Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series, Book 1

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978 0 575 09572 4

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, May 2010

I purchased overseas versions of Angels’ Blood and Archangel’s Kiss earlier this year after reading a Guild Hunter story in an anthology. I became so involved in the characters and world that I was delighted to be able to get more depth immediately. Gollancz has now published new versions of both books and I’m delighted to see the covers are far more elegant now than the original versions; new readers will be far more likely to pick these up and want to have them on their shelves.

Elena Devereux is a vampire hunter with a past that makes her better at her job than anyone else. In her world, vampires are made by Angels and owned by them until they fulfil their debt for being turned. Vampire hunters aren’t necessarily killers – more often than not they are simply retrieving vampires who have run away from their Angel masters. But Angels have bosses too. Elena finds herself on a job for one of the scariest of all, the Archangel Raphael. It’s not a regular job either, but one so dangerous that her chances of surviving are lower than ever before. And even if she does survive, will she still have lost her heart?

New Zealander Singh has created a fascinating world that engrossed me from the start. I love the characters, I love the ideas and I love the writing. It’s a pacy, action-oriented paranormal detective story and it works really well. If I had one complaint, it’s that the “adult” aspects of the storyline felt a little forced, almost like the author was uncomfortable writing them but they had to be in the story. Luckily, I don’t read these books for the sex scenes, so it didn’t affect my enjoyment overmuch!

Of all the paranormals I’ve read, this series hits the top five, in the realm of Patricia Briggs’ work and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty books, which are some of my current favourites. Highly recommended.