Monday, 27 February 2012

Paranormal Romance Month Review: Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #4)

Publisher - Gollancz
Publication Date - 8th September 2011
Paperback - 320 pages
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source - Purchased

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past...but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality...the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting...and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more...

My Thoughts - Those of you who have read my reviews of the series so far will know that by book three I was starting to get a bit bored of Raphael and Elena. I still love them in my own special way but I just wasn't sure if I wanted to read anymore books about them. So when I realised Archangel's Blade was about a different couple I became very intrigued and my interest in the series became re-energised.

Dmitri is a character who has played a large part in the series so far as Raphael's right hand man and I am so glad that we get to find out more about him in this book. He is portrayed as a cold and heartless killer, but as his story unfolds the reader gets to find out what happened so many years ago to turn his heart to stone. His story is absolutely heart-breaking and it really helped me to get a better understanding of him as a character. Although I have never found him to be particularly sexy in the previous books, that definitely changed for me in Archangel's Blade. He is a typical alpha-male who is very dominant and knows exactly what he wants. But add this to the vulnerable side that we see of him here and he just becomes irresistible.

Honor is a great character too. When we first meet her she is trying to scrape back together the pieces of her life after a brutal attack by a group of vampires that happened over a matter of weeks. I loved watching her as she tries to come to terms with what happened and her strength as she becomes determined that she will not allow the attack to change her into a timid person. With Dmitri's attention, Honor really does blossom and become much more confident as the story progresses. In fact, they are perfect for each other as they each help the other to heal from past hurts.

I managed to work out quite early on how things were going to end between Dmitri and Honor and it was just the perfect Happy Ever After for them. I don't normally like it when I can work out how a book is going to end but I think I would have been seriously disappointed if it hadn't ended the way it did. I was literally sobbing with happiness for Dmitri and Honor. I even still get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about it now and I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago *sigh*.

Summary - I think that this is my favourite book of the series so far. It has got a sexy alpha male, a kick-ass heroine and a strong mystery plot. The ending is just so amazing and heart-warming that I think everybody should read it for the warm fuzzies it will give you. Although it is book four in a series I think you could get away with skipping straight to this book as the series changes focus at this point onto a different couple. If you are a paranormal romance fan, you really need to read this book!

Other books in this series:
1. Angels' Blood
2. Archangel's Kiss
3. Archangels Consort
4. Archangel's Blade

Other reviews of this book:
Dear Author / Love Vampires / Smexy Books

This book counts towards the following challenges:
Book #6 for 2012 Speculative Romance Reading Challenge
Book #4 for 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Book #10 for 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


_yay_ said...

Very thoughtful review.
I, too, am a huge fan of the series. However, #4 is my least favorite book. Rated it 3.5 stars.
Have you read the Elemental Assassin books? PNR & Urban Fantasy.
Also, I just posted a review for book #1 of a new series (pnr, vampire).
Have a good day :-)
_yay_ @

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

_yay_ - Thanks for stopping by. I haven't yet read the Elemental Assassin books but I've got them on my TBR list :)

Sarah (saz101) said...

oooh, WOW! So glad you loved this one so much! I liked it A LOT... but I guess I wasn't sick of Elena and Raphael *quite* yet, and I still want more after the ambiguous ending of consort.

I really REALLY liked this one, and I was surprised how much I wound up liking Dmitri (I LOVED Honor. No surprise there. Beautiful, broken, and brave). But he SCARED me... and I still... I mean, I don't really love his attitude towards women in general. It kind of seems as he sees them as sex objects, or food, or nothing in between. Like he has zero respect or interest in a woman in any way, other than for her body? Hmmm... I still wasn't sure of it by the end, because the ONLY reason he ended up being wonderful with Honor was because of what he found out... but I think with Honor's influence, he'll grow into a better person, and his heart will heal a little. I was SERIOUSLY conflicted, but I loved it anyway (nearly gave it 5 stars), and his story? Oh my goodness, he shattered my heart into a million pieces. What he suffered, and all this time... all those years :(

But this: "they are perfect for each other as they each help the other to heal from past hurts." Oh yes. YES! So, so much. And I loved it DESPITE guessing the ending, and perhaps all the more for it... and the ending? OMG. BIGGEST WARM FUZZIES EVER! I cried XD

FABULOUS review.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Thanks Sarah :)

I figured you wouldn't like this one quite as much - I know how much you love Raphael and Elena :)

I agree that Dmitri's attitude towards women sucks. But at the same time I don't necessarily agree with you that he is so wonderful with Honor only because of what he finds out. Dmitri was perfect for her before he even found out what he did. I admit that he has still got a long way to go in his treatment of women, but like you say, hopefully he will heal over time.

And the ending - definitely a huge case of warm fuzzies! I just wish every book I read left me feeling like that at the end :)

Sarah (saz101) said...

Hehe! You know, I wouldn't necessarily say I didn't like it as much as Raph/Elena... I think I actually rated it higher... but it took me a LOT of adjusting to kind of get past *CRY* I WANT MORE R/E *CRY*, if you know what I mean?

Hmmmm... *readjusts position on Dmitri* OK, I will... BEGRUDGINGLY (I'm joking ;P) accept you have a point there... I think I kind of got blindsided by his treatment of women, and how much it freaked me out while I was reading the book, so when I got to the denouement, I was kind of like 'SEE! PROVES MY POINT! *secretly adores book* *cries* *hugs to chest* I WAS RIGHT! IT'S ONLY BECAUSE SHE'S [spoiler redacted] THAT HE TREATS HER LIKE A HUMAN BEING!' But... he actually got past being a douche before that, didn't he? It was only ONCE he came to love her of his own accord that the big reveal was made. Hmmm... I *DO* think Honor and Dmitri were perfect for each other... I LOVED that they healed each other *sighs*

OK, I'm addicted to this series. At first, like I said, I was "WHAT?! NO R/E? WHA?", but I LOVE this book, and I'm reading Angel's Flight at the moment, and Galen and Jessamy's story and *melts* I ADORE it. The first 3 books (only 'cos I don't have the fourth as an eBook, not physical copy) are some of the few books that I repeatedly go back to and read over and over, and seriously :D

hehe, and I *DO* know what you mean about starting to get bored of R/E earlier in your review. I think it's a VERY good point, and... I don't know, as much as I'm kind of reluctant to admit it, the same issues and plotlines were being dragged out and revisted... the series probably needed this (new characters/POV's). AND OH MY GOODNESS! I'M SO EXCITED FOR JASON'S BOOK! *freaks out* did you see the cover? Teehehehe!

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Sarah - Sorry I made you reconsider your feelings about Dmitri ;)

As for getting bored of Raphael and Elena - I think there is a reason why PNR authors tend to focus on a different couple in each book. I love the excitement of reading about how a couple meet and fall in love and learn all about each other. THAT'S the exciting part. Not a few months down the line when they're out of the honeymoon period and fighting over who's turn it is to do the washing up! (Although I'm pretty sure Raphael would NEVER do washing up ;)) Do you know what I mean?

Hmm, just looked up Angel's Flight and I can't find a UK release date :( And I LOVE that cover!

Sarah (saz101) said...

*grumbles* well, at least you had the decency to apologise :P Haha!

Oh, yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean... and oh my goodness... the mental image of Raphael in a pinny doing the dishes! *dies laughing*

You know, it's kind of funny... I LOVE series where it focuses on one couple, but I DO agree with you. I ADORE the Night Huntress series, but with Bones and Cat in a happy place (exactly where I want them), the last book... it seemed to be missing a bit of the spark for me? And all the sexual tension in the Fever series (which couldn't really be called PNR so much as UF, I suppose) is because it's unresolved. If Nalini didn't keep R/E fighting each other to the point they tore their relationship to pieces, I think you're right... the excitement wouldn't be there, but then, well, they'd tear their relationship to pieces. Which is BAD.

Eee! I just finished Galen and Jessamy's story last night and I LOVED it. So sweet. Nalini... does she not just write these wonderfully sweet, warm, seriously hot stories? Love love love. Must read her Psy-Changeling books :D

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