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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 

 

Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.

 

A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
----
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish

 

updated July 9, 2015

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Progress: 27 %

Review: Archangel's Shadows by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Shadows (Guild Hunter) - Nalini Singh

Set in Manhattan in the heart of Archangel Raphael’s territory, Archangel’s Shadows deals with the aftermath of the great battle between Raphael and Lijuan (previous book). While Elena and Raphael work to restore the spirits of their citizens, an undercurrent evil darkness seems to be infiltrating the vampire community. Guild Hunter Ashwini, rested up after she nearly died three weeks prior, is sent out to find out more about an animal that appears to have died in a manner similar to what Lijuan has done to others in the past. When her reconnaissance overlaps with the work vampire Janvier is doing for Raphael and the Tower, the pair team up.

 

Ashwini is a powerful Hunter and a fierce warrior in her own right, and along with Janvier and Nassir, she is a valuable member of the Archangel’s Shadows. She’s always had a close relationship with Janvier, and the pair clearly desire, if not love, one another. However Ashwini holds a secret which prevents her from giving in to Janvier’s temptations. I thought I would be frustrated by Ashwini - wanting Janvier, but constantly denying herself; however, it was quite the opposite. I admired her strength of will and determination not to break Janvier’s heart, something she holds dearly.

 

I fell in love with Janvier from the moment of his first point-of-view. I adored how much he wants Ashwini, not just physically, but in all manners. He adores her so very much that he will not push past the flirtations and move to full on seduction because he knows it would be the end of their relationship. *sigh* I love that he has no issues and conflict other than his undying love for Ash. He is the perfect match for Ashwini, and the thing is… she knows it too.

 

One of the things that I love about the Guild Hunter series is that the story focuses on more than the primary couple. This time around we continue to spent a lot of time with Elena and Raphael, who are one of my favorite couples, ever. In addition, after such a huge shift in the balance of world powers (previous book), it is nice to see the city in the process of rebuilding and rejoicing. I like that the rebuilding of the city and morale is such a big part of the story. In addition, readers learn more about the mysterious group of immortal warriors known as the Legion. Some of the scenes, while small and simple, share not only more about this group, but also about the characters around them, such as Elena’s generosity and “humanness.” And, we also spend time interacting with Nassir, one of Raphael’s inner circle. While I liked learning about Nassir through his actions and conversations, I was uneasy in how others treated him. I can’t put my finger on it, but it was almost as if he was treated like a man with a mental disability. It gave me the impression that he was slow and child-like, which contradicts the warrior he is. I look forward to seeing how this plays out in future books. 

 

The overall conflict and mystery focuses on this dark mood that seems to have permeated the vampire Quarter. Watching Janvier and Ashwini piece together what was going on was both engrossing and entertaining. I loved that I was able to put together most of the clues as they were revealed, making the outcome rewarding when I realized I had solved it correctly. I also appreciate that the victims of these horrendous crimes are not simply faceless bodies. Ms. Singh places huge value on the humanity of the victims, and I love Ash’s observation of Felicity in particular, that she was loved and cared about and probably just didn't know it. 

 

In the end, I enjoyed my return trip to Manhattan and the world of the Guild Hunter. Ms. Singh has created an immensely rich world full of complex characters and exciting attributes. I find myself drawn in from the beginning and sad when the book ends. In particular Archangel's Shadows is another fascinating addition to the overall story. The love story of Ashwini and Janvier is unique in that the pair is already in love before the start of the book (however, they haven’t acted on their mutual attraction). Although readers are denied some emotional turmoil and conflict one would experience at the start of a new relationship, they are rewarded with intense emotions right from the get go. I admire that the pair remain duty-driven, and their affections and friendship enhance all that they accomplish. I always appreciate that conflicts are dealt with and resolved maturely and mostly easily. The Guild Hunter series is one of my absolute favorites and I cannot wait to visit this world again!

 

My Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot

Review copy provided by publisher.

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About.