Published 2012 336 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha's consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.
Earning Neha's trust comes at a price – Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.
With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare... and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
Archangel’s Storm is the fifth book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter urban fantasy romance series. The series started off by following the long-running romance of Raphael (Archangel of New York) and the mortal guild hunter Elena. Their story progresses over the first three novels in this series and for this reason it’s best to read these books in series order. The fourth novel, Archangel’s Blade, departed from following Raphael and Elena and instead concentrated on a stand-alone romance featuring Dimitri, one of Raphael’s Seven (his warrior guard made up of extremely hot vampires and angels).
Archangel’s Storm continues on this path – the story is a stand-alone romance between Jason, Raphael’s mysterious spymaster, and Mahiya, a princess of a foreign court where Jason is sent to spy. After all the fire and passion of previous novels (Archangel’s Blade in particular) readers may be forgiven for wondering what changed with Archangel’s Storm – the novel is far from passionate or stormy.
Jason is a highly reserved hero. He has all the right moves. He’s strong, has powerful talents and is a hunk but… he takes strong and silent just a fraction too far and for much of the story comes across as remote and withdrawn. He is partnered with Mahiya, a character who is quiet and considered. She’s very nice, yet comes across as slightly passionless. There are reasons from both characters to be this way. Jason harbours emotional scars from a highly traumatic childhood. Mahiya has spent her entire life in her archangel Aunt Neha’s court on sufferance, and has learnt not to give offense or even show emotion, lest she give her enemies weapons to use against her.
There is nothing wrong with Jason and Mahiya’s quiet, almost sweet, romance… yet in a romance written by Nalini Singh, fans may have an expectation of a little more drama and passion in the relationship development of the main characters.
If the relationship development of Jason and Mahiya seems a little stilted and slow in places the background story, a solid who-dun-it murder mystery, carries Archangel’s Storm forward at a cracking pace. Neha’s court is full of deadly intrigues and dangerous secrets. Jason’s investigation into the murder of her consort reveals some startling new facts about the evolution of the Archangels and paves the way for exciting developments in the fantasy mythology of this series for future stories.
Archangel’s Storm is given a different kind of romantic treatment than Nalini Singh’s usual highly dramatic, passionate romances which may not work for some hard-core romance fans. However, the book still makes a good addition to the series and works extremely well as an urban fantasy romance, with it’s high-octane fantasy action driving the story forward as much, if not more than, its romantic elements.
Hot vampires and hunky angels, dangerous intrigues and bloody battles… what’s not to like?
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