Review: “Archangel’s Prophecy,” Nalini Singh

Pros: Characters, story, tension
Cons: Slow start; ENDS TOO SOON
Rating: 5 out of 5

ARGH. This is why I used to try to avoid series books. I hate it when a book ends in the middle of something important. Who knows how long it’ll be until the follow-on comes out, and I’ll have forgotten half of the amazing details when it does. Anyway. I was thrilled when I realized Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Prophecy (A Guild Hunter Novel) had finally arrived. It got off to a slow start and wasn’t pulling me in as quickly as I’m used to with the Guild Hunter novels, but it’s still well worth reading.

In this installment, Elena is changing. Instead of becoming more immortal, she’s becoming less. She’s starting to lose her feathers, and she’s hearing the whispered voice of an Ancient, Cassandra, in her mind, sharing prophecy with her. She must die for another to live. Elena can’t just throw herself into figuring out what’s going on, though. Her vampire brother-in-law, Harrison, was nearly killed, and the killer threatened Harrison’s wife and daughter, Elena’s sister and niece. She refuses to give up while the killer roams free. She hunts down tiny clues and a painstaking trail until she grows closer to the killer, as the omens become more frequent and dire. How can she and Raphael thwart prophecy?

Just to get this off my chest: as Elena’s ability to converse with Cassandra grows, why does she never ask Cassandra who this “other” is who will live if she dies? Elena’s sharp–it doesn’t make sense to me that she’d totally miss this. I’d rather have seen Cassandra conveniently not answer, particularly given the sporadic and unreliable nature of their communication.

The story starts off a bit too slowly for my tastes. But as it blossoms into its full potential, the slow buildup of details pays off in a truly gripping spiral as Elena’s burgeoning immortality fades. Luckily Singh weaves in plenty of details about the various characters she name-drops, because it’s been a while since I read the last book and it’s hard to remember everyone. I obviously would not recommend starting the series with this book, but if it’s been a little while, or your memory is as bad as mine is, you should be able to hang on by your fingernails.

I got so wrapped up in finding out what would happen to Elena, Raphael, and the prophecy, that I was floored (and none too happy) when I realized that question isn’t answered in this book, and will have to wait until the next one comes out. Still, the writing is so good, the world so vivid, that I find I can’t dock points from this review. While it takes a while for the tension to build up, it ultimately does so in masterful style. The characters are complex and wonderful. The world is stunningly drawn. I love Archangel’s Prophecy every bit as much as I do the rest of the series.

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