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Guild Hunter, book 4
Reviewed by Stephanie Gunn
Archangels’ Blade is the fourth book in Nalini Singh’s paranormal romance Guild Hunter series.
In the world of the Guild Hunter books, angels exist, with the most powerful of them, the archangels, ruling sections of the world. Vampires also exist, and are Made by the angels, and subsequently bound to those angels for a period of indenture. Hunters are humans who have the ability to sense vampires, and are employed to seek out rogue vampires who break their contracts with their angels.
The first three books in this series followed the Guild Hunter Elena and her relationship with the archangel Raphael. Archangel’s Blade departs from this storyline, instead following the vampire Dmitri, Raphael’s second-in-command, and his relationship with the hunter Honor. Some readers and fans of the previous books will no doubt be disappointed with this change of focus, especially since both Elena and Raphael only serve very small parts in this book.
ISBN: 9780 575 10000 8
Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changling #5)
ISBN: 9780 575 10003 9
Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changling #10)
ISBN: 9780 575 10568 3
Reviewed by Helen Merrick
Nalini Singh’s best-selling Psy-Changling series is now up to its tenth book, with no sign of ending soon. Obviously Singh has legions of fans who eat up her successful formula of paramornal romance, spiced up by a bit of crime, suspense and a hefty dose of fairly explicit sex. The Psy-Changling books now have an established pattern, with each novel centred on the coming together of an unlikely couple who, despite challenges and obstacles end up in each others arms (and much more) by the finish. Along the way, each book further develops the broader plotline which occurs in an alternate world where alongside humans live two powerful races – the Psy and the Changlings. The Psy are, not surprisingly, a race with psy powers such as telepathy and telekensis, who dominate the world’s economic and political systems. They are also supposedly without emotion, a condition known as ‘Silence’ which was self-induced a century ago to prevent the increasing damage done by mentally unstable Psy. The Changlings are a very different race, part human and part animal who morph into their animal form at will and carry the heightened strength and senses of their animals while in human form. The key changling groups in the series are the Dark River Leopard pack, who effectively run San Fransisco, and the Snowdancer wolf pack, with whom they form an alliance as the threat from the Psy grows stronger.
Reviewed by Tehani Wessely
Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, an alpha male pack leader dominated by emotion but tempered by power. Sascha Duncan is a cardinal Psy, a woman with enormous Psy potential but hiding her fracturing nature in a world that does not permit her to show her feelings in any way. Thrown together in a business deal at a crucial point in Sascha’s struggle against her splintering psyche, Lucas and Sascha are drawn to each other in every way. As Sascha attempts to disguise her disintegrating emotional state, something that will get her “rehabilitated” by her race were she to be discovered, Lucas seeks to discover the Psy serial killer stalking his people, and both will find a great deal more than either could anticipate.
Having read and quite enjoyed Singh’s later Guild Hunter series this year, I had high expectations of this, the first book of her Psy-Changeling series. However, I had also thought I was slightly glutted on the paranormal romance genre and had put off reading this for some months. I’m glad I finally picked it up!
Singh’s world building is perhaps one of the best things about her writing – she makes the paranormal seem normal while still being fascinating, and it is always completely central to the plot and characterisation. The female protagonist, Sascha, is particularly interesting – she’s strong while being seemingly flawed, and the way Singh draws this out is engaging and powerful. I was fascinated by the relationships, the characters and the world itself, and can’t wait to read the next book. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of Patricia Briggs – Singh has a similar depth of storytelling and characterisation and has created a fascinating world in this series.
Book 2, Guild Hunter Series
Reviewed by Mitenae
Elena has been awake for three days after spending a year in a coma and is still getting used to the idea she has wings. Raphael is having to get used to the fact – whether he likes it or not – that she is not his toy, plaything or possession. True love doesn’t work that way.
Elena has two months to learn how to use her wings, for Lijiuan is holding a ball and Raphael won’t have them being seen as weak. Only they stumble across a mangled but still alive vampire with a branded chest. And the only way to identify him is by the ring he won from Illium in a poker game.
An angel is challenging and whoever it is, is willing to pit one archangel against another to gain it.
Nalini Singh has managed to not only continue a good series, but to make it even better than the first novel. The world is great, the writing fantastic and the characters are nicely balanced between strong and feminine.
This book is not just for those into paranormal romance, but also for those who have shied away from it and the many clichéd novels currently about. Nalini Singh is proving to be a writer capable of breathing life into, for me at least, a predictable sub-genre.
Book 1, Guild Hunter Series
ISBN: 978-0- 575-09572
Reviewed by Mitenae
Archangel Raphael wants the best, even if the mere mention of his wanting her for a job scares the shit out of Elena Devereax, the best guild hunter there is. Upon meeting him, Elena is forced to walk a fine line between not being manipulated and not being killed by Raphael for her defiance.
Elena learns that she is to track not a vampire nor a human and not even an angel, but an archangel. Raphael won’t tell her why nor will he allow her to tell anyone else about the job. Not even when he begins to fall for her and it threatens to make him mortal.
Nalini Singh is on of those rare writers who is able to take what is the current fad and twist it just that little bit, not only making it her own, but making her work a clear standout above everything else.
Slave to Sensation, Psy-Changeling Book 1 (2006)
Visions of Heat, Psy-changeling Book 2 (2007)
Caressed by Ice, Psy-Changeling Book 3 (2007)
Reviewed by Mitenae, August 2010.
Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is sure to delight fans of paranormal romance.
In book one, Slave to Sensation, Psy Sascha Duncam – daughter of Council member Nikita – has been given her own project to head, but it means dealing with Changeling Lucas Hunter. As a Psy she’s supposed to be emotionless but she’s flawed and hiding it from everyone. Lucas has aroused her emotions far more than anyone should and it’s threatening to break her shields. What’s more, he’s suspicious. He knows there’s something different about her and with a serial killer on the loose hunting Changelings he’s not about to let it go.
Book two, Visions of Heat, begins not long after book one ends. Faith NightStar is an F-designation Psy. She can foresee the future but spends most of her time casting for the monetary benefits of whoever can pay her. At night, when she sleeps, Faith is disturbed by dark dreams she has no control over; it doesn’t mean much to her until her sister, Marine, is murdered. Then Faith realises that she’s seeing from the point of view of whoever killed Marine. But there’s someone else lurking around her compound who is inextricably drawn to Faith, as she will be drawn to him.
In book three, Caressed by Ice, Brenna has largely healed from her abduction and is having dark dreams. Like Faith, she thinks nothing of them until a wolf-Changeling is found dead, dumped in the den. It’s Judd Lauren, a Psy and former Arrow, who calms her down even as he remains ice cold. Brenna is attracted to him but Judd is more interested in his extra-curricular activities for the Ghost until she begins to wear him down. As he finds himself attracted to her, threatening to break all his control, someone is trying to turn Changeling pack against pack.
Guild Hunter Series, Book 2
ISBN: 978 0 575 09574 8
Reviewed by Tehani Wessely, May 2010
WARNING: Possible spoilers for Angels’ Blood.
Elena Devereaux, the best Guild Hunter there is, has survived the biggest job of her life, but only just. She’s been irrevocably changed, and not only because she’s in love with an Archangel. Can Elena adjust to her new life, or even survive it?
This is quite a different book to Angels’ Blood – the first book focussed mainly on the Guild and the hunting aspect which made Elena come across as such a strong character. The second novel is less action-oriented, although the element of mystery is still present. Fortunately, Singh’s writing stands up to the challenge of a more relationship-driven story, and while the “adult” elements still feel less natural than the rest of the scenes, they are not as obtrusive in this book than in Angels’ Blood.
Guild Hunter Series, Book 1
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?