Monday, November 18, 2013

Nalini Singh - Archangel's Blade

The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past...but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality...the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting...and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more...

Comment: I picked this book because I was curious to see how the author would deal with different characters in her angel world. I admit this isn't my favorite series and I don't feel the love as much as I do with her PSY/Changeling one. Still, I decided to try this and see if I could find something to carry on anyway.

This is the story of Dmitry and Honor. Dmitry is the archangel's Raphael second, meaning he does have a lot of power and influence although he isn't an angel, he is a vampire. Dmitry is forever thankful to Raphael for things from the past and he doesn't mind doing whatever necessary to show Raphael has power and strength. When asked to offer help to a guild hunter to solve a mystery, he isn't prepared for Honor, even when he thinks he is.
Honor is a guild hunter still hiding after an horrible attack that lasted two months when she was captive by a group of vampires. Now the Director told her she needed to go back to active duty and with no excuses, Honor meets Dmitry. There's something between them and they both wonder if it's only attraction...

I have to say I did enjoy this story a lot more than the others in the series. To this day I still think Raphael and Elena are too much of an island to offer a suitable romantic story. They are ok, but not as good as they could.
Now, this new couple, is different. The setting is still the same, the focus just changes a bit, but the action follows the last book, so this is best read in order. Being this about new main characters, it's obvious there's more time dedicated to them personally, and what they are, instead of them being a handy help to the plot (sometimes my take on some parts in the previous books). I was very interested in what they thought and how their relationship would play out considering Dmitry was used to do what he wanted but Honor seemed too scared and innocent in a way to oppose him. I'm always eager to see two very different characters fall in love...

Dmitry had good life when he was human but his life was ruined the day a vampire took an interest in him. Raphael helped him and he got revenge but not what he lost. Since then he became more and more a inhuman being and the challenges he faces are all about his work. He doesn't seem to care about anything else but when Elena became a part of his boss' life, Dmitry started to change a bit as well. But it was meeting Honor that made him remember many things from his past and how he ever dealt with what his thoughts put him through when that happened. Slowly, Honor went through his defenses and started to make a place at his heart. He had a lot to overcome and a new love, something he never got from the other women who've been in his life, was key to make him feel alive again.

Honor had led a simple enough life although not an easy one. She had to overcome many challenges until she became a guild hunter. When her life seemed steadier, something awful happened and she had to endure two months of captivity. Friends helped her but it was hard to live with the memories so she hid until now. Meeting Dmitry woke something in her, and not only her passion to live. The more she knows Dmitry, the more confidante she becomes and the more she sees in him. Strange scenes play out in her head when she's near him and their personal involvement gets more intimate.

I lid how they worked out their issues and made a relationship that could help them on the same level. they were stronger together. Plus, their personalities gained from being with the other, because personal things suddenly had a new point of view and when things are shared they don't seem to weight as much. It was good to see them in love and to be honest, the way they ended was also a surprise even when we thought it was easily obvious.
The plot had its interest and was played out well to suit the storyline in general and for this romance in particular. Nothing too fancy, but solid enough to have a purpose and not be just because. The villain here was, indeed, unlikely.

Despite having loved this book, this romance and how they were fine together, I still have my doubts about any new books in this series. I'll read the following one because it' also with a different couple. Still, this isn't a series that makes me passionate over the characters. However, other couples are as good as this one, then I might enjoy the books a lot more than what I might think.
Grade: 7/10

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