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Archangel's Blade (A Guild Hunter Novel) Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2011
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From the Back Cover
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past...but Dmitri's need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel's right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality...the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting...and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more...
- ASIN : 0425243915
- Publisher : Berkley; Original edition (September 6, 2011)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780425243916
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425243916
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.2 x 0.86 x 6.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #63,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Honor is scared of her own shadow (for good reason) and Dimitri is supposedly extremely dangerous with cruelty oozing out of his pores. So what on earth would a rape victim be doing with someone who looks and acts angry and cruel? Sure, I get he may want to hunt down her rapists and understands that she needs to be apart of the hunt for her recovery - but there’s just no believable chemistry. She’s a total mouse.
And then the reincarnation stuff happens. It didn’t really fit because Dimitri’s millennia dead wife and Honor are completely different people. Dimitri even made a comment halfway through that Honor reminds him of his dead wife a bit but barely had half her courage. So who is he attracted to? The mouse or the dead wife come back? Why is he attracted to the mouse?
I really wanted to like this story but there’s just too many holes. I love Dimitri and his backstory but his attraction to Honor escapes even my fantastical imagination. I still give points for the continuity of the series, good writing style (if a bit verbose at times), good plot and overall adventure. It’s disappointing cause I’ve liked all of the author’s books after reading dozens and dozens and liked them all except this one.
(I gave the GH series a shot due to a recommendation from a friend even though when I started it was already at a volume count I don't normally read. While I enjoy good storytelling I also like to see where everyone ends up with a good, solid wrap...too many "perpetual" storylines tend to suffer from becoming complacent or über-repetitive. But the Guild Hunter series is one I didn't expect when I started and I have been thoroughly enjoying every turn of the page. I can barely put them down once I've begun reading and am so glad the story is still going strong without getting stale.)
Well well well I was not disappointed. Dmitri is a complex character with a pretty heart wrenching backstory that explains
❶ - Why Raphael and he are so tight and have complete trust in each other.
❷ - Why he has been throwing his scent around toward Elena and altering between trying to seduce her or kill her.
❸ - What happened to the family and children he once had.
I was captivated by this story that is so much darker than the prior ones. When Dmitri meets Honor the Hunter assigned to help him capture a foe thought long dead he feels a spark that he hasn’t felt for a women in over a millennia. Honor has her own dark story and abuse to overcome. She was held hostage by a group of vampires for their ‘enjoyment’ and is still dealing with the PTSD she is suffering from that.
I liked Honor and how hard she started to work to put her life back together after hiding out for almost a year after her tragic attack. She was a strong woman who went through a horrible tragedy so it was easy to see why she and Dmitri would connect on some fundamental level as details from his past surfaced too. You could tell that even as he was being hard on Honor he was actually helping her deal with the residual issues she was having.
“Those who say vengeance eats you up are wrong—it doesn’t, not if you do it right.”
Being in Dmitri’s head also helped understand his motivations better and now I actually like the strange way he is working to help Elena to become a stronger consort and mate for Raphael. Please don’t think for a second that he is all sunshine and rainbows and kittens. He definitely isn’t, he is still brutal, hard and not mortal. But I know get the places that everything about him comes from and I really liked his dark and twisted story.
“Ever had a woman say no to you, Dmitri?”
“Once.” He turned the corner with a smile that made her want to cup his face, trace those beautiful lips with her own. “I married her.”
Add to that a little more development for a few other side characters and this is my favorite story from this world so far. I’m pretty sure I know who Venom will be matched up with later and since she threatened to chop his head off I will really enjoy that courtship when it happens. There was also a little more on the guild hunter Ashwini and the Vampire that is currently pursuing her. It does appear that Vampire courtships are aggressive and maybe a bit violent but definitely never boring.
I don’t want to say that I didn’t like Raphael and Elena’s story so far because I did but it was really nice to get a broader few of the world from a few other character PoVs in the story. I look forward to discovering Jason’s story next.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the fourth book in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series (after Angels' Blood , Archangel's Kiss and Archangel's Consort ) and is the first to move away from Elena and Raphael as lead characters. Instead the book focuses on Dmitri who has been a supporting character from the start and introduces a new Guild Hunter named Honor. Elena, Raphael and all the other characters I've come to love are still featured despite the narration change.
The book is tightly plotted with dual storylines running together. The investigation into the severed head leads us into Dmitri's past while a concurrent investigation tracks down the vampires who abducted Honor. There is a fair amount of tension and some scenes manage to be deeply creepy which makes for compelling reading. The romance takes a backseat to the character's healing from their pasts, which works well both for the storyline and overall development of the characters.
Dmitri has been a favourite character of mine since the beginning of the series. He's always been portrayed as arrogant and controlling so it was fascinating to see why he is that way. He has lived a long existence but never recovered from the events surrounding his turning, leading him to become darker and more deadly. However, when he meets Honor he begins to change and it is fascinating to see how he develops.
I found Honor to be incredibly well written and the way in which she gradually deals with the horrors of her past feels believable. She is very different to Elena as while Elena is physically very strong and confident from the first page, Honor is broken and delicate yet holds herself together with an extreme level of self-control.
Holly (a survivor of Uram's rampage in the first book) and Venom both stand out as supporting characters with Holly's recovery being aided by Honor and Venom showing a slightly softer side. Interestingly the book steps back from the global changes in the previous installment to tell a tighter, more character focused story and this was a refreshing change.
All in all, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to Archangel's Storm .
Dmitri is the kind of guy who takes what he wants and makes no apology for it, he is all hard edges and arrogance - definitely not your typical hero. There is a reason that Raphael trusts him to lead his seven and it's because he has the ruthlessness needed to make even the older and most dangerous vampires and angels fear him. No, Dmitri isn't the kind of guy you'd want to cross but he is exactly the kind of guy you'd want on your side in a fight. What I loved most was seeing into his past and getting to know the human Dmitri used to be, he didn't choose to be turned into a vampire and the way it happened and the things he lost are what turned him into the man we know today. 1,000 years ago you would have met a totally different person, that Dmitri was sweet, romantic and head over heels in love with his wife and family. My heart absolutely broke for everything he had been through and it was no wonder he had closed off his heart so that he wouldn't have to go through that kind of pain ever again.
Although Honor doesn't magically change Dmitri back into the man he once was she does get to see a side to him that nobody else does and it was no wonder that she was unable to resist him. Honor is a guild hunter who went through a horrific experience when she was captured by a group of vampires and remained their prisoner for 2 months before the guild was able to track her down and rescue her. Her experience has left her wary of people and turned her into a shell of the hunter that she used to be. Thankfully guild director Sara is on hand to give her the kick that she needs and force her to face the world again but it is Dmitri who really helps build her confidence back up. He never treats her as if she is weak and breakable, although he understands that it would be easy to chase her away from him and he is careful in his seduction he respects her skill as a hunter and he is determined to give her her freedom by helping her track down the vampires responsible for what happened to her. The closure she gets from her revenge helps her move forward in her life. The chemistry between them was incredible from the first moment they meet but it takes time for Honor to trust both Dmitri and herself and give in to the connection she feels which made things much more believable considering everything she has been through.
I wasn't too sure what to make of events at the end of the book at first. I wasn't sure if I liked the way things played out (I know I'm being extremely vague here but I can't say too much without giving spoilers) and to begin with I felt a little disappointed. After taking some time to think about it I have to say that the ending made a lot of sense and I don't think the story would have worked as well if it had ended differently. My main reason for giving this story 4 stars rather than 5 was that for a lot of the time I felt more invested in Dmitri's past relationship with his wife Ingrede than I was in his current relationship with Honor. I know there were reasons for that and I was happy with the outcome but it was something that bothered me slightly while I was reading. Archangel's Blade is still a fabulous instalment to the Guild Hunter series though, it has everything I love about Nalini Singh's stories, a sexy dominant hero, a heroine strong enough to stand up to him when she needs to, hot sex scenes that will make you feel weak at the knees and plenty of appearances from some of our favourite Guild Hunter characters.