Review: “Archangel’s Legion,” Nalini Singh

Pros: Sexy, tense, fun
Cons:
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

The Cascade is bringing new powers to the fingertips of the Archangels, causing angels to fall from the sky and visiting a virulent disease upon the vampires who serve them. Raphael and Elena realize these are attacks upon their territory and they rush to shore up their defenses. Lijuan, the Archangel who styles herself a god, is believed to somehow be behind these attacks, but so far no one can find the connection. When the battle finally comes, Raphael and Elena will have to evacuate the entire city, and risk everything–their people’s lives, their own lives, and the not-yet-stable new power that seeks to find its home in Raphael.

Note that the events in this volume bring to a climax a number of ongoing plots in the series, so don’t try to start reading the series with Archangel’s Legion.

 

Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Legion is book six of her excellent Guild Hunter series. I love the world-building in these books. Instead of the typical “world suddenly becomes aware of supernatural beings in their midst” plot, these angels have ruled mankind for as long as anyone can remember, carving an uneasy peace out of the territories belonging to the archangels. Also unlike many recent novels, Ms. Singh’s angels aren’t simply men with wings. They are notably inhuman; although Elena has brought out a certain humanity in Raphael, he sometimes sees little value in mortal lives.

Speaking of inhuman angels, I love the character-building in this series. Elena and Raphael have remained fascinating and enjoyable as both individual characters and a couple. There are several other unusual relationships that have built up over the books, all of which I’ve enjoyed, so it’s nice to see those characters crop up here and there in this novel. Raphael and Elena have every bit the scorching relationship they did before (not that they aren’t still growing and changing with each other, but in the sense that they still have a ton of chemistry and wild sex).

The pacing is tense and taut from the start and ratchets up as things go on. The author manages to draw out an impressive days-long battle for New York with plenty of well-considered tactics, surprises on both sides, and overwhelming odds to fight against. While the battle takes center stage later in the novel, there are plenty of other beats to vary the pacing during the buildup (family problems for Elena, protectiveness and love for children, personal development amongst Raphael’s people, and alliance-building with the other Archangels).

I was enraptured with Archangel’s Legion from start to finish, and can’t wait to read more of Nalini Singh’s writing.

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