Archangel Series

So I’ve read a bunch of these books by Nalini Singh in her Archangel/Guild Hunter series. It started with Archangel’s Kiss. I was intrigued by the idea that angels and archangels (the most powerful of all angels and their leaders) made vampires out of some sort of poison in their blood. Either they made vampires and got ride of the poison or they’d go mad. There is a private company of people called hunters that are hired to go after vampires who run amok.

It started out with archangel Raphael hiring a hunter from this guild (see what I did there?) to track down not a vampire but another archangel, a mad one who is surprisingly good at hiding himself. This hunter, Elena, has  the nose that knows and can pick out individual people’s (vampires/angels too) scents.

This series started out promisingly enough but the main character Elena is presented as a seriously emotionally damaged woman who isn’t interested in relationships just work. What happens? The extreme UST between her and Raphael turns into a relationship. *sigh* Look, I like romance in my urban fantasy and I like urban fantasy in my romance. They are my Reese’s ™ peanut butter cups. But I am really tired of this ‘magical healing’….relationship.

Now this first book, Archangel’s Kiss was a good book and created an interestingly unique universe. But Singh just keeps adding more and more sex into these books until every other chapter is sex, and sex that doesn’t move the plot along. Seriously, I would have bought erotica if I wanted plot-what-plot sex.

I’ve read a few more books and stories in this series in the hopes that it will get back to the good writing of the first book and the really interesting universe. There’s a new book coming out that I’m not entirely certain if I want to pony up the dough to get. If it goes down in price, I might. And the beauty of the Kindle (also tm) is that I can get the first chapter as a preview.  So I can’t really, truly recommend this series but I wouldn’t exactly call it bad. Just…trite. Rating C-.

Archangel’s Consort

I rather like the Archangel books by Nalini Singh. They’re a very novel take on vampires and angels. One of the latest books is Archangel’s Consort. The plot is intriguing but I was rather disappointed by all the sex. Yeah, that’s right. The first book was rife with UST (unresolved sexual tension) between Guild Hunter Elena and Archangel Raphael. It took them a long time to get to the sex. In the second book, they were constricted because of Elena’s injuries. In this book, there wasn’t any constrictions and the sex didn’t move the plot along. At all. There could have been much, much less of it and the book would be better off.

That being said, it was interesting to see the introduction of Raphael’s mother, Caliane. Caliane, and an unknown number of ancient archangels, are in a state called Sleep. Yes with a capital S. It seems that when these immortals get bored they basically hibernate until they’re no longer bored or have cured whatever injury or madness has ailed them. And unfortunately, Caliane was mad when she hibernated.

When a Sleeper awakes, the power of the individual will set off calamities around the world. Strange weather patterns, earthquakes, tidal waves and even aberrant behavior in vampires and angels. Even archangels.  Since it is impossible for anyone to know who is waking with certainty, Raphael fears that it is his mother and that she is still mad. If she is, he would have to try and kill her. In this arc, no maddened angel or vampire is allowed to live. The trouble being, how does one kill an archangel who is a good fifty thousand years old an immeasurably powerful.

That is why fellow archangel Lijuan tries to convince Raphael to kill his mother before she wakes, in violation of one of angel kind’s deepest and oldest taboos. Unfortunately, Lijuan has ‘evolved’ into something that is far more demonic than angelic and therefore does not exude trustworthiness.

In any case, the story itself is quite interesting. If the sex had been toned down, I’d have given it an A, as it is I’ll have to give it a B because it annoyed me. There is more to urban fantasy than just sex. Look at The Dresden Files or The Nightside books. Sex is sprinkled in sparingly and they are awesome.