Review: “Archangel’s War,” Nalini Singh

Pros: Stunning, apocalyptic climax to the Cascade
Rating: 5 out of 5

Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s War (A Guild Hunter Novel) is book twelve in the epic and stunning Guild Hunter saga! In a modern-day world where nine archangels rule the world and are served by angels and vampires, a mysterious building force called the Cascade is disrupting the world. Archangels are developing new powers. Archangel Lijuan styles herself as the Goddess of Death now, and she may well be unstoppable. Archangel Raphael’s human-born Consort Elena, a former Guild Hunter, has been encased in a chrysalis for months, with her lover asleep beside her. The Cascade is trying to turn her into a repository for Raphael’s power, but her essence, her soul, her personality will be burned away. In order to keep Elena as herself, Raphael forces her out of the chrysalis before her transformation is complete, leaving her wingless and skeletal. In China, Lijuan stirs again. A black fog envelops the land, and the ground itself is infectious to immortals. It’s only a matter of time before she rises to finish what she started, and her first target will be Raphael. Meanwhile, a handful of ancients rise early from their long sleep–hopefully the additional firepower will be enough to stop Lijuan!

The Legion also plan to act as a power source for Raphael. Singh manages to come up with a reason for Raphael to refuse their power that actually makes sense: it’s possible giving Raphael their power will kill every last one of the 777 members of the Legion! It’s so rare for an author to come up with an absolutely believable reason to put off using a weapon; I totally appreciate it.

Watching what happens to Raphael and Elena and the other archangels as the Cascade alters them is fascinating. I feel secure in telling you that Elena does eventually get wing-equivalents, since you can see them on the cover of the book. She has part of Raphael’s heart in her now–literally–so she’s gained a bit in power. She’s still mostly reliant on skill and instinct, however, and I like that; it’s her skill that’s gotten her so far, after all, and it’s important to her character.

Pretty much everyone from the series puts in an appearance, from Raphael’s various vampire and angelic servants to a series of Guild Hunters, Elena’s family, and all the most powerful beings in the world. There’s a war that’s long, extensive, and creative. The climax of the Cascade is here, and it lives up to the hype! Much of the story deals with preparations and reactions, but once the war actually starts things definitely take off.

Content note for explicit sex between our favorite archangel and Guild Hunter, handled beautifully as always. I don’t know if there’s a book thirteen in store, but I really hope so! I should note that there’s plenty of Singh’s trademark snark and sexiness, but my favorite part may be the angels with grenade launchers!

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