Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nalini Singh - Achangel's Storm

With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.
Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.
With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

Comment: I've decided to read this book despite the fact I'm not a big fan of this series. But I already had it and I admit I was a bit curious to see how Jason would deal with falling in love and in which way would the author play the development of the plot.

This is Jason's story, he's one of the Seven, the personal guard of the archangel Raphael. Jason is known as being reclusive (aren't they all?) but he is asked to oversee a problem in Neha's territory. Neha is another archangel and she asked for Jason only if he accepted a vow to someone of hers, to keep things balanced. In comes Mahiya, someone everyone knows as a princess but who has an agenda of her own and she believes Jason can help her. But who is behind all the issues in Neha's court and most important, why?

I really can't say this is a bad book. But to be honest I can't seem to go past the whole tone of the series, even in these books that, although not featuring Elena and Raphael, maintain the development from their books. I think this series feels more serious and more mechanized than the author's other one. It doesn't seem to exist space to deep personal emotions, or the study of them comparing to other characters. The characters change and learn but I don't feel much empathy towards them. Sure I feel for them, but I have the feeling the way the story is told or by the tone the author decided to work with this world isn't the best one to make the reader feel much emotions coming from the characters. I feel everything is mechanic, there aren't any spontaneity anywhere...I guess it's part of the series foundation perhaps, but it's not a personal preference, thus it's hard for me to fully enjoy this.

Another issue is how everyone seems to be built the same way. They all have different backgrounds and experiences but almost all the masculine characters seem to be cold, aggressive, unfeeling and too serious. I thin only Illium isn't like this. All the others seem to share the same behavior. Something on purpose? Very well, but then how is the reader to be expected to actually feel they are changing for real? It bothers me a bit that everyone had dark, bad pasts and is now cold and indifferent to everything but their tasks in the job. Really? Everyone is the same? No one is spontaneous and has a happier personality? I get it, it's a harsh world, pretty much dedicated to power games and appearances, but come on... if this is pure UF why bother saying the romance matters?

As for the romance between Jason and Mahyia, it was sweet in a way, which kind of saved the book, but I thin more emotion wouldn't be bad...if they are centuries old they should be able to deal with their traumas by now...I mean, time has gone by! 
Mahyia was a surprise, I liked her a lot and I think she was the strongest character here. I liked her development, why she wanted to change, why she risked much and why she acted the way she did. Her character is easy to understand.
Jason has a bad past, really awful, but he's really old and smart...well, it's hard to get past traumas for sure...he seemed weird by falling for Mahyia simply because his reactions were always so careful...not very passionate unfortunately, even in the end when the HEA arrived.

The plot was smart, interesting but not concluded...I wonder why, hopeful possibilities or plot devices? Anyway, it's not really what glued me here so...

I liked the overall feel of the story because Mahyia was intelligent and interesting to know about and her character was strongly developed here. But the world still doesn't win me over much...such a pity, it could be so much stronger if a wider range of emotions could actually play a part.
Grade: 7/10

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