Author: Nalini Singh
What I’m Talking About:
Illium and Aodhan… two of Raphael’s Seven. Best friends. Nalini Singh has been mum on the “will they or won’t they” until now. Opening just after the previous book and about one year after the Cascade-fuel war, Archangel’s Light shares the story of rebuilding China with a hopeful new archangel. There is much death, mistrust, and devastation left in the wake of Lijuan’s terror. Aodhan has stepped in as second for newly-ascended Suyin, and with fears he may accept the position permanently, Raphael sends Illium to assist the rebuilding efforts (and remind Aodhan of home).
The story is shared in “yesterday,” which are sometimes extensive scenes from the past, centering on Illium and Aodhan growing up to include their darkest moments, and “today,” which is the present day narrative. The looks into the past are from multiple POVs, to include the main characters and Raphael. I enjoyed learning so much about the two characters, especially Aodhan, whom we don’t see as often as Illium in the series. I also really liked learning more about China and seeing Suyin begin her reign. The storytelling is lovely and the details are exquisite; everything I come to expect from Ms. Singh.
With that said, I struggled a bit. This is Illium and Aodhan, and I expected, wanted, more. This is Guild Hunter and I expected, wanted, more. The story shares a LOT of background and meanders as Illium and Aodhan reconnect. We learn a lot, but we also get just “a lot.” Additionally, I was disappointed with the “bad guy conflict,” in that there really isn’t one. The pair search for a dangerous killer, and it’s a great piece of the story, but it falls flat mid-book. The pair help lead Suyin’s people across a dangerous land, but that’s kind of it. The pair reconnect and work out their personal conflict that has built up over the past few books, and I’m glad, but I felt like something was missing. SO it’s tough because I did enjoy the story, but at the same time, I was disappointed in the book.
Similar to the previous book, Archangel’s Light feels like a transition story as the world goes from the horrors of war and the Cascade to a period of recovery. The archangels are keeping to themselves and helping one another. There doesn’t seem to be a unified “bad guy” causing mischief for the Cadre; everything is territorial. I miss the intense action, suspense of the war, the thrill of New York and the Guild.
Additionally, Illium and Aodhan’s romance is extremely slow burn, which isn’t an issue, but rather, I just didn’t feel connected to their changing/growing relationship. I loved seeing them reconnect and finally hashing out their problems. Yet there is an uncertainty between them for pretty much the entire book. I wanted more of the pair together and looking forward. They spent a lot of time together, but there were very few butterflies in the belly moments.
The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh is one of my all-time favorites. With that said, Archangel’s Light, was just okay for me, and it’s the second book in a row that hasn’t wow’d me. I didn’t dislike it, but I wanted more. I hope the series finds its footing again and soon!
My Rating: B/ B- Liked it, but I had a few small issues
About the Book:
Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.
As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy Romance
Format(s): paperback (400 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Amazon (affiliate link)
Reviews in the Series:
Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #2)
Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #3)
Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #4)
“Angel’s Wolf” by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #4.5) (Angels of Darkness)
Archangel’s Storm by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #5)
Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #6)
Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #7)
Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #8)
Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #9)
Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #10)
Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #11)
Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #12)
Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter #13)