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Archangel's Blade (A Guild Hunter Novel) Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2011
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"In the intensely dark, violent, and romantic fourth Guild Hunter novel...Singh focuses on the 1,000-year-old vampire Dmitri, lieutenant to the archangel Raphael, and Guild Hunter Honor, still recovering after a rogue vampire kidnapped and tortured her for two months...a heart-pounding and strongly emotional read." - Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is back in the shadows of a deadly, beautiful world where angels rule, vampires serve, and one female hunter must crawl out of the darkness to survive...
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...
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The central romance and main characters of Archangel's Blade are Dmitri, leader of Raphael’s Seven and Honor St. Nicholas, a non- hunter-born human hunter. In a lot of ways Dmitri and Honor felt like Raphael and Elena 2.0. Strong, resilient, independent and deeply traumatized female lead: check. Honor is fresh from a two month abduction and captivity in which she was repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted by a gang of rogue vampires (well, not an actual “gang”; but several rogue vampires). “Dangerous”, jaded, emotionally unavailable/remote, immortal and also deeply traumatized (eons ago) male lead: check. Unlikely wham bam thank you ma'am epic romance: hold that thought.
Despite the similarities I had to give Archangel's Blade the extra half star because I enjoyed the characters and their romance more than I have the Raphael and Elena pairing. I think for a couple of reasons. The first being – I just like Dmitri more than Raphael. Both are supposed to be “dangerous”, but I parenthesize because I know they’re dangerous because Singh keeps telling me they're dangerous; which was good – because I love the dangerous hero trope – and I might have missed it had I not been so well informed. Raphael I think is supposed to be dangerous in his epic power, other-worldliness – and remoteness. I just find him too remote. Almost unrelatable. Dmitri is more down to earth. Then there’s the issue of maybe I just have some latent left over squickiness about angels as sex machines from my Catholic upbringing (And I'm not gonna lie - the wings are kind of freaky). Or maybe a vampire just seems more “bad boy". Not sure but I’m Team Dmitri.
The other aspect of AB that made me feel a more emotional connection to the characters and to their story – other people may not like. It may seem an over-used plot device – but I liked that Dmitri and Honor have a connection to each other from the past. It made their story more “believable” – in a totally unbelievable story about vampires and angels and an alternate reality sort of way.
The story kicks off with a tattooed severed vampire head being found floating in the Hudson River. The tattoo looks like an ancient Aramaic code; and Dmitri on behalf of the Tower calls in a consult from the Guild. Honor is deemed to be particularly well qualified for the task, and Sara is trying to eject her from the depths of the rare books section of the Guild Academy library where she has buried herself since her rescue, rocking back and forth and trying to ward off flashbacks.
AB sees both Dmitri and Honor confronting the horrors of their pasts. The severed head turns out to be Dmitri’s tragic and traumatic past reaching out to him over the centuries. Dmitri and Honor bond over hunting down and torturing the rogue vampires who took part in Honor’s abduction and assaults and pondering the nature of their intense attraction. There were a few Venom cameos (I hope, I hope he gets a story), Holly (Uram’s survivor) becomes "Sorrow" and the next story up is apparently Jason’s – which I’m feeling rather underwhelmed about.
When Dimitri first entered the picture in this series, I was drawn to his character immediately. You knew early on his behaviour was a mask for something huge that had happened in his past.
As soon as it was said how old he was, I realized I'd read this series just for his story alone.
I think most readers would agree, Dimitri is the star of these books. He's handsome without being too pretty.
He is rugged and mysterious and a tough nut to crack. Don't get me wrong. The others are intriguing in their own way, but the way this tale played out was simply beautiful......and devastating.
The memories are difficult to read.
When Honor first started having her dreams/memories of Ingrede, I knew they were one in the same and that I'd love this book.
There were quite a few times I had to put it down and take a break. It was hard to read about the children Misha and Catarina.......especially the baby girl.
Even in fiction, whether books or television, I cannot stand harm and suffering to innocents such as small children, babies or animals.
Even when it's not real, it still breaks you.
As stories progress in books, I'll ALWAYS skip the 18 pages of sex many writers think we want to read. I enjoyed Elenas relationship with her archangel, but did skip through most of their bedroom romps.
In this book? I read every word. I think knowing that Dimitri would completely drop his armor of protection once he found out that Honor and his wife were the same person, makes you want to read every word leading up to that realization.
I loved this story.
I'll read more in the series, but doubt any pairings will be as good as this one was.
I should never have doubted Ms Singh.
I was discussing paranormal series with my friend the other day and Nalini was one of the few that we agreed on. She constantly provides well edited and fascinating plots. She never gets names/date mixed up and her characters are always so well rounded. So I really shouldnt of doubted her ability to craft an amazing book.
Dmitri is not tamed and he doesnt change who he is for the love of a human woman. I love the fact that he didnt. I love the fact that he is just as ruthless at the end of the book as he is when we first met him in Angel Blood. However what we do see is the softer side to him that once existed.
It was heartbreaking to visit his past but it was also vital. By the end of the book I really feel like I know Dmitri. As for his heroine, the guild hunter Honor. She is the perfect fit for him, but I will not go into to much detail about her as I think that I could spoil it for you.
All I can say is, If you loved the first three books then you will love this one to. Or if you havent read the first three book I highly recommend them as this author never ceases to impress me. (and I read alot of paranormal/urban fantasy)