Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Archangel's Prophecy by Nalini Singh


Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy...

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind… and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible… not even for the consort of an archangel.

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Book 11
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Illium turned in a direction that would take them to the Catskills if they kept on going.

Sweeping closer to him, she said, “You just want to fly?”

Hair rippling in the quiet but cutting wind, he twisted down in a complicated fall before flying back up to her side. She laughed at his showing off. That was Illium. An angel of violent power who had a heart that might almost be mortal. And, these days, she could appreciate his tricks again. Not a single angel in the city had been ready to witness his acrobatics in the immediate aftermath of the day he’d crashed out of the sky.

Elena would never forget her screaming fear.

To his credit, Illium had flown with absolute discretion for months, letting the memory dull and fade.

When he returned to her side today, his face was flushed, the gold of his eyes rich. “Sky’s too beautiful to shut ourselves away in a club.”

“Just don’t forget I’m not as fast as you. Also, I’m currently lame.”

Illium lifted one cupped hand close to his shoulder, the other moving back and forth... and she realized he was playing a tiny violin in response to her morose tone.

“Crossbow, Bluebell.” Narrowed eyes. “Remember the crossbow.”

He dived, his wicked laughter floating up on the night air. Lips twitching, Elena continued to glide, letting the air currents sweep her along with cold but gentle hands. Illium, meanwhile, flew circles around her—but he never went far, always close enough to halt her descent should she tumble.

She landed a number of times to rest her wings, once in an isolated park whispering and dark. A luminescent insect appeared then disappeared from sight before she could truly see it, an earthbound star. The ghostly owl sitting on a tree branch watched her with eyes even more luminous.

A sigh deep in her mind, an old, old presence restless in Sleep.

The hairs rose on her arms.

Then Illium shot them both up into the sky again, and together, they flew far beyond the diamond-bright skyline of the city and over the sleeping homes of ordinary people who lived in a world of vampires and angels, blood and immortality.

Another rest stop for Elena.

Another throb of pain from the cut on her forearm.

Another watchful owl, this one landing on Illium’s shoulder without his knowledge. Ashwini had told her not to be afraid of the owls, so Elena ignored the goose bumps and said, Hello, with her mind. A good night to fly.

A vein began to throb at her temple.

The answer came a long time later, after they were in the air again, the glow of the sinkhole visible from the distance.

It has been an eon since I flew.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2018.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆
Archangel's Prophecy is the 11th installment of the Guild Hunter series and cannot be read as a standalone. However, if the reader is well-versed in the series, it could be read if they missed a few installments.

Narrated primarily by Elena. The Hunter/Angel investigates an assault on her brother-in-law, Harrison, which took place in front of the little sister, Eve. This bridged the gap in the family, between the father and his three surviving daughters and granddaughter. A few scenes complete the family, with Elena's maternal grandparents making an appearance. The pain over the loss of her sisters and mother is revisited as she tries to move forward with her remaining family members.

While investigating Harrison's attack, drawing Elena down many paths, her fragile immortality slowly reverses to even less than the strength of her previous mortal hunter body.

While the investigation is in the forefront, Elena's struggles are the focus for the reader. To be honest, I was disinterested in the investigation taking so much page-time, only because I couldn't concentrate with the fate of our heroine at risk. It became annoying background noise that wouldn't shut up.

To be entirely honest, I don't believe I'm in the minority here. It took everything in me, after reading the beginning, not to completely skip the entire middle and just read the end. It was stressful, and as the Harrison investigation continued forward, turning more convoluted and confusing, even the why of it all seemed beyond irrational, I just wanted to get through it to the ending.

One of my major issues is how Elena is in failing health, yet continues to investigate, as if there weren't so many others who could do a competent job, better even, since she wasn't on the top of her game. I realize this all connected in a string of A to B to C to D and so on, but I felt this bizarre that with Harrison healing, her sister and niece safe, why did Elena have to go after his assailant? It felt as if Elena's issues were outweighed by nothing of importance, when her life was on the line. This felt out of character by everyone in her circle. Raphael was dealing with the Cascade, but to just ignore Elena's issues didn't compute with me.

Yes, I'm talking around the plot, simply because I refuse to spoil it for readers. The book ends on one heck of a cliffhanger. I do believe Archangel's Prophecy was pivotal in the series lineup and necessary for fans to read.

Hopefully the wait isn't long, as I'm more than curious to see what happens next for Elena and Raphael. I'm also confused, after reading every single word, so much of it went right over my head, none of it connecting, as if the author needed to go from A to P, but don't worry if the other stops along the way don't actually connect – just read over them. I'm not one who needs to be spoon-fed, but I found everything to be chaotic and disjointed, with many things made to seem important to have no importance, and things barely mentioned to be catastrophic.

Archangel's Prophecy was a buildup from page one, but we don't truly get to experience what it built toward, leaving me confused as to what the author's future plans are for the series, because it all just seems out of nowhere and left field.


Sarah☆☆☆☆☆
This series has been an auto-buy from the beginning and I’ve enjoyed the somewhat predictable pattern the books have settled into. Until this one. Book 11 brings readers back to Elena and Raphael, where Elena is slowly losing her immortality and her body weakens. After so many books where Elena gains power and grows into her role as Raphael’s Consort, this book packs an emotional punch from the beginning.

I love Elena in this book. It’s been a few books since she was the protagonist and I love the growth we see in her here. Her emotions are powerful and raw as she deals with the escalating changes to her body. Raphael’s emotions are closer to the surface than we’ve seen before and it is obvious that Elena has succeeded in making him more than a little bit mortal. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot but there is a scene at the end that might be one of the most romantic moments I’ve read in a very long time.

Running parallel to Elena’s personal struggles is her investigation into the murder of several vampires and a related attack on her brother-in-law. The investigation is exciting and the clues pull together well, but I didn’t get into the investigation as much as I have in previous books because I was more focused on Elena’s weakening body. Elena struggles to balance her roles as both consort and guild hunter. In this story she clings almost desperately to her identity as a hunter – even when her actions are ill advised, and she ends up putting herself and others at risk.

Every time I pick up a new Nalini Singh book I remember how much I love her writing. There are some exceptionally beautiful passages in this story and I had to stop a few times to savour the language. Readers probably won’t need to have read all of the previous ten books to appreciate this one, but they will need to have at least read the first three that are specifically about Elena and Raphael. However, this book marks a huge turning point in the series and finishes on a cliffhanger that left me in a bit of a state. Anyone wanting to continue the series will need to read this book.




New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. You can contact her directly through her website. While visiting the site, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter for up-to-date news about both the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, as well as fun exclusive extras, including free short stories set in her worlds.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter #11) by Nalini Singh to read and review.

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