Review: Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (@jessicadhaluska, @NaliniSingh)

Posted October 22, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 47 Comments

Review: Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (@jessicadhaluska, @NaliniSingh)
Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #7
Published by Jove
Published on: October 28 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s sensual and painfully beautiful Guild Hunter world in her new novel of sacrifice, loyalty, and the choices of love that can shatter the heart.

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.


So I know I said that I don’t like angels in Urban Fantasy in my last review, but I should have qualified that statement: if the angels are simply winged, humanoid beings without ties to religion (and only called “angels” for lack of a better description), then I like them juuuuust fiiiiiiine. And if they happen to be the angels in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter books, then I flat-out L-O-V-E them.

Guild Hunter is kind of an odd series. It’s part UF, part PNR, and it’s kind of a perfect marriage between the two. You’ve got Elena and Raphael, the MCs for the series overall, but then you’ve got a handful of books, still continuing the main plot, but focused on other, well-liked secondaries like you find in PNR.

Elena and Raphael still play important roles in those books, and even have the occasional POV shift, but in those other books we get an opportunity to get a deeper look at characters previously viewed from the sidelines.

The first time Singh did this was in book 4, Archangel’s Blade, and ever since then, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book—the Ash and Janvier book.

Ash and Janvier have been consistently providing moments of hilarity, beginning with the very first installment. Ash was painted as a violent and slightly unbalanced guild hunter, and Janvier, the roguishly handsome and incorrigibly charming vampire she was often hired to hunt. Janvier would lead her on a merry chase, only to get the contract on him nullified within hours of Ash catching up to him:

“You made me traipse through the bayou for weeks,” she muttered now. “Then, right when I had you, you made nice with the angel you’d pissed off.” It wasn’t the first time he’d done that either. “You knew how mad that made me—why did you keep doing it?”

Lifting their clasped hands, he pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “I was courting you.”

Like I said—HILARIOUS.

It was obvious that there was more going on with these two, but Ash always held Janvier at a distance. In Archangel’s Shadows we find out why. *whispers* And it’s goooooood.

The PNR format means that an HEA is inevitable, but if you want to know the ends and outs . . . you’re going to have to read it for yourself. All I can say without spoiling it, is that I was impressed with Singh’s spin on the (IMO) too often employed “but we can’t EVER be together, b/c insert-not-a-reason-here” track.

Ash had a legitimate reason, and Singh’s solution was nothing less than brilliant. *tips hat*

I also have a new book to anxiously await.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Naasir stole the spotlight (b/c Janvier *swoon*), but it was close. Between Dimintri’s remembrances from Naasir’s childhood:

He’d never forget what Naasir had said to him when Dmitri yelled that he didn’t intend to bury another child and that Naasir needed to have a care for his life.

“Am I a person, Dmitri? Will you be sad if I die?”

And his obvious feral nature in the present:

“I told Caliane that trying to civilize me is like trying to civilize a jungle cat,” Naasir said with a shrug. “We pretend to like people until we get hungry and want fresh meat.” A glance around, a glint in his eye. “I honestly do like you all. I haven’t thought about eating you for at least two centuries.”

I am dying to find out what this wild, yet completely enthralling, beast is.  *grabby hands*

Archangel’s Shadows was everything  I wanted it to be. It did justice to two of my favorite characters, making their story worth the wait, and still kept me full of anticipation for the next chapter . . .

Hopefully Naasir’s. *winks*

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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47 responses to “Review: Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (@jessicadhaluska, @NaliniSingh)

  1. Great review Jessica, I can’t wait to read this one myself. The fun thing is that Ashwini is named after Nalini’s sister. I have met her in Berlin as well, and she does or could look like that cover model.
    I love angels as long as there is not too much religion involved.
    aurian recently posted…Jim Butcher – Furies of Calderon

    • Uh oh—what didn’t you like about the end of Archangel’s Blade? It’s been awhile since I read it, so I can’t remember if there was something that bugged me or not . . .

      Anyway, glad you’re excited about this one, and I hope it goes better! And thanks 😉

  2. “I was impressed with Singh’s spin on the (IMO) too often employed “but we can’t EVER be together, b/c insert-not-a-reason-here” track.

    Ash had a legitimate reason, and Singh’s solution was nothing less than brilliant. *tips hat*”

    YES JESSICA! I typically am not a big fan of the “we just can’t be together” back and forth romance, but this one worked on every level for me. Ash had a very valid fear and I could totally understand why it kept her from going all in with Janvier. SO GOOD! Can it be time for Illium though? I’d really like his book:)

    • I know! It drives me bonkers. I had trouble with a few of the Psy-Changeling books for that very reason, except it was always “b/c I’m gonna DIE.” This time though . . . perfect 😉

      And YES to Illium’s book. And Aodhan. And NAASIR!!

    • This series has surprised me by turning into one of my favorites. I likes Singh’s other, longer running series (Psy-Changeling) well enough, but this one . . . this one rocks my socks off 😉

  3. I just finished this on audio yesterday. I agree with everything you said. Your explanation of the PNR/UF feel of the book is spot on. I think Singh meant for this series to be completely UF, but then some characters screamed to have their stories told, so she obliged them. I’m so glad she did. While I love Elena and Raphael, it is great to take a short break from them and get into the minds of the other characters.

    I know a lot of people have been hounding Singh for Bluebell’s story, but it is Naasir’s that I want to read (not that I would turn down Bluebell’s).
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Seventh Grave and No Body Audiobook by Darynda Jones (Blog Tour)

    • Yay! I’m glad you liked it. And I think you’re right about Singh’s original intent, but I’m glad she broke from that too. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but by the time Jason’s book came out, I was fully on board.

      And yeah, I think Illium’s book topped my list of wants (after Ash and Janvier’s), but now it’s Naasir all the way. And Aohdan! YEP—this series continues to have a promising future 😉

    • Hmmm . . . Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is definitely PNR, and if I’m honest, it’s the reason I held off of this series for so long (b/c not impressed). I don’t think I started Guild Hunter until just before book 4 came out, and I’m pretty sure the only reason I did then was b/c the I grabbed the paperback at Target on a whim, and I LOVED it. IMO, it’s definitely on the UF side, even when the POV switches to different characters for a book or two. Kind of like Ilona Andrews THE EDGE series—different POVs in each book, but primarily action-focused. I think you might like this one . . .

    • I think this series is INFINITELY better than the Psy-Changeling series—I read the first book, and was completely MEH about it. But when I read the first Guild Hunter book, I was so blown away, that after I binge-read all the available books, I went back and gave Psy-Changeling another shot. I liked it better on the second pass, but still . . . no where near as much as Guild Hunter.

    • You know, I haven’t read many, b/c it’s hard to find angels without the religion aspect, but I know a lot of people who feel the same way about angels that I do, and really, really like Linda Poitevin’s Grigori Legacy series.

  4. I’m soooooooo late in this series. I read book 1, it’s a good start right? And I have book 2 in French somewhere lol and maybe more but I need to get them to read them one day…