Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Review - Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh

Title: Archangel’s Enigma
Series: Guild Hunter #8 
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: September 1, 2015

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of dark passion and immortal power - and to one of the most seductive and impenetrable heroes ever to stalk the Guild Hunter landscape...

"Oh, Naasir. So weird, so bloodthirsty, so unique and wonderful...I have fallen for him..." - Fiction Vixen

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required - those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets is fascinated by his nature - at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it's too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows...and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare...

There is a reason why, as someone who has recently moved away from reading paranormal romance, I keep coming back to this series, and to this author. Despite being set in a fictional world of angels, vampires and "tiger creatures", Nalini Singh has created a story rich with human emotion: love, pain, anger, fear, desire, hope...and so much more. A world in which I want to live, despite the cold, harsh brutality it sometimes offers.

Archangel's Enigma may be the eighth book in this series -- and yes, you do need to read them all, in their proper order, to fully appreciate and understand the richness of this universe -- but it holds the same thrill for me as the first did. Perhaps even more so, as I've grown with these characters, learned more about them and the depths of their connection with each other, and fallen for each one in their own way. Ms. Singh gives me the chance to deepen that love, as she weaves each member of Raphael's Seven into this story; a solid foundation for a book about a man that is not a man or a vampire or something else entirely but a person, and the woman who is his mate.

Of all the males in the Guild Hunter series, the one we knew the least about -- and yet I found myself so indelibly fascinated with -- was Naasir. To get a chance to learn about him, to mine his secrets, is a true gift. Ms. Singh has given him a charming childlike wonder, a fierce, strong spirit, a mysterious nature and a hard, violent streak. He is protective and loyal, and when his calculated, almost brutal nature collides with his wide-eyed innocence about things like his mate, civility and courtship, it's not hard to see why females are so drawn to him.

It's also impossible not to see why he is so drawn to Andromeda. As she does so well, Ms. Singh has crafted a beautiful contradiction in Andi; a soft and hard character, one who is brainy but strong, good to her very core and tough when required. Andi gives amazing balance to Naasir, and their banter is playful and light, humorous at times, serious and deep at others, and just so much fun, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

Except for those times when the action became so intense, fast-moving and adventurous, my heart pounded and I shifted to the very edge of my seat. More than one frown pulled at my face as I enjoyed this journey. It's a race and a thrill, from the beginning, as we are eased back into the Guild Hunter universe and the Cascade, to the very 'No, it can't be over, I need MORE' end.

This book is a tale that is, much like Naasir himself, so very simple and yet, so very complex. Two people, given a mission that pits them against time and evil, in a race to stop a catastrophic event. Two people who are so completely right for each other that no disaster, no promise, no injury can keep them from claiming each other. A group of warriors who face an uncertain future together, and who amuse and entertain while protecting themselves, the ones they love, and the world. As one question is answered, another is posed, meaning there is still so much more to come for this series, and I could not be happier for that. I am utterly fascinated by the direction in which this series is headed, and am loathe to set it aside again and wait for too many months to find out what happens next.

I can't live in this world of Ms. Singh's in actuality, but I can in my mind and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Bring on book nine. 
~ Review by Beth

Nalini Singh is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling, Guild Hunter, and Rock Kiss series. She lives in New Zealand but travels as much as possible (the travel bug bit hard from when she escaped working as a lawyer to run away and teach English in Japan). Nalini loves to write, loves to read, and thinks chocolate is a food group.

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