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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2011
Honor is a hunter, one who's been out of commission for quite awhile due to having been kidnapped and brutalized by deviant vampires. In an attempt to pull her back into reality, her boss assigns her to a case that requires her to work with Dmitri. Dmitri, the darkly sexy second-in-command of New York City, finds Honor captivating. He takes the horrors committed against Honor quite seriously, and vows to see the culprits hunted down and punished. The bulk of the book revolves around solving the case to which Honor was assigned, as well as hunting down all of her tormentors.

Positive Comments:

Overall, the book had a really great balance of external and internal conflict. The characters develop in a way that feels natural, and in response to events of the book.

The sex scenes are hot, but not overused. Given Dmitri's personality, I expected lots of senseless sex and bondage. Instead, we only get the scenes that further the development of the relationship.

I really enjoyed the revenge plot. I'm sure this says something nasty about me, but I liked the process of bringing the evil characters to justice.

I loved Dmitri's back story. You get to learn about his wife and children, how he lost them, and how he became a vampire. I found these parts tragic and captivating.

Critical Comments:

This book is nominally a paranormal romance, and a dark one at that. I've come to expect a little horror in my PNRs, and I enjoy it. But horror is a strong ingredient, and one has to be careful about overusing it in a novel like this, because it can easily overwhelm everything else. Nalini Singh walks a fine line, and there were times when I did feel like her use of violence was a bit gratuitous. It didn't damage the story too much, but it bares mentioning as a tiny flaw.

There were some pacing issues. It felt like this book had no distinct climax, or perhaps had three separate ill timed climaxes. There were too many conflicts, and their resolution felt a bit disorganized. To specify further would mean spoiling things, so I'll just leave it at that.

Finally, the relationship was not entirely satisfying. Honor and Dmitri certainly have chemistry. It's obvious that they care for one another. But there's a certain lack of tenderness or intimacy in their interactions. Again, I think it's partly an issue of pace. I was much more invested in Dmitri's connection to his wife, Ingrede.

Rating:

I'm pleased with this book. While it's not as good as the first two Guild Hunter books, but it's a solid improvement on Archangel's Consort. I recommend it. 3.5 stars.

Originally Reviewed for Reading to Penguins
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
This is an excellent addition to the Guild Hunter series. It expands the world beyond Elena and Raphael so that you get a better sense of the Seven's relationship with each other. Loved the backstory with Dimitri, his human family and the origins of his relationship with Raphael. Honor and Dimitri's quest for revenge was very satisfying as well. Honor didn't lose her soul but she didn't forgive and forget either.

Singh expands on the brutal world of jaded vampires with the same style that she uses on the angel's world. Each character is unique and complex. No one who has lived as long as these characters comes away unscathed or scarred. The sexual tension between Honor and Dimitri and the surprise at the end really makes this a wonderful book that merits a second or third read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2011
The Guild Series has turned into a dark, wickedly clever series of books that have such deep mysterious complex characters that you can't wait until the next one. The first three books in the series (Not including the short stories) were about Elena and Raphael, the Archangel of New York and his angel-turned guild hunter consort. They, while telling the tale of Raphael and Elena's story, laid the groundwork for the continuation of the series.

Archangel's Blade is the story of Dmitri, Raphael's first in command, and leader of his 'Seven.' (the seven being an elite group of Angels and Vamps that help Raphael run his territory)and Honor, a guild hunter who had been held captive for a few months by a vicious deranged vamp.

The story is action packed, romance filled, and parts even make you want to cry... Overall, it is a great installment in the series.

I recommend to anyone, even though this is most defenitely a stand alone book, to read the first three books in her series before this one. You get so much more background on the relationship of Dmitri and Raphael that way.

******Spoilers Below*******

I would have given this book 5 stars, but I just couldn't. The soul-mate reborn for her vampire husband has been so overdone it kind of turns my stomach, and I was sad to see it here. Honor was a great character, strong and independent, dealing with horrors that nobody could imagine, and I kind of felt like she was cheated somehow with the storyline.

Dmitri also wasn't what I expected from the previous books. I realize now, I suppose, after reading this book that he wasn't as sexually twisted as he was made out to be in the first few books, and I suppose it also bothered me that he fell in love way too easy for the vampire we had met previously.

BUT, it was still a fantastic book, a little predictable at the end, but a great story. I am eagerly awaiting Galen and Jessamy's story, even though it will only be a novella.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
It is a really very enjoyable read, I finished it in one day. The book is very well written, without giving too much of it away... There were two parllel storylines, and I felt that story of Dimitri when he was human was very well written, I did not feel the same connection with the modern plot (hence four stars). The story of Honor and Dimitri did not convey the angst and dept of feelings to me...it all seemed to fit in a very easy manner...I also felt that it ended a bit too abruptly...
Having said all that... Nalini is a very talented writer and this book is a good addition to the series...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
In Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter novels, Dmitri was never really a fave character of mine. He always seemed so cold. But in Archangel's Blade, I totally fell for him!!

We get his whole story in this book, his past about who he was before he was a vampire and an archangel's right hand man. He was once a decent person, believe it or not! Of course it took awhile for me to warm up to him still. Throughout the book we get little flashbacks of his life as a human and his human wife whom he loved more than anything, then a powerful being, an angel, took a shine onto him. And if a powerful deity wants you, then you're basically screwed--all mythology teaches us this, especially Greek!

Honor is without a doubt one of the strongest heroines I've ever read about! She was brutally attacked some time ago, and her kidnapper held her for 2 months. 2 months of inexplicable torture. It's been some time now since she was rescued but she's still healing emotionally, she's taken to always having weapons on her and around her apartment, she's a broken woman trying to heal herself and survive.

When she's asked to look at the severed head Dmitri found, she does so, but she isn't psyched to be working with a vampire, since it was vampires that held her prisoner. Dmitri wasn't my fave right away in the beginning either. He soon decided that he wanted to take Honor to bed with him. To (basically) be just [another] woman for him to pleasure and move on from.

But as time goes on, he soon learns more about Honor than he thought he would. Including about her torture. He soon decides that he's going to help her. He plans to find the ones who victimized her and torture them in return.

Basically then we have Honor and Dmitri trying to solve two cases, the case of the beheading and finding Honor's torturers. In that time we learn about Dmitri's past and he becomes a changed man. And it was a nice transition.

Soon some other things become apparent as well. I won't get into details, but there are some hints thrown here and there and I soon made an accurate predication! Yay me!! But the romance that sparks between Dmitri and Honor was really beautiful in a way. For Honor is attracted to Dmitri, yet she still fears the vampire part of him. Her body reacts in violent ways when he gets near. She's going to have to fight her own personal battles so she can withstand his touch that she so longs for!

Overall this was a pretty good read! I really enjoyed getting to know Dmitri more. He's no longer an a-hole to me anymore. He's a damn fine man! And vampire. Elena and Raphael do make some appearances, which was nice! Missed not having them as the stars, but Dmitri and Honor were truly read worthy! I do so hope that Nalini might have a book with good ol' Bluebell though!

Overall rating 4.5/5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2011
I've tried to figure out how to write my review honestly without giving spoilers, but I just can't. My major dislike involved a plot point that I would consider to be a spoiler, so be wary and don't read it unless you really want to know.

Dmitri, I'm happy to say, is still the same guy we first saw in Angels' Blood. He's wicked and naughty, and still has that disturbing vein of cruelty. He was, I have to admit, one of the members of the Seven that I was least interested in, but I really got to know him here and grew to love him. He's dark and dangerous, but what really swayed me were his memories. That guy, the one his memories, was the one that really made me fall for him. If we wouldn't have seen him as he was then, I'm not sure how much I would have cared for him in the present. As I said, he had a vein of hard anger and cruelty in him that had me shying away. Rafael could be cruel and cold to Elena and others, but he didn't seem to relish it the way Dmitri did, and that seemed to make all the difference for me.

I tried not to compare their relationship to Elena and Rafael, I really did. And I succeeded for the most part. It was weird seeing them from the sidelines and only having a few scenes with them, but the author was smart not to let any of the other characters accidentally dominate Dmitri's book. We got to see Jason and Illium and Venom, but the scenes with them seemed few and far between. What we did see of Illium continued to hint toward a worrying fixation on Elena, though. Just like in the last book, I'm not sure what I think of the continued mention of this subject. It's making it into a bigger thing than I want it to be and I keep hoping it will be dropped.

Honor and Dmitri both have had to learn to cope with the horrific abuse they're suffered. Dmitri is, of course, further along in the game than her, but he has had way more time to adjust. Honor is still jumpy and can't control her occasional involuntary fight or flight reaction around him. Although Honor would seem to be the more wounded of the two, being that her experience was more recent, Dmitri really stole the show. His constant flashbacks exposed us to a pain and a yearning that has never healed in him. It has been so many years and he's still not over his wife. He longs for the happiness and the love he felt when he was with her, and he just about broke my heart. That's really what leads into why the relationship between Honor and Dmitri left me dissatisfied.

Dmitri was clearly not over his wife, and honestly, I don't blame him. The flashbacks we were shown were incredibly compelling and it broke my heart to know that he didn't have that anymore. Although he started to make a connection with Honor, there was so much time devoted to memories of his prior life and Honor's similarities to his dead wife that I felt that the present relationship was shortchanged. I mean, we even had flashbacks during the scenes where Honor and Dmitri were getting frisky! I ended up being more interested in the past relationship than the present one and wished I could have read that romance, because they had something beautiful.

****SPOILERS****
****SPOILERS****
****SPOILERS****
****SPOILERS****
I know why Dmitri was constantly reminded of his wife when he was with Honor, but it really made me doubt that Honor was actually what kept him interested. The author built up the past connection and Dmitri's continued devotion so well that the current relationship didn't quite fit. It seemed like the only reason why it developed into more than his typical catch and release attitude was because he became unwillingly intrigued by the similarities.

I was very shocked and unhappy to find that... This is where the SPOILERS come in, people... Honor was cast as Dmitri's dead wife, reincarnated. I know that some people find that situation very romantic, but I'm not one of them. To me, there's a very clear definition between this person and that person. Just because both people have the same soul does not mean that they are both guaranteed to be loved by the same person. Every action and inaction and event that you experience defines who you are. It's that person that someone will fall in love with. And I don't feel that those things are interchangeable. Change one event about your past and you could change your whole personality and outlook on life. You might not have grown and learned enough to become the person you are today.

So to have Dmitri's dreams come true by tying up his pain in a big red bow and giving him his wife back makes me very unhappy. What about Honor? She seemed to exist only as a vehicle to ease his torment. I am not convinced that he would have ever been completely fulfilled by just her. He was too hung up on his wife. But because she is his wife it's okay. Now he'll love her with everything he has. But is he really loving Honor? Or is he just loving his wife any way he can get her? I don't like to close a Romance with these nagging worries, so I'm not exactly stoked about how this all turned out.
****END SPOILERS****
****END SPOILERS****
****END SPOILERS****
****END SPOILERS****

Other than that, I also felt that the story was a little slow and that the plot wasn't really important. It almost seemed like it existed only to give Honor and Dmitri an excuse to be around each other and to give Dmitri a compelling reason to reveal pieces of his past.

Although I wasn't thrilled with this book, I still enjoyed it. The Guild Hunter world is an awesome place to be and I enjoyed getting to see more of Ashwini and getting to see the storyline for Holly (Uram's victim) developed further.

Favorite Quote:

"Like to push, don't you?"

"If I don't," he purred, leaning down to kiss her while he plumped and shaped her breast with a proprietary hand, "how will I ever get you to a point where you'll let me tie you up and use a whip on you?"

Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I normally write a brief summary of a book before I delve into my review. I can't seem to get my thoughts together to write a non-spoilery one for Archangel's Blade. If you've read the first 3 books in the series, you know that Dmitri is Raphael's Second. Dmitri has always been an interesting character in the previous 3 books and I was excited to see him have his own book.

Even though Dmitri is the hero in this book, his character is not watered down. He's still as dark and dangerous as in the previous books. We finally get a bird's eye view of what is going on in Dmitri's head and it is not pretty. Honor works for the Guild Hunter and is recovering from her own traumatic experience. Being paired up with Dmitri probably isn't the best thing for her recovery but she is determined to do her job.

Archangel's Blade started off a little slow for me. It took about 100 pages for me to get caught up in the story. This is probably my own issue and not reflective of the book itself. But once I was finally pulled into the story, I could not put the book down. Dmitri is sexy and dangerous. Honor is on edge when she's around him but can't help but be attracted to him. Dmitri understands what Honor is after - revenge. Revenge on the people that tortured and violated her for two months. Revenge is something that Dmitri is familiar with and is more than willing to help Honor dish it out.

Throughout Archangel's Blade, Dmitri has flashbacks to his past. Even though Dmitri is over a thousand years old, his past is always with him, never forgotten. These peeks into Dmitri's head and heart humanizes him even though he stresses that his humanity died a long time ago. The longer Dmitri is around Honor, a little bit of his humanity returns. He is her protector. He knows what she was gone through and he is determined to help her fight back. There is one scene where Dmitri does something that he swore he would never do to Honor. Her reaction was quick and violent. Dmitri realizes what he has done and what he does to beg her forgiveness brought a tear to my eye.

There is a lot going on in this book but the plot doesn't get confusing. Raphael and Elena are on the sidelines, helping Dmitri and Honor along with Venom, Jason and my favorite, Illium. Holly, a survivor of Uram's attack, story develops more and I hope to see more of her in future books. Her story is getting more interesting as she is slowly changing into maybe one of Uram's creations.

Archangel's Blade is one of the best books of the series. Dmitri as the hero and love interest did not disappoint. Both Honor and Dmitri are broken and I loved how they came together to help each other heal. The only thing that bothered me was hints of Honor's past that was sprinkled throughout the book and came to a conclusion at the end. I found that to be too convenient and coincidental. I suspected half-way through the book that this may be the direction Honor and Dmitri's relationship was headed but I didn't like it. But it gave them a neat HEA wrapped up in a pretty bow. And after what those two have been through, they definitely deserve it.

B+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2011
While sad that Archangel's Blade isn't another Raphael/Elena story, Dmitri turns into a somewhat unlikeable vampire (from Elena's point of view) to a much more human character. Singh does this well by inserting the backstory of how Dmitri became a vampire and his simple life as a human. Honor has her own backstory about being kidnapped by vampires and remains traumatized by the experience.

Criticism with spoilers:

My main problem with the book? I saw the reincarnation plot line coming because Dmitri keeps reminiscing about these happy times and then Honor starts have weird dreams. It then takes awhile for the characters to have the same revelations and figure it out, meanwhile I'm already impatient for them to figure it out already. Once Honor tells Dmitri, he just accepts it because he should have known all along?? It's wrapped up nicely and tied with a bow at this point! It's not badly written or anything, I just think the author is capable of making it more of a climatic surprise for the reader. The earlier archangels books had some great surprise moments!

The subplot with Honor's kidnapping and torture... seemed a bit gratituous in its conclusion. The incest had too much of a yuck factor for me that made the story less believable that a woman so manipulative and conniving hadn't come under the radar before.

Also, I'm not entirely sure where all the loose ends will go... like Sorrow (Holly). Or I'm not as interested in Venom right now as I would be about reading Illium's story, but I'm sure there's a story in there too. There will probably be more little things I might remember that bothered me, but overall, the book is a very good and emotionally charged story that we've come to expect from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
My Rating: 4 stars: Enjoyed - strongly recommend (A-)

Full review at my blog

For the fourth (and possibly best) Guild Hunter book, Ms. Singh steers away from main characters Archangel Raphael and his Hunter Consort Elena, who were the primary focus of the first three books. Instead we follow Raphael's second-in-command, the ancient vampire, Dmitri and recently abducted Hunter, Honor. Chronologically, this story follows the third book, Archangel's Consort, and readers of the series will recognize several familiar faces.

With the change in character focus, I feel that readers new to this series *could* start with Archangel's Blade, however, this is such an amazing series, I recommend starting at the beginning where readers witness how cold and cruel Dmitri is. Without softening Dmitri, Ms. Singh indulges us with glimpses into the psyche and heart of a man who will only weep before one woman.

Honor is a special woman as well. After being abducted, tortured and raped by a dangerous vampire, she is paired with Dmitri to work on a case. Without missing a beat, Dmitri carefully pushes Honor, using a restraint he has never shown before, forcing her to face her fears and heal. Although she is frightened, Honor has always felt a bond and attraction to the mysterious Dmitri, and she pushes back, fighting and becoming whole.

I was a bit concerned about Honor and her recovery, but Ms. Singh does, in my opinion, a good job. Honor does not go riding off into the sunset. She starts and stops many times before allowing herself to fall for Dmitri. Her character was developed in such a way that leaves little doubt in her desire and ability to survive and overcome. As Honor herself said she's not a victim, she's a survivor.

The characters make this book, but the story is equally intriguing. The plots mingle and move at just the right pace to keep you glued to the pages.

Archangel's Blade is a fabulous addition to the Guild Hunter series. With the difficult topic of rape/abduction, Ms. Singh gives the story grace and power. I grew to care about Dmitri and Honor and hope that we will see a lot more of them in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
I am a long time fan of Nalini Singh and have been enjoying the Guild Hunter series. But when I saw a break in books; going from Elena and Raphael's journey and now focusing on Dmitri I was like, "WAIT! WAIT! Hold up....I'm not there yet. I am not ready to move over and let the supporting characters have their chance to shine, not yet anyway." "Too soon", I said. "Not ready", I said. I was so wrong. I think Archangels Blade is one of the best in this series so far. I know. I know I should have trusted her from the get go.

It's a story of two victims on two very different levels getting back what they need to survive. Having Dmitri's P.O.V was a nice change, especially since it coincides partly with Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3). It was nice to hear what he is thinking while dealing with Elena.

My only negative with the final wrap up is the ending. I think it lacked. I won't go into too much as not to spoil it, but there needed to be a bit more. The bow was too pretty.

Story line 5*****
Romance 3.5***
Sizzle 4****

"I will love you even when I am dust on the wind" -Dmitri

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