Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Source: Received from author (Thank you sooo much, Nalini and Ashwini!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.
This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…
Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)
If there's one thing I am complete sure of in my life, it's that Nalini Singh is a writing goddess. I swear, that woman manages to write even deeper and more complex stories every new novel; if that's not the work of a writing goddess, then I don't know what is. Nalini Singh always manages to outdo herself so it is so difficult to choose favorites (Archangel's Shadows is currently my favorite, haha, but I'm pretty sure that'll change when I read her upcoming books), it's literally like changing clothes, you like a certain piece for a while then something better comes along and then you love that one even more, I mean this in the best way possible, of course. There's a beauty to Nalini Singh's writing that a lot of other authors can only imagine having, she has this insanely amazing ability to create such complex and intricate stories that will leave you completely shattered and renewed every time you read them. I could go on and on about my author crush on Nalini Singh but I have got a review to write, haha.
I first encountered Ashwini and Janvier as a pair in Angels' Pawn and from there on, I absolutely fell in love with them. Their playful but also sexually charged banter never fails to get me laughing or hot and bothered, their chemistry is palpable and flows from the pages of the book so that even you can feel it. But even though Ashwini and Janvier have awesome dialogues and interactions with each other, there's still a shared darkness between the two. It lurks in the corner and leaves you wondering what the two are hiding from each other (hint: crazy stuff, trust me).
Ashwini is the type of person who I'd love to be friends with; little kooky, more than a little dangerous and loyal to the bone, I adored her. My heart broke as Nalini Singh slowly peeled Ashwini's layers, exposing her, till there was nothing left to hide. The extent of what Ashwini went through and was still going through threw me off, her vulnerability shook me, seeing such a strong person reduced to someone who thought herself as something completely different shattered me. I was so amazed at how Nalini Singh was able to characterize and flesh Ashwini out as a person, I have never felt such a deep connection with a character before. I felt as if everything Ashwini was feeling was somehow being channeled to me as well, I summed it up to Nalini Singh's writing goddess powers. Being given the chance to get to know Ashwini on a deeper level was a torturously beautiful experience and yes, Archangel's Shadows is the very first Nalini Singh book I have ever cried at.
Janvier. Oh, Janvier. I cannot even express how much I fell in love with this Cajun. His devotion and obvious love for her did me in. It broke my heart even more seeing how much he was suffering because Ashwini was suffering, I was completely overwhelmed (I'm feeling it even as I type this review). Janvier definitely suffered the most, in my opinion. I won't go too much into it but I'll leave you with a though: If you're an immortal and the person you're in love with refuses to join you in immortality, what would you do? (There's more follow up questions but I won't go there anymore, it'll hurt too much.)
Good news for people who want more of the normal cast, you'll definitely get more than a glimpse of the happenings of New York, post-war. It's common knowledge how much I absolutely freaking love Illium and it was great seeing another side of him, but also a bit worrying because of the darkness growing inside of him. But if there's one character who really shined the brightest in Archangel's Shadows, it's Naasir! It was so fun getting to know him better; there's an innocence to him that makes you think that he's harmless but he's really not. Naasir is also very genuine when it comes to his actions, every move is thought out and deliberate, I completely adored him. I kinda want him as a pet, lol. His idiosyncrasies made him all the more interesting and captivating, you won't be able to help yourself, you'll be completely enthralled and enchanted by him; I know I was.
Suffice to say, you've got another winner with Archangel's Shadows, it is Nalini Singh at her finest. She blends the perfect mixture of danger and sex, lust and love, and everything else in between; she will also show you that within darkness, there will always be light. Nalini Singh will grip your heart and will not let go until she has carved a space in your heart reserved for her characters. The passion and emotions she was able to convey gave me shivers, I could feel my heart filling up with, literally, all the feels. Nalini Singh never fails to amaze me and I will never get tired of saying how much she completely blew me away with Archangel's Shadows. I. Need. MORE. (Here's to hoping that the next Guild Hunter will be about me and Illium or Illium and Aodhan because anything else is unacceptable, lol. But seriously, I am very serious.)