“Immortals are never so simple, Ellie. The potential for violence lives in the most powerful of us always. We have too much power for it to be otherwise.”
The ninth installment of the Guild Hunter series brings its readers back to where it all began, focusing on Elena and Raphael.
The world might attempt to tear them apart, but the only way it would ever succeed would be through death.
It’s been two years since the events of Archangel’s Enigma and all has been quiet on both the Cascade and Lijuan fronts. In fact no one has any idea if Lijuan has succumbed to her injuries and is dead or has chosen to Sleep. Her disappearance has created problems within her territory where violence has broken out along the border and vampires are succumbing to bloodlust. Which is why the Cadre receives a summons from a mysterious group of Angels known as the Luminata. The Luminata are the one body that can force the Cadre to come together, and to deny their request is an insult. Lijuiin’s territory must be dealt with before the violence spreads, but the trip to Morocco will also allow Elena to learn more about her history and give her a chance to explore the land of her mother’s birth.
Jen– Elena learns a lot about herself. The Luminata are so bizarre and creepy. Things happen with Lijuan. Let’s get to the good stuff now. Yes, that glossed over a lot but I am seriously torn between the awesome story and the amazing character building. Both were phenomenal in this book.
Angela- I really enjoyed this installment. I liked traveling to another part of the world and learning more about angel-kind. I liked that the Cadre was brought together again, this time being forced to interact in a different environment and in a more diplomatic way. I liked watching Elena piece together facts about her family history. The mystery of the Luminata and what their transgressions might be did leave me on the edge of my seat in suspense. The pacing felt slower than previous installments and it left me wondering for much of the book what the payoff at the end would be. While not as explosive as I expected, the conclusion leaves this series in a very different place as far as Elena and Raphael’s family unit and how the Cadre will govern in the future.
ELENA AND RAPHAEL
Jen-LOVE them. Adore them. They are so solid and they make me sigh with happiness. You can feel their love and it is great how playful they can be with each other now, secure in their affection.
“Remember when I was terrified of you?”
“You were never terrified of me.”
“Hah! Are you kidding? I was scared out of my skin-but I still thought you were hot. I’m obviously a little deranged.”
Plus, I love seeing how their abilities feed off each other and grow throughout time. I want Raphael to be the most powerful of the Cadre- even if there are Ancients in it. I want everyone to fear his strength!
Angela– Elena and Raphael will always be one of my favorite couples in the PNR genre. Every time they reference their meeting and falling in love I can envision that scene in Angels’ Blood where Raphael wrapped Elena in his arms and fell with her while all of New York watched. It still gives me chills.
So much as happened to them, both as a couple and individually. Their powers have grown and evolved. Their relationships with other characters in the series have matured. And their love for each other has solidified into this powerfully passionate union. The devotion between them practically pulses from every page.
EVERYONE ELSE (except Aodhan and Illium)
Jen– I believe in my last review I said Elena and Raphael were the heart and soul of this series. I still believe that but this book shows how important everyone else is to the story too. I adored the interactions of Elena and Raphael with everyone else. While Raphael is the big, bad archangel, he wouldn’t have gotten all these new allies and developed deeper relationships if it weren’t for Elena. It has been said that she makes him more human and we can see here how that is a good thing.
Parts I enjoyed most:
Caliane and Elena’s growing relationship (when Caliane spoke in Elena’s head)
Hannah and Elijah
Alexander and Xander
Reading the Cadre interact and all the nuances written into those scenes
Angela– I always look forward to time spent getting to know other characters in this series on a deeper level. They, and their relationships with each other, are so complex and intricate. Each member of the Cadre is shown as being capable of both good and evil. And it’s hard to fully love or hate any character in this series because of that. Alexander is fair, but he weighs the concerns of angel-kind to be more important than those of mortals. Caliane’s history is a mix of great triumphs as well as terrible tragedies, yet she loves her son and is protective of the humans in her care. It is always fascinating to see how characters who all hold such immense power interact with each other.
There is one character who I think moved forward in quiet, yet powerful ways. Aodhan is healing, slowly to be sure, but he is finally allowing small touches from people other than Illium. I love that he’s becoming stronger in both mind and spirit and hopefully this means we will see more page time spent with him in the next book. (hint, hint)
AODHAN AND ILLIUM
Jen- So we have different opinions on this one. I would like each of them to have separate HEA’s. After reading this book, I have no idea which way NS will go. She goes into great detail about how close they are and what they mean to each other. But, to me, there are no romantic overtones. The way their relationship feels is deep, pure and brotherly? Not brotherly…. but I don’t know. Aodhan has always been my favorite of the Seven. I really just want him to heal and be happy. With so much time spent on him in Heart, I think we can see the healing is happening.
“You’re good at the sneaky stuff,” she said approvingly.
“Jason made me practice that,” he said in the same cool voice as earlier. “It took seventy-five years before he declared I’d be passable as a spy if I didn’t glow in the dark.”
Laughing so hard that her stomach hurt, Elena tried to see if he was joking. “Did they ever leave you alone?” she asked when she could speak again.
“No, no matter how hard I tried.” A smile that held an effable joy. “They were always there, Ellie. Constantly hauling me back from the edge of the howling abyss.” He swallowed. “Illium….he used to sneak into my house and leave art supplies everywhere, until what could I do but start using them or be buried in them.”
Elena dared to link her fingers to his for a second, felt her heart squeeze when he curled his own around hers. “We lucked out with the people who love us, didn’t we, Aodhan.”
His answer was a smile that lit up even the secret-shadowed hallways of Lumia.
Oh and who wasn’t brokenhearted when Illium didn’t come to see him off? Jerk.
Angela– I’m still on the Sparkle/Bluebell forever train. I want them to end up together. I’m not sure which way Ms. Singh will go either, but I hope she will give these two a happily ever after. I truly feel like they are meant for each other. Maybe they began as childhood friends, but I feel like their relationship has evolved into much more.
Hopefully this won’t give too much away, but there is a scene at the beginning of Archangel’s Heart that gives some hints at Aodhan’s time spent healing and in seclusion. We learn that Illium couldn’t be torn from his bedside and that he still agonizes over his failure to protect him.
While I was disappointed in Illium’s failure to come see Aodhan off before his journey into dangerous territory, I did wonder how this would play out later on between them. Is this something that will lead to them having some kind of “talk”? Gah, I hope so.
“Very funny, Sparkle.”
His eyebrows drew together over his eyes at her reference to the nickname he was trying to stamp out of existence. “I’m going to kill Illium,” he said, not for the first time. But his eyes, they looked up, as if searching the skies for wings of blue and silver.
For me, Illium and Aodhan are a forever couple. Where there is one, so is the other, standing close in unity, loyalty, and devotion. Any time they are on the page together I feel like they are necessary to each other in a way that surpasses friendship and enters into soul mate territory. Just imagine the explosive, gloriousness of their first kiss? Or how passionate and achingly lovely the talk about how they feel for each other would be?
Jen– Who do I want next? More Elena and Raphael, though that will likely not happen. Is it time for Aodhan or Illium or Aodhan and Illium? Venom and Sorrow? Alexander and Caliane? Who cares, just give me more. This was an amazing story and I didn’t want it to end. Every part of it was fantastic. Final grade- A
“I’m a fucking hunter, and I’m the fucking consort to the Archangel of New York.”
Angela– As much as I want Bluebell and Sparkle to be next, because I truly believe their love story would be magnificent on every level, I have a feeling fans of this series will have to wait to find out which direction Ms. Singh intends to take these characters. Maybe it’ll be Venom? We haven’t seem him for quite a while in any depth, but who is someone who has always been intriguing. Maybe Ms. Singh will step away from the Seven and pair Alexander and Caliane? Although truthfully, it makes no difference to me, I will read whatever this author writes. Final Grade-A
He was hers. She was his. And together, they were something far better than either one of them was alone.