23 Mar '11

A Nix UF Review : Archangels Consort – Nalini Singh (5 Stars)

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Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
Published by Penguin Group US on 2012-09-04
Genres: UF
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
five-stars

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

I read these books because loved the psy-changeling books. I will admit I liked them from book one, but I never loved them. This book changed my opinion completely and now I consider this one of the best UF series I have read in a long time.

The story picks up where the last book ended. Elena is still struggling to find her place within her relationship, and within her new world. Being a newborn Angel there are a lot of new challenges to overcome and, with now having a lovely big bulls-eye on her back as Raphael’s consort, she has to train like a woman possessed to get herself to a state where she can defend herself against dangers that seek to attack her Archangel. Alongside all the extra bruises the members of his seven like to give her, she must also restart her calling as a Hunter-born. A series of bizarre, ritualistic murders occur in places that threaten her family and, once again, Elena has to face her estranged father and his new family, pushing the job that destroyed their family back into his face. When the weather becomes unpredictable and Archangels all over the world begin to show signs of madness, there is only one conclusion that can be made; an ancient is waking. When the enticing scent of Black Orchids become a feature at the increasingly gruesome murders there is no other option than to believe that Raphael’s very insane mother has started to arise.

One of my problems with these books is that Raphael is so very “other”. I love my Alpha men but he was so cold he just didn’t seem capable of the slightly obsessive love that drives Elena towards him. I also thought that, for the most part, he was actually just a bossy, arrogant bastard, rather than the sensual alpha’s that I adore to read about. Then I read this line and it all just clicked in my head

“Vivek stared at her for a long time. “I always wondered who’d break through that armour- figures it’d be a scary-ass archangel”

In this book, we also see a lot more of the seven. Dmitry is heavily involved in the mission to keep Elena safe, which I assume is because of the release of his story later in the year, as is Illium (I love Bluebell ;D). I’m on my way to a mini-fascination with Venom with his numerous appearances in fighting sequences with Elena; I’m always drawn to the complete gits it seems 😀 However, the character that attracts me the most is the beautiful but broken Aodhan. I want to see more of this character in future books and, with his decision to spend more time at the refuge, I’m hoping my wishes come true 😀 We revisited Sam from the last book and I’m happy to report the little tyke is fine…I love the fact that Singh never forgets a character that she has made us hold dear!

The main plot line involves the awakening of the ancient. With this came more insight into the history of the angels, and into the disturbing habits that the older angels gather as the madness advances. Overhanging this whole narrative is the realisation that this is a future that could be Raphael’s. I found it slightly disturbing to consider him as a future false deity, who provides nothing but death and destruction for his worshippers. In this series, there is no certain future for our characters and I adore that there is no shying away from the reality that love cannot protect you from everything.

This book wasn’t about Raphael’s crazy mom coming back; it was about the growth of Elena and Raphael’s relationship into an Archangel and his consort. Singh made me believe in the characters on a much more emotional level in this book than in either of the two predecessors. Elena is a product of her upbringing. She has had to live with the fact that she watched her two sisters die by the hands of an evil that her gift lured into their home. Her mother committed suicide and left her in the incapable hands of a father who couldn’t cope with all the loss surrounding him, as well as the daughter he partially blamed for all the death. In this book, you saw all this fragility in her that she only allowed out because of her relationship with Raphael. At one point, she tells him that she is the only one she could ever imagine having children with, because he was the only one she could trust was strong enough to protect them and I got a little teary eyed. Elena is shown for what she is in this book; a mass of hurt and self-hate surrounded by lead lined armour. The relationship suddenly made sense because he had to be a stubborn, pig-headed, bossy bastard to get her to let him in.

In this book, the relationship is real and solid to the pair of them so there are no games or secrets. We get to see more of the sensual side of Raphael (look out for a scene that involves the sea…yowza :D), and we get to see the possessive side of him. We also get to see the tender side of him, the one that just wants to hurt the people that hurt her and tuck her away somewhere until all the danger is gone. In this book, the relationship between them is cemented into something more permanent. Elena has to learn to allow him to be her defender and Raphael has to learn to allow her to be a person, rather than a possession. They both start to trust each other with their deepest fears and start to shift their lives so they meet somewhere in the middle. I loved it and I loved them together…I can’t wait to read more!

I enjoyed it, but you must start from book one! Without all the background, the character will not ensnare you as they have me! I laughed, I cried a little and I found myself unable to tear myself away. Read it if you adore love stories because that is the core of this series.

five-stars

Nix

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