Author: Nalini Singh
Archangel’s Consort is the newest volume of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, the third installment it seems. This is a novel that would flow much quicker for the reader if it was read in sequence with its predecessors, having said that it was a book I very much enjoyed as a stand alone.
I’m the type of reader who likes to know the back story and how things came to be as they are, which is a little difficult to keep up with when you start reading at book three.
Set in a world where Archangels rule the vampires and make the decisions about who gets to be Made; which in itself took some getting used to.
This book is action packed from start to finish with the coming awakening of an ancient Archangel. Turmoil is felt the world over as the ancient one slowly swims up to consciousness through unusual weather patterns and disturbing behaviour from both the vampires and some of the Archangel’s.
Elena, our lead character, is a hunter-born Guild Hunter and recently-Made angel who is still trying to grow into her wings and her immortality; she is also Consort of the Archangel Raphael. Their return to their New York home after Elena’s recovery from the incident that saw her Made is a little more eventful than either of them had planned.
Soon after their arrival a vampire attacks a girls’ school attended by Elena’s younger half sisters; a vicious assault of madness. This marks the beginning of a string of attacks which seem outwardly fuelled by bloodlust and madness, though closer inspection by Elena speak of another hand controlling the outbreaks.
Elena’s hunter-born talents include being able to smell the unique scents of vampires and track them, and the scents around many of the uncharacteristic attacks are disturbingly similar but still seem to be missing a note.
My first impressions of this book were that it was going to be another young adult paranormal romance, an impression formed by the look of the book and the blurb on the back. The edition I have actually has ratings on the back, like in the TV Guide, which was really quite cool.
Archangel’s Consort is rated: Gothic, Romantic, Action Packed, Funny and Sexy. The ratings are spot on by all accounts but the rating of Sexy just isn’t quite strong enough. Quite a lot of rather graphic sexual content while not completely gratuitous it’s still not something I would like my 15-16year old reading. There were some scenes so steamy they will literally have you flushing with the heat.
A romantic story of the compromises and sacrifices required for any relationship to survive and prosper, especially one between an independent, self reliant vampire hunter and a millenia’s old ruling Archangel accustomed to being obeyed without question. The growth required by both partners to see the halves flourish and the relationship survive.
Singh’s characters are vivid and vibrant, even the ones saturated in darkness, all of whom will speak to you. Raphael’s Seven, his inner circle of warriors and his eyes and ears around his territory, are all damaged and broken in some emotional way by their pasts and it seems to me that this is a large part of what brings them to Raphael and concretes their loyalty.
Raphael is also fundamentally broken by experiences in his past, experiences that have shaped him as is his Consort and this helps to tie the bonds even tighter.
Overall an exciting, action packed tale that is fast paced an easy to read and will slowly allow you to piece together the back story until you feel you have caught up on the things you missed in the first two volumes. Singh is a storyteller of vast imagination who won’t disappoint.