The Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter #06) by Nalini Singh Review

AL (GH #06)There are somethings that I am obsessed with and the Guild Hunter Series is certainly one of them. I just can’t help myself. It’s one of those things that just drew me in and I haven’t been able to get myself out. Not that I am complaining. I love this series and have yet to be disappointed. I had reservations about the Archangel’s Legion since Singh was going back to Raphael and Elena after a two-book gap but I needn’t have worried. It all worked out splendidly!

We’ve always known that Lijuan is the big bad in the Guild Hunter series. We found out in the Archangel’s Kiss that she was making these weird zombie creatures, the Reborn and in her twisted psyche, she truly believes that she’s re-creating life. In Archangel’s Legion, it’s confirmed that she is indeed batshit crazy. In this book, things start with a bang (or with a thud depending on how you look at it) birds are falling out of the sky but that’s not the truly horrible part. Not long after them, angels start tumbling to the ground. Up in the air one minute and hurtling to the ground the next. It’s over as suddenly and quickly as it began. But the weirdness is far from over. There is a new disease in town that is fatal to humans but is especially vicious to vampires. They die within days of contracting it. Raphael and Elena try to get to the bottom of this while also trying to keep their social commitments (a get together with Hannah and Elijah and a ball at Amanat at Caliane’s request) Plus there’s news that another Archangel might have gone insane (in addition to Lijuan)

There is plenty going on the Archangel’s Legion as far as the plot is concerned. All the previous books led to the events that take place in this book, everything from the death of Uram to the discovery of Lijuan’s reborn and The Cascade. That’s not to say that there was no lull in the pace. There was, but it didn’t feel like it was impeding the plot, more like it was adding more dimensions to the characters we’ve come to know. That’s the awesome thing about Singh; she strikes a great balance between action and character development and growth. I don’t think you care about characters that are cardboard cutouts, with no dimensions to them. It’s especially difficult to do that with characters you’re revisiting. They start to stagnate simply because you’ve stuffed everything about them and their past in their solo books. I am overjoyed that didn’t happen with Elena and Raphael. There was plenty more to discover about my this Archangel and his kick-ass Hunter consort. I could not have guessed what the Legion actually meant so that was a pleasant surprise at the end. Though it was also wee-bit contrived but I kinda saw that coming. There were some new characters and some that we met earlier but get to know better this time around. I absolutely loved the Archangel’s Legion and enjoyed every minute of it. Another added bonus was that we got a sneak peak into the origin of humans and vampires and I have a feeling that it will be explored further in the coming books.

Elena and Raphael return and are front and centre in this book and I could not be happier about this. I enjoyed the previous book (Jason’s book) but I have a soft corner for these two so it made me absurdly happy to have them back.

Elena is settling into her new role of consort with relative ease, not that she has a choice in the matter with the way the book begins. She’s still battling her demons and while she does seem to have a handle on her nightmares on most days, there are always times when they raise their bloody heads. I am really hoping that she gets an awesome power courtesy the Cascade. It would be nice to do some real damage to the bad guys rather than have to rely on her trusty knives and crossbow. Everyone seems to be gaining new powers; surely it’s not too much to hope that she does as well. Yes all the others are much older but one can still hope.

Raphael is still his old arrogant self though more tempered. At some point, we, along with Elena forgot that he is the Archangel of New York and considered to be ruthless. Well we got a dose of the real Archangel, the one who thinks that humans are little better than insects and doesn’t hold them in very high regard. When his attitude threatened Elena’s friends, it created some tension between them. What I liked about it was the way it was handled. She stood up for them and tried to make Raphael to see sense and despite being fairly pig-headed, he eventually did see things from her point of view. I liked that it did not drag; it was exactly as long as it should’ve been. It was also nice to see that they did not fall prey to pesky misunderstandings and were open and honest with each other, something that is sorely missing in most a lot of other adult romances and YA paranormal novels.

Most of the old gang was back and there were some very welcome additions. It is always nice to see Elena’s interaction with Eve though I would like to see some interaction between her and Amy as well. Sara was fun as always, Ashwini was mentioned and I want to see more of her (the next book features her and Janvier). Nimra, Mahiya were mentioned as well. I am looking forward to seeing Elena and Nimra interacting, hopefully Singh won’t make us wait too long for that. I love Illium and Aodhan is not far behind. And they’re only getting better. It was great to see Naasir and learn more about him as well as his interaction with Elena. Caliane made an appearance as well and I honestly think that she will warm up to Elena eventually. Another addition was Tasha, an old flame of Raphael’s and there were plenty of opportunities for her to turn into competition for Elena, a possible love triangle. But, thankfully, it never got that far. Raphael and Elena remained solid; I just hope that Tasha got the message loud and clear.

Michaela made an appearance and she’s the only one whose agenda I can’t figure out. She hates Elena, that much is clear and she wants what she can’t have, nothing new there either. But it’s the ruse that she chose to go with that’s thrown me off. She had to have known that it would never work so what did she hope to gain by it. She made absolutely no sense.

Elijah and his consort Hannah also appear and it was nice to Raphael and Elena dealing with another archangel and his consort. Plus there was also Astaad and Titus and I’m hoping we learn more about them in the upcoming books. Favashi has been absent so far and I’m hoping Singh remedies that.

Jeffery was around as well and there were some new revelations about his past. These did, in part explain his behaviour but not to the extent that it made me feel sorry for him. He has been a tool too long and has been absolutely horrid to Elena for this new information to inspire any kind of pity for him. Tough luck asshole! How big of you to protect your daughter by throwing her out. Model of the perfect father you are not! I want to see Raphael meet Jeffery. Wouldn’t want to miss that.

I am a huge fan of this series as well as Psy-Changeling though if I had to choose, I would go with Guild Hunter. There’s just something about it that draws me in far more than Psy-Changeling. I know that the next Guild Hunter novel will not be about Raphael and Elena (Janvier and Ashwini) but there will be a final confrontation between them and Lijuan and that other disease-monger and that book will have to have these two in the front seat once again. Personally, as long as the story is compelling, I will not tire of reading about them; they’re possibly among my all-time favourite characters. So I honestly look forward to seeing more of them. The good news that the wait for the next Guild Hunter will not be too long, as early as the latter half of 2014 and I am so looking forward to that!

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