri before I reread the first two. I paid particular attention to him looking for clues and thought that I had spotted his future love interest, but then I heard Singh had leaked that we hadn't met her yet. So I suppose I spotted clues where there were none.
Even though I enjoyed this book I didn't like it as much as the first two. I had to take a while to let it stew after reading it to figure out why I wasn't as happy with it. I'm still not sure I've totally figured it out. Honestly, if I had read this book first I wouldn't have become obsessed with the series like I am now. The relationship is still good, but it doesn't have the compelling factor going for it that I'm used to seeing.
I think one of the biggest problems with this book was the pacing. It all felt a bit slow to me. There was a lot of focus on Raphael and Elena--which I definitely do want--but it didn't feel like the quality time I was craving. It just felt like they were rehashing things when I wanted new development. That's not to say that it was unsatisfying though. I still enjoyed them together, I just wish there had been more of a spark.
The end fight was a pretty big letdown for me. I wasn't displeased with the final resolution (because I saw it coming early on) but I did expect more excitement.
Before ending this I do have to mention one thing. We finally get to see Raphael teach Elena how Angels dance! It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but I liked it all the better for it.
While this was my least favorite of the series I still think it was pretty good. It also didn't hurt that there was an excerpt of Kiss of Snow at the end of it! Read that at your own risk though, because I couldn't resist reading it and then I got bummed and crabby when I ran out of pages.
"For the first time in forever, he was stunned to silence. Not by her words, but by the tenderness in her hands, the worry in her eyes. He was an archangel. He'd been wounded far, far worse and shrugged it off. But then, there had been no woman with sun kissed by the sunset and eyes of storm gray to tear into him for daring to get himself hurt."
Review originally posted at Fiction Vixen.