Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Archangel's Legion

ARCHANGEL'S LEGION
Guild Hunter #6
Nalini Singh
Adult Paranormal Romance
384 pages
Jove/Penguin
Available October 29th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…


MY THOUGHTS
Archangel's Legion returns us to the smoldering relationship between archangel Raphael and Guild Hunter Elena; this sixth installment perhaps a bit quieter than those that came before it, but the slower nature of it is more gift than curse as it allows us to reestablish our valued connection to this pair after two books apart. Books four and five of the series switched the romantic focus from Raphael and Elena to two of Raphael's elite Seven and the women who captured their hearts, so the slow but steady progression of the disease that threatens the immortality of this world's vampires in this latest book gives us time to really explore the nuances of an already-established romantic relationship, their various problems and insecurities a treat to witness for the emotional proximity to them it grants us– grounding them in reality when so much of their world is breathtaking fantasy.

Elena has always been a gorgeous combination of badass fighter and haunted daughter, the weight of her mother and sister's death combining with the disapproval and borderline hatred of her father to lay her bare before our eyes even as she refuses to so much as flinch in the presence of a physical threat, and she's at the very peak of vulnerability in Archangel's Legion. Her love for Raphael, while unwavering and indisputable, terrifies her more than it has in previous books; an ingrained fear of abandonment rearing its ugly head as the Cascade brings about significant changes in Raphael. It's the realization that her very presence could play a part in his downfall that nearly unravels her, a brutal history threatening to repeat itself just when she's truly started to live again thanks to a frighteningly powerful archangel.

Raphael, who has previously been rather remote and at times cold given his impressive age and things he must to do to hold his position within the Cadre and within New York, continues to shed some of his otherworldliness in this installment, repeatedly demonstrating a dry wit and surprising sense of humor as he teases Elena out of her melancholy. Together the two of them are an unforgettable romantic pair, pushing each other to their limits but always providing safe harbor when the other needs it most, all the while constantly challenging each other yet standing united against any and all threats. They fight, they dance, they tease, and they prove to all of us perhaps doubtful readers that an established relationship can be every bit as hot as one still in the many stages of courtship.

Though the journey in this one is categorized by soft footfalls rather powerful, stomping strides, Ms. Singh ends book six with a rather epic showdown high above New York City, our lead pair and their beloved assortment of loyal friends causing us to tense every muscle in our bodies as they fight what appears to be a losing battle, but even in the darkest moments of those concluding pages our love for them provides much-needed warmth. Peace for Raphael, Elena and Raphael's Seven is clearly but a distant hope by the time we reach the last page, yet our faith in all of them is at its all time highest and we can only smile in gleeful anticipation as to what the next book will bring.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

41 comments:

  1. Spectacular review Jenny! Sounds like the characters and romance in this book is awesome. It's nice to learn a bit about this series. I'm glad it explores the excitement of a continuing relationship.

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    1. Thanks so much Rachel! I adore this series (and pretty much anything Nalini writes), but it's fun that we get both Raphael and Elena for several books as well as members of his Seven:)

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  2. Another great series I have been meaning to try! I am glad it is still going strong and I think I like that idea that it doesn't just focus on the two main characters but rather all of the characters. It is kind of nice when authors do that so you really get a feel for all involved in the storyline.

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    1. YES! And her secondary characters are fantastic, so it's definitely a treat when you find out they get a whole book to themselves:)

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  3. Ah... you keep reminding me to read this series! I'm a little scared that there are already 6 books out for me to catch up. But... this sounds like such a great series and ... you like them apparently so much that you follow the series.. which means, very likely I will love them too!
    ah.. it's so easy with you and me :))

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    1. You would like this series for sure Danny:) And 6 books sounds like a lot I know, but you do have vacation coming up....so it would be easy to just speed read them all:)

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  4. Lots of people like Singh's books. I should try them. I'm not an angel fan, but I do love my vampires. Maybe that'll cancel out the anti-angel bias.

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    1. These aren't typical angels in any way, there's no relationship to higher beings and they're not here for any sort of purpose or mission, they're just another entity like vamps or weres. Very sexy, very intimidating entities though:)

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  5. HOW DID YOU GET THE ARC? Ah, I'm so jealous of that! I'm dying to read this book, but good thing that it comes out in few days. I skimmed your review because I don't want to go in blind, but I'm so overjoyed to see that higher rating. Plus, an epic battle at the end sounds just what I was expecting! Thanks for sharing, Jenny! This is my fave Angel series ever!

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    1. *want to go in blind. I like to be surprised :)

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    2. I was crazy lucky! It shall be in your hands tomorrow though Aman, and then Raphael is all yours:) Can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  6. Et tu, Jenny?! Nalini and I went our separate ways after the second book in her Psy Changeling series, not because I didn't like it, I did, but because PNR tends to give me allergies. But now you're making this sound great and ruining all my plans, just like you always do. *glares*
    I do believe I need to meet Elena, she is my kind of girl.
    Lovely review, my friend.

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    1. Hahaha you're welcome Maja ;-) I will say it took me a little while to warm to the Psy-Changeling series as well (except for Hawke, I fell for him instantly), and I the later books in that series are my favorites. I hope you'll maybe take a chance on the Guild Hunter books, I adore Elena!

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  7. "An established relationship can be every bit as hot as one still in the many stages of courtship." Yes! As long as I have a clear understanding of why the characters are together and the author isn't creating an unnecessary drama, I love reading series where the relationship is already established.

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    1. No unnecessary drama here Z! That's what I love about them, they have their rough spots, but there's never any doubt that they're going to stay together and work through it. No love triangles, no push and pull, just the two of them together:)

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  8. Gosh, I really need to read this series! I keep making plans to, but then I just never get around to it with all my review copies! Hopefully this Christmas I'll actually get time to read my own pleasure-reads since this sounds fantastic! Great review, Jenny!(:

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    1. I have so many books like that Keertana! My pleasure reads list is equally as long as my review list:) Hope you get a chance over Christmas to try these out!

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  9. Ooh nice review! Looking forward to getting back to Elena and Raphael again!

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  10. Another series I have heard great things about and I really want to read it but still haven't. (is there an end to that list *sigh*) anyhow I need to meet Elena. She sounds so good. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. Elena is fabulous, one of my favorite heroines. She doesn't take any crap from Raphael and he is definitely scary at times. They're so perfect for one another:)

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  11. Would you believe that, despite the fact that I've known you for, like, two years, I still haven't read anything by this author? It's madness. I swear you need to tell me where to start, please, because they all sound so so good! Lovely review, as per usual, Jenny :)

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    1. IT IS MADNESS MELISSA! And it must change! Start with Angel's Blood, that's the first book in this series and will introduce you to the very sexy, very alpha, sometimes a-hole Raphael:) He will grow on you though, fear not.

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  12. Raphael...he seems like such a cold, unemotional fish but I love how different he is with Elena! He really lets his guard down with her and they're becoming a super-pair as they learn to work with each other. Love this series!

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    1. YES! I love how much he's changed since book one, and how they both communicate so well. Nothing frustrates me more in a romance than when there's no communication and drama results. I have no fear of that with the two of them:)

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  13. I have angel issues, Jenny. Sigh. But if I ever wanted to grab one again, you've made me want to pick this one up!

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    1. I can almost guarantee you your angel issues would not extend to this series. Aside from the fact that they have wings, there's nothing really angelic about them. There are zero religious undertones, they have no higher purpose they're trying to achieve, they're just sexy and winged and immortal and awesome :)

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  14. I can't wait to read this one, Jenny! I'm so jonesing for a great PRN to read this winter season. I've already got the book on hold at the library and trying to wait patiently for my turn. I love how Nalini is allowing Elena and Raphael time to grow and learn about one another. I have to say I wasn't a big fan of Raphael in book 1 but he's grown on me since then.

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    1. Yes, Raphael is a bit of a challenge in that first book, but the end I was in love with him and have fallen more and more in love with each book. Can't wait to see what you'll think of them in this one Rummanah!

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  15. I guess this is another UF series I need to put on the TBR. I'll have to investigate this further! Great review, Jenny!

    Btw, to answer you question on Seducing the Enemy, their identities are discovered right away in the story. The morning after! :)

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    1. This is more paranormal romance than UF, but I know you love romance as much as I do, so that will only mean good things for you:)

      Thanks for answering my question, I can read that book now that they find out early on. If it got dragged out I would have gotten an ulcer:)

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  16. Oh wow! This sounds exactly the kind of book that I would enjoy, Jenny. Elena and Rafael sound like exciting characters and they seem to have tons of chemistry together. You've definitely made me want to give this series a try especially since it seems action-packed.
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. They are definitely not short on chemistry Nick! They sizzle in book one and continue to do so in the next 3 books that feature them. I can sometimes get bored in a established relationship setup because the initial tension and the will they/won't they aspect is gone, but these two are always a treat:)

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  17. Oooh, I could use an epic show down, since I read another book that really let go of the ending. Awesome review!

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    1. She definitely ends this one with a bang Savy! Good stuff:)

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  18. Darn it! I have the first 4 books in this series and I need to dig them out of the huge tbr pile and dive in! Glad that it still seems to rock at #6! It also sounds like I'll be wanting #7 after this is done. Perhaps when I'm caught up I won't have to wait! :) Love the sound of the romance in this one.

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  19. I need to read this author period. You have been telling me about her for a long time. Maybe I will finally get to it in 2014! I was already eyeing this when I put it into FF this morning, glad it lived up to the expectations for you, Jenny!

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  20. I haven't read this series yet, but I have at least some of them. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this!

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  21. I can't believe I haven't read this series yet, it sounds wonderful! I think I'm going to love Raphael and Elena's relationship, and I'm thrilled to hear you're still anticipating the next book and happy with the characters after so many books. This is definitely on my TBR list now. Lovely review!

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  22. Someone's been busy enjoying paranormal romance lately :D *wink wink* I am yet to be introduced to this genre, and honestly, I have no idea where to even start. Maja from the Nocturnal Library and you, Jenny, always post about all these awesome books and series, but for a newbie like me it's all a bit intimidating :) If you have any suggestions as to where to start my adventure with paranormal romance and/or urban fantasy, I'm all ears! :)

    And as always - fabulous review! I really like the cover and the premise of this series :)

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