As I usually try to do on these types of posts, I have to start by saying that Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors, to the point of it being a bit pathetic, actually. So does that mean that I go into anything she writes expecting it to be great? Yep. And she has never disappointed me yet. I was totally surprised to get an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows, and it was a one-sitting read. This will be a few spoiler-free glimpses, but I will assume that you are up-to-date with the events in Archangel’s Legion.
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.
I went into this thinking that it was going to be equal parts Raphael and Elena’s story and Ash and Janvier’s, and I was thinking that Ash and Janvier might get short-changed. I couldn’t’ve been more of the target. The story breaks down, as best as I can figure, to be about 75% Ash and Janvier, 15% Raphael and Elena, and 10% everyone else. Nice.
We start out seeing a little bit of role Ash, Janvier and Naasir’s trio played in the battle against Lijuan, and the bond they formed behind the lines. The recap of the battle is brief, but the impact of it continues throughout the book. When a new issue rises that threatens the stability of a city that has already been through so much, Ash and Janvier end up teaming up again to track a vicious enemy. There is lots of action, but that doesn’t overpower the romance at all. Their story has been simmering over the course of several stories, and it was worth the wait.
Illium and Aodhan make a few appearances, usually as comic relief. Change is coming for Illium, and I do believe his story will be heading our way (soonish). And I could totally see a novella for Ransom, too. Dmitri and Honor are settling into their new life, Aodhan is continuing to make progress coming back into the world, and the Legion is slowly beginning to find a place. But the scene-stealer, no doubt, is Naasir. I didn’t think anyone could outshine Bluebell, but Naasir did. Half feral, half innocent, and completely unpredictable, he made every scene he was in. We don’t find out exactly what he is, or what he isn’t, for that matter, but I can’t wait to find out. Elena continues to make the role of Consort her own, even if it sometimes a struggle for the fighter to handle the politics of the position.
So, that is about it. I thought it was a great story – strong on the romance, the action, and the set up for future stories. Oh, and as an extra bonus, there was an excerpt from the upcoming Secrets at Midnight, the Bastien novella that will be in the Night Shift anthology due out on November 25th.