Published 2011 324 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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…
Archangel’s Consort is the third book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter urban fantasy romance series. What is urban fantasy romance? It’s a paranormal romance with a much stronger, ass-kicking heroine and fantasy plotline. The romance is typically serial in nature, it develops over a number of books but unlike straight-up urban fantasy the heroine’s love-life is less “chaotic”. Due to the long-running relationship development in this series I’d recommend reading the Guild Hunter books in order, starting with Angels’ Blood.
Ever since first reading Angels’ Blood I’ve been hooked on Nalini Singh’s fantasy world where archangels rule aided by their angel and vampire subordinates. Like the humans in that world I was dazzled by the beautiful power and cruelty of the angels. This has led to me to try reading more books with angels as the main fantasy feature but I’ve been sorely disappointed in my efforts to find anything halfway as good. In part I think this is due to most of the other authors using fallen angels in their stories, often leading to them get bogged down in the religious overtones of Heaven and Hell. Singh neatly avoided this trap by making her angels powerful supernatural creatures in their own right and leaving God out of their fantasy world. So it is with eager anticipation that I’ve been awaiting Archangel’s Consort, desperate for another fix of archangel Raphael and his Seven, and I’m pleased to say that Archangel’s Consort didn’t disappoint…
After gaining her angel’s wings and battling Lijuan, the ancient death-obsessed Archangel of China, Archangel’s Consort sees Elena return to New York at Raphael’s side. Upon her return she gets back into her Guild Hunter duties, and is soon tracking a vicious vampire who has murdered two girls, one of which was probably killed in a case of mistaken identity in the place of Elena’s young sister, Evelyn. From there she is soon investigating a number of cruel attacks involving vampires.
Even though Elena is now an angel, she is newly angel-Made and lacks the strength of other angels, this leads to friction between her and Raphael, who wants to keep her out of harm’s way – a goal that is not really compatible with her dangerous job as a Guild hunter. This friction between them is the basis for most of the romantic tension in the story line – Raphael wants to tell Elena what to do and she won’t let him – but apart from that there is little else about the relationship to generate tension. Both of them are sure of their love for each other and while they reaffirm the love and attraction that they feel for each other on a regular basis (physically!) throughout the story, Archangel’s Consort lacks the dangerous overtones and greater romantic tension of previous stories.
Still, while Elena and Raphael maybe sure of their love for each other there are still plenty of other outside dangers and influences that threaten their happiness. As usual with Nalini Singh’s writing the fantasy is darkly horrific, while characterisation is first-rate and story pacing near perfect. In fact, while it would be nice to savour the reading pleasure of dangerous angels and sexy vampires, a rushed one-sitting reading is more likely once the story gets its hooks into you.
Archangel’s Consort is top-notch urban fantasy romance and highly recommended reading for romance and fantasy fans alike. Brilliant!
LoveVampires Review Rating: