Friday, May 11, 2012

Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh

Dmitri and Honor's book

Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter book 4)

by Nalini Singh

Book Blurb:
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...

This review is written with the assumption that you are all caught up in the series. Archangel's Blade could be a stand alone read but I would not recommend it. 

Talk about two tortured characters! Most times when I read a story and there is a heavy back story, it is usually one character battling personal demons and the other character is trying to help with the healing process. Not the case with Archangel's Blade. Both of the protagonists, Dmitri and Honor are fractured and reeling from deep wounds.  Quite honestly, I wasn't sure how they were going to heal each other. There are some wicked scenarios in Archangel's Blade that are pretty gruesome. I'm glad I'm done with the series for now. I need a break. 

Archangel's Blade was very well written and the intense story line kept my eyes glued to the pages. It was a page turner for sure. 

The only information that the readers know about Dmitri going into Archangel's Blade is the few tidbits that have been shared in the previous books. Dmitri is a vampire now and you just know that there is a wicked back story.  To bring the readers up to date on his previous life, there are a series of flashbacks that Dmitri experiences. I'm not a fan of flashbacks (in any story). The reader is fed bits and pieces and you need to use these snippets to puzzle together his mortal conclusion. It takes the entire book to do so. Heartbreaking best describes Dmitri's previous life as a human. That is all I can say about that. 

Even though Honor is a Hunter from the Guild Hunter organization, she is a new character that was not introduced in any of the previous books. Right away you understand that she has suffered a recent personal atrocity and she is still in the clutches of healing. She is a strong woman and it is easy to admire how hard she is trying to heal herself. 

As Dmitri and Honor team up there are two mysteries woven into Archangel's Blade. One is about a mysterious decapitated head with an unknown but distinctive tattoo and the other is trying to solve who and why Honor was brutalized. Both of those stories run parallel to each other. Additionally mixed in to the book are Dmitri's flashbacks coupled with strange dreams that Honor is experiencing. There is an awful lot going on in Archangel's Blade. 

Although Elena and Raphael (from the first 3 books) are present as secondary characters in Archangel's Blade, I really missed them. I do love them. I'm pretty sure that if this book 4 was another story about Elena and Raphael, I would have been just as happy to continue reading about them. 

You would not think that Dmitri and Honor would have been such a great pair together. With his dark side and her trying heal from the dark forced upon her, they seemed to be a mismatched pair on paper. However, it worked. I enjoyed them testing each other's limits and I enjoyed reading about Honor earning her life back. Dmitri didn't turn out to be a crutch as I expected but rather Honor was just brave enough to do it on her own. The ending is where I decided to downgrade Archangel's Blade from a 5 down to a 4. This explanation is going to be bit hard without spoilers but lets just say, I didn't like the ultimate "fix" for Honor. This whole story I was routing for her and I was disappointed. The finale with the accumulation of his flashbacks and her dreams certainly left me scratching my head and feeling a bit let down. That is not what I personally wanted for Honor. I am pretty sure fans of the Guild Hunter series will strongly go against me on my disappointment but it was how I felt at the end. 

Teasers: great use of honey, Holly turned to Sorrow, a mother's love gone really really bad, wild flower memorial


Unknown said...

I loved this entry! in fact, it was one of my top ten listens last year.
I can't wait for the next book!
I so agree with you about the ending.. Now I know I was
Excellent review!

Unknown said...

Whew! A fan who agrees with me about the ending. I wasn't sure if I was going to get blasted.

Thanks for commenting.