Book Review: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Posted June 6, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Archangel's War by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Alternative History
Published by Berkley on September 24, 2019
Pages: 478
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, "An Unexpected Guest”, Allegiance of Honor, "The Song of the Wolf", Silver Silence, Archangel’s Heart, Archangel’s Viper, Ocean Light, "Elena's School of Horror", Cherish Hard, "Ain’t No Party Like A Bear Party", Archangel's Prophecy, "One Night At The Refuge", "Secret Things", Rebel Hard, Rock Hard, Wolf Rain, "Clean and Dirty", "Wolf School", "Naya’s Most Important Visitors", "Grocery Shopping", "A Gift for Kit", "Movie Night", "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas", "Housewarming at the Orchard", "Christmas in the Kitchen", "Stalking Hawke", "Romancing Drew", "Sunday Morning", "Rowan", "Baubles & Ben", Wild Embrace, Love Hard, Rock Addiction, "Music Awards", Rock Courtship , "Rock Courtship Memo"s, Rock Redemption, "Sunshine", Rock Wedding, "With This Memo", A Madness of Sunshine, "Beary Tiny Ghosts", Alpha Night, "A Wedding Breakfast", "Poker Night", "Knives and Sheaths", "Seedlings", "Star Kissed", "A Walk on the Cliffs", "Wild Cat Blues", Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice, Visions of Heat, Kiss Hard, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Kiss

Twelfth in the Guild Hunter alternate history, paranormal romance series that revolves around Elena Devereaux, an angel-made, and her archangel. The focus is on war.

My Take

Singh uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view primarily through Elena’s and Raphael’s perspectives to show us a world gone mad with disastrous weather events and a Scourge in China. It’s that old theme of good versus evil, just on a plane higher than human versus human.

The Legion is amazing and so cryptic! I can understand why Elena gets so frustrated with their pronouncements!

We get back history on Montgomery! There is also more history about Raphael’s parents and his childhood. Hmmm, it’s not only humans whose parents show off those naked baby pictures, lol. The insight about Nadiel was interesting and so sad. What we learn about Illium’s back history is also sad, how Aodhan fits in, and it all makes me wanna smack Illium’s father! I do like that Archangel’s War is bringing Lady Sharine out of her funk — throwing knives indeed, lol.

The traumas suffered are harrowing, yet Singh brings in the fun from the game Elena is playing with Naasir to the changing feel in Lumia to . . . super-parasites!

Everyone has a character arc in this series. Some are about power and some are about acceptance. That includes Raphael’s continuing acceptance of humanity as someone to honor, especially with Elena’s help, lol. He’s learned a lot about how useful those hunters and many others can be. The secret need of angelkind for humans.

Raphael’s people have some creative weapons in these battles, one of whom is Vivek who has his moment to shine.

How can you not love the Legion and how they’re becoming different from each other. “The one who’d been trying out different hues of skin . . . to see if he liked one better . . .” Another who lights up at being offered a seedling. Another who comes by every night, to say good night. How can you not love this? And want more!?

I can’t help comparing Lijuan, Xi, and others to Hitler and the Nazis who complied with the orders to destroy others. It does highlight the difference between Raphael’s growing “humanity” and Lijuan’s increasing belief in her godhood. The way she treats her people! Her wounded!! Ack!

The tension Singh creates in this with Raphael’s weakening power and the threat of Lijuan’s death-dealing is horrific, especially when this is the second go-round with Lijuan! Will this woman never die!?!

Yep, it’s character- and action-driven, as you can tell from the above, lol, with a pace that can be both fast and slow. It’s fast during battle and yet it slows down when the characters interact off the battlefield.

The Story

Elena remains wrapped in her Cascade-induced cocoon, even as Raphael shields her, and the Seven keep hold of the Tower.

It’s a world in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough . . .

This war could end them all.

The Characters

Elena Deveraux is an angel-made (Angels’ Blood, 1) with Raphael “Rafa” as her mate. Together they are the aeclari to the Legion. Beth is Elena’s youngest and only sister, married to Harrison Ling; they have a daughter, Maggie. Marguerite had been their beloved mother. Majda and Jean-Baptiste Etienne are the girls’ maternal grandparents, vampires both (Archangel’s Heart, 9). Jeffrey, a CEO and her jerk of a father, is married to Gwendolyn. Eve is her hunter-born half-sister, who’s acting out; Amy is the older half-sister. Montgomery is Raphael’s vampire butler. Sivya is Montgomery’s vampire wife and the household cook.

The Tower is . . .
. . . set in New York City and is headquarters for Archangel Raphael, who rules all of North America. The Seven are the beings he trusts the most, from Dmitri, a.k.a. the Blade, is a vampire who is Raphael’s best friend and second-in-command and married to Honor (Archangel’s Blade, 4), a reincarnation of his beloved Ingrede; Illium, a.k.a. Bluebell, is a powerful angel whose favorite sword is named Lightning; Venom is a vampire married to Holly Chang (Archangel’s Viper, 10); Jason is Raphael’s spymaster and mated to Princess Mahiya (Archangel’s Storm, 5); Galen is Raphael’s weaponsmaster based in the Refuge; Naasir is a unique one and mated to Andromeda (Archangel’s Enigma, 8); and, the sparkling yet tormented Aodhan.

Janvier, the Cajun, and Trace are vampires. Gadriel is a senior angel and part of Raphael’s contribution to the Cadre’s combined forces in China. Riva had been one of Favashi’s closest lieutenants. Vivek Kapur, a paralyzed hunter born, is the newly turned vampire assigned to Jason. Izak “Izzy” will be part of Elena’s Guard.

Keir is the senior angel healer. More angelic healers include Nisia and Lucius. Laric is a young healer from Archangel’s Heart, 9. Andreas is a trusted angel in command of a squadron and who owns Harry. Suyin, Lijuan’s niece and a famous architect, has relocated to New York. The cruel Nazarach is the angel in charge of Atlanta. Other angels include Nimra; Augustus; Andreja, an angel on vacation who is only playing at air traffic control; Jurgen; Miuxu; Ahayl; Urizen who loves to garden; and, Imani, an angel who wrote a book on angelic etiquette and is good with a war hammer. Suhani, a vampire receptionist in the Tower, loves bonsai. Dougal “Mack” Mackenzie is their most senior vampire pilot. Marcia Blue is the shy vampire who started up the blood café in which Elena invested. Jonas is their financial manager. Hiraz Weir is a senior Tower vampire.

The Legion is seven hundred and seventy-seven bat-winged beings who rose up from the ocean floor to aid Raphael (Archangel’s Legion, 6). The Primary is their leader.

The Cadre of Ten was . . .
. . . once the maximum number of archangels awake in the world. Zhou Lijuan, the Archangel of China, was defeated and replaced by Favashi, the former Archangel of Persia (Archangel’s Prophecy, 11); the perverted Charisemnon is the Archangel of Northern Africa; Titus, the Archangel of most of Africa, is what holds Charisemnon in check. The gorgeous and vicious Michaela is the Archangel of Budapest and is in retreat; her newborn son, Gavriel, will be raised with Keir. The vicious Riker is a favored vampire guard. Astaad is the Archangel of the Pacific Isles; Mele is one of his favored concubines. Plato, a vampire, is one of his oldest philosophers. The cruel Dahariel is Astaad’s second and Andi’s true father. Alexander, an Ancient, is the newly restored Archangel of Persia. Neha is the Archangel of India and the Queen of Snakes, Poisons, and Vipers; Rhys is one of her senior generals. Nivriti is Neha’s enemy twin (Archangel’s Storm, 5). Elijah, the Archangel of South America and a former general to Caliane, picked up an affinity for birds of prey and large cats. Hannah is his artistic Consort. Cristiano is a powerful vampire.

Lady Caliane, Raphael’s mother, an archangel, and an Ancient, came back from her centuries-long Sleep (Archangel’s Consort, 3) bringing Amanat and its people with her. Tasha, a.k.a. Ms McHotpants, is Caliane’s second-in-command and a childhood friend of Raphael’s who wants to be more. Jelena and Avi are Tasha’s parents. Celesta the Knife is a vampire older than Dmitri and a great huntress . . . Caliane’s favorite assassin and fixer. Nadiel, Raphael’s father, had also been an Ancient archangel who went mad.

The selfishly arrogant Aegaeon, Bluebell’s father, is arising from Sleep, as is the ignorantly arrogant Antonicus. Once beloved by Alexander, Zanaya prefers to be called the Queen of the Nile. The unhappy Qin adores Cassandra.

The Refuge is . . .
. . . a neutral base for all angels where they raise and educate their children. The crippled Jessamy is their historian, who teaches the children and is married to Galen (Angels’ Flight: “Angels’ Dance”, 0.4).

Lumia is . . .
. . . a neutral city for angels to pursue enlightenment. It’s under new management since Archangel’s Heart with the Hummingbird, Lady Sharine, Bluebell’s broken mother and a famous artist, in charge.

The Hunters Guild is . . .
. . . an organization of vampire bounty hunters. Sara Haziz is the director of the US branch and Elena’s best friend. She’s married to Deacon, a former Slayer and a renowned weaponsmaster. They have a daughter, Zoe, with a humongous dog, Slayer, who protects her. Hunters include the prescient Ashwini, a.k.a. Ash, who is now a vampire (Archangel’s Shadow, 7) and mated to Janvier; Ransom who married his librarian, Nyree; Demarco; Hilda; Rose, a demolition expert; and, Kenji. A Slayer is the hunter tasked with executing a Hunter who crossed the line.

Cassandra is an Ancient Archangel who Sleeps yet sees the future (Archangel’s Prophecy, 11). The Cascade is a rare event that strengthens and destroys . . . everything, anything. Uram had been Michaela’s lover and a bloodborn angel (Angels’ Blood). Piero, a former petty criminal, now sells bagels on a rooftop. The Made is another term for vampire. Eldev is a young man named for Elena. Seth is a toddler who took a wrong turn. Slater Patalis was a vampire whose making went wrong. Belle and Ari were only some of his victims.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golden. The white-haired Elena and her wings of lightning are front and center with Elena dressed in her black leather pants and a black tanktop, stalking towards us. More dress includes that assortment of black weapons from her forearm sheathes to that on her hip and her thigh and the mini crossbow she carries. At the very top is an info blurb in a deep blue with the author’s name in a black-shadowed white above Elena’s head. The title begins at Elena’s knees in that same deep blue. On the bottom right is the series info in a black-shadowed white.

The title should really be a multiple possessive for all the archangels are in this Archangel’s War.

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