Why did I get it: I own the first book, and I wanted to continue with the series.
How I would rate it: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…
They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…
Review: This book was really, really good. A lot of the issues I had with Angels’ Blood went away or seemed to have improved so I didn’t have a lot of complaints outside of wishing there had been more plot twists, less repetition in regards to Elena’s backstory, and that some of the subplots had been resolved a little better. And all of this was overshadowed by how much I liked the interactions, the conversations, world-building, and the continuing character developments.
Archangel’s Kiss made me care and also appreciate Elena, Raphael, and their relationship in ways that Angels’ Blood never could. Here in book two, they are both really struggling with who they are and with each other, which is pretty awesome. Raphael became a little less of a jerk, and actually was vulnerable at times. They both actually got around to sharing deeper parts of themselves with one another, and even accepted one another this time and found sort of a balance. So instead of wishing they would slow down or stop trying to make things work, I enjoyed watching both of them heal and grow together as lovers and as characters.
Singh’s view of angels, vampires, and zombies is fascinating and makes for really good reading. So while this book wasn’t very Urban Fantasy at all, but I don’t know that I minded at all because it still had plenty of Fantasy going on and was actually labelled as Paranormal Romance. Regardless of genre placement, Singh has a real gift for creating a rich, diverse world with characters that aren’t all Caucasian or simply good and bad, I cannot express how wonderful that is. But trust me. It is wondeful to read about a lot of characters with a lot of differences and from a lot of other parts of the world.
I loved seeing Elena learning to fight now that she has wings, visiting an angelic classroom, and forging her own alliances. I was very pleased with all of the minor characters in this book including Sam, Illium, Galen, Keir, Elijah, Dmitri, Jessamy, and even crazy Michaela. I especially enjoyed getting more of an indepth look into the angels sort of of homeplace called the Refuge as well as Elena and Raphael’s tragic backstories. The dark and creepy elements of this series so far really is terrific too and I like that really there’s no end in sight. At least, I hope there isn’t.
In conclusion, this was a very enjoyable second installment to the Guild Hunters series, and I definitely want to read a lot more of Nalini Singh’s books.