Book Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Posted August 7, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

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

Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley on November 1, 2016
Pages: 381
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

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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 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

Ninth in the Guild Hunter paranormal romance series and revolving around archangels who rule the world. The couple focus is on Elena and Raphael, and two years have passed since Archangel’s Enigma, 8. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Guild Hunter books on my website.

My Take

Singh opens with a combination of inner-thoughts and a humor hook that plays up what we all want to know: When will that shoe drop!? Unfortunately, Archangel’s Heart is but a bridge for the archangels to tidy a few things up with the focus on the past history of Elena’s family.

If you follow the Guild Hunter series, read this, for it’s a pivotal story. We finally get the back history on Marguerite, Elena’s mother, and…hoo-boy. Is this ever a dark, revealing epiphany!?!! There are plenty of flashbacks throughout the story, including the prologue, along with Singh’s foreshadowing of the antagonist’s actions.

Singh uses an uneven third-person dual point-of-view with Elena’s perspective predominating and Raphael a second perspective in this story about love, loyalty, honor, and family. Traits that Elena, Raphael, and the new discoveries epitomize. Add in events that lead to yet more epiphanies — bad and good — for Elena, and for the other archangels, for a tense read.

I did appreciate the ending, as it completes one minor cycle, not so minor for Elena, even as it leaves the major one open.

The Story

Kisses of vampires are bloodying China, and even Xi cannot control them all. It’s a question of territory and whether Lijuan is even alive…and should the Cadre carve her territory up amongst themselves.

The summons from the Luminata brings events to a head, more so when the Archangels arrive for their summit meeting, for something is very wrong in Lumia.

The Characters

Raphael is the Archangel of New York who rules North America and is a member of the Cadre. He’s mated to Elieanora “Elena”, a.k.a., Ellie, Devereaux, a former born-Hunter whom he turned angel in Angels’ Blood, 1. Montgomery is the butler in their home in the Enclave; Sivya is the chef whom Montgomery married a year ago.

Raphael’s Seven are…
…seven beings truly loyal to him. The mischievous Illium, a.k.a., Bluebell, is an angel who is back to progressing appropriately for his age; his mother is the broken Hummingbird. The sober Aodhan, a.k.a., Sparkle, is the shimmering artist angel, Illium’s best friend, and a student of the Hummingbird. Naasir is a chimera (a blend of boy and tiger created by Alexander) who is mated to Andi (Archangel’s Enigma) who is working with Jessamy in the Refuge. The secretive Jason is Raphael’s spymaster and mated to Mahiya (Archangel’s Storm, 5). Dmitri is Raphael’s second-in-command, a thousands-of-years-old vampire married to Honor (Archangel’s Blade, 4), a baby vampire who works to save children who were lost and alone. Venom is the youngest of the Seven, a vampire with deadly poison in his blood, and currently based in the Refuge.

Keir is their revered angelic healer. Remus, a failed member of the Luminata, had been Keir’s assistant when Aodhan broke. Captain Dougal “Mack” Mackenzie is a vampire and former Scottish laird who pilots Raphael’s plane. Stavre was the youngest angel to die in the Falling (Archangel’s Legion, 6). Suhani is a vampire receptionist at Angel Tower.

Elena’s Guard is…
…an accident and consists of Ashwini and Janvier; the young angel, Izak; and, the hunter-born Vivek Kapur, a newly made vampire (Archangel’s Shadow, 7) who had been the Guild’s head of intelligence and is now Jason’s right-hand man.

Blood-for-Less is…
…Elena’s new business with Marcia Blue the chief operating officer. Jonas is a vampire and Elena’s financial manager.

The Refuge is…
……a neutral retreat for angels to heal, teach, and work as well as their home and a sanctuary for their young. Each archangel has an enclave there for their people. Jessamy is an angel Historian who teaches there and is married to Galen, Raphael’s weaponsmaster (Angels’ Flight: “Angels’ Dance”, 0.4). Sameon is a young angel with whom Elena is friends (Archangel’s Kiss, 2).

The Guild Hunters are…
…an organization of humans and hunter-born which tracks down runaway vampires in breach of their contract. Sara, Elena’s best friend, is the director and married to Deacon, an amazing weaponsmith (Must Love Hellhounds: “Angel’s Judgment”, 0.5). Their young daughter, Zoe, adores Raphael (Zoe’s Workshop, 6.5). Fellow hunters include Ransom who is married to Nyree, a librarian; Demarco; and, Ashwini, another of Elena’s good friends, who is married to Janvier, one of Raphael’s vampires (“Angel’s Pawn“, 0.6, and Archangel’s Shadow, 7).

The Luminata are…
…a spiritual sect of angels who seek enlightenment. They alone can summon the Cadre. Their stronghold is Lumia in Morocco. The 5,000+-year-old Gian has been their leader for the past four hundred years. Gervais is Gian’s second-in-command. Other brothers include Natal; the relatively new Ibrahim; Laric, a.k.a., Stillness, who had been scarred in the flames that killed Nadiel; Cristiano; Donael is old enough to have been one of Lijuan’s playmates; Reed had been their leader until he Slept; and, Hanjel had been the leader before Gian.

The Repository of Knowledge. The Gallery is actually a tower of galleries devoted to art categorized by floor, art that is the greatest produced by angels. Renate is a nine-thousand years-plus vampire of great beauty. Ophelia had been a great angel artist. Josette and Sahar were kept women.

There is a small (and terrified) town near Lumia. Riad is the young boy who becomes friends with Ellie.

Sister Constance is the woman who received the child, Marguerite. Jeffrey Deveraux is Elena’s jerk of a father. Beth is the other sister who survived; Maggie is her baby. Harrison Ling is her jerk of a vampire husband. Slater Patalis is the vampire who went mad and torture-killed Elena’s sisters, Belle and Ariel. It was his attentions that pushed Elena’s mother, Marguerite, to her actions. Majda was Marguerite’s mother who was known as Sana Alayna in Paris; Jean-Baptiste Etienne was a vampire soldier.

The Cadre consists of…
…the other archangels in the world who rule territories. Titus, an ally and the warrior Archangel of Southern Africa, has gained power over the earth. Mau’lea is his escort. Astaad, the Archangel of the Pacific Isles, dominates the sea and usually indulges his concubines; Mele, a scholar, is one of his favorites. Magnus is one of Astaad’s vampires and his escort. The brutally dominant Dahariel is Astaad’s second and Michaela’s former lover.

Michaela is beyond arrogant — think snotty top model, once known as the Archangel of Constantinople and today the Archangel of Budapest. Riker is her second-in-command, a psychopathic vampire who hates Elena. Neha is the Archangel of India, the Queen of Snakes and Poisons. Two of her generals include Hiran and Rhys (Brigitte is his heart mate). Anoushka had been Neha’s daughter (Archangel’s Kiss).

Elijah is an ally with his beloved Hannah. The former Archangel of Persia, Favashi, who can control the winds, is now the Archangel of Sumeria, Persia being split between her and the former Archangel of Persia, Alexander. Yet another sleeping Ancient who woke (Archangel’s Enigma), he has become an active member retaking his former title and taking on his murdered son’s, Rohan‘s, palace and territory. Xander is his grandson who has fallen in love with the Ellie who will shoot arrows at Raphael. General Valerius is Alexander’s third.

Charisemnon, known as the Archangel of Disease, holds Northern Africa and is a cowardly, disease-causing bastard responsible for the Falling (Archangel’s Legion). Caliane is Raphael’s mother, an Ancient who woke in Archangel’s Consort, 3, and has taken over Japan so that her people of Amanat have a home. Nadiel had been Raphael’s archangel father. Tasha is Caliane’s second and had been Raphael’s playmate and lover in the past. Zhou Lijuan is the Archangel of China and Goddess of Death who lost her battle and disappeared from sight, leaving Beijing a crater only. Xi is her angel general and second-in-command keeping her territory in check.

Cascade is a type of supercharging event that increases an archangel’s abilities or powers and can cause catastrophes throughout the world. The Enclave is a “suburb” just outside New York where many of the angels have a home. Vampires are made by angels who require the newly made vampire serve them for one hundred years. Vampires who became so old that they retreat from society are called the Withdrawn.

The Cover and Title

The cover is feral with the white-blonde Elena in a high-necked, sleeveless deep royal blue dress with a slit up to her hip and wearing black knee-high boots, her black-blue-purple wings spread wide, a sheath buckled on her thigh, more sheaths on her forearms, and her custom crossbow in hand, as she stands cloud-top against an orange-to-yellow sky. The author’s name is at the top in an embossed silver and the same on the title at the bottom. The series information is tiny at the tip of Elena’s left [to us] wing.

The title is odd, and I can only imagine that it refers to Raphael, that his Archangel’s Heart has grown to encompass so much more.

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