Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Dear Ms. Singh:

I feel like I am being a bit disloyal to the Psy/Changeling series by admitting that right now I am enjoying the Angel series more but it’s true.   Even though we only get one book a year in this series (or maybe because we only get one book a year), I always wait impatiently for the next installment. There are a couple things I like about this series.

Archangel's Consort by Nalini SinghThe worldbuilding is so intriguing.   For those unfamiliar with this series, the world is comprised of angels, vampires and humans.   There may be other stray beings around but those are the primary genetic beings.   Angels are at the top of the hierarchy and they make the vampires, both willingly and unwillingly.   Not every person is suited to be an immortal vampire and those that are psychologically incapable are rejected.   This can lead to human pairings that result in one member being made a vampire and another not. Of course, there are other vampires that are made indiscriminately.

The angels are ruled by a number of Archangels, beings old and powerful.   This conclave is known as the Cadre of Ten and they rule by geographic region.   It is the only way that they can come to a peaceable resolution, knowing that if they did not have their own territory to rule, they would be in constant combat.   Angels are born but births are rare.   Raphael, the male protagonist of this series and ruler of North America, is the only progeny of two archangels.   These angels, as many do, slowly went mad as they became older.   His father killed many people.   His mother actually intentionally dropped Raphael from a great height resulting in every bone of his body breaking. Raphael knows is that his mother is powerful, dangerous, and very likely insane.   She is in a deep sleep and has been for centuries but recent events seem to indicate that she may be awakening. The purpose of her awakening is unclear as is her sanity and the threat she poses to Raphael and, more importantly, to his love, Elena.

Having read three Angel books from you, I can safely say that old angels are scary, dangerous angels.   And this is where your attention to detail and plotting make such a difference.   (And for those who haven’t read the first two books, you may want to look away as this is kind of spoilerish for the first two).   The series is centered around Elena Deveraux, a former member of the Guild who police the vampires, either on their own but primarily at the request of the the vampires’ makers.   Elena was particularly good at this because she is like a scent hound, able to pick up the scent of a vampire and track him via the scent.   When Elena becomes near death as a result of attempting to carry out a task forced upon her by Raphael in book 1, Angel’s Blood, Raphael’s body unexpectedly produces ambrosia which transforms   Elena from human to angel.   But making Elena has created weakness in Raphael.   The two are tied somehow and while Raphael’s power has strengthened Elena, her humanity has weakened Raphael. He takes longer to heal.   He is more easily affected by attacks from others.   Yet, her humanity might be the very thing that will keep Raphael from the path his father and possibly his mother has taken.

Archangel’s Consort opens with Elena still learning to be an angel, still weak.   Her affinity as a tracker, however, hasn’t changed and she’s called in to investigate a killing of a child at a local private school, a school that her half sisters attend.   As more vampires appear to go rogue and Raphael’s holding over Manhattan is challenged, Elena learns more about her family, an affinity that her step sister and she may share, and secrets her father has hidden deep.

If there is a theme to the book, it appears to be one about parents and their complicated love and jealousy for their children.   Jeffrey, Elena’s despised father, had at one time shown genuine caring for her.   Caliane, Raphael’s mother, tries to kill Raphael but does she do it out of love or jealousy? And for Elena and Raphael, they have to deal with what they are in relation to who their parents are. How much are the children the product of the parent or do they, as Raphael says at one point, make themselves.

As Elena grows as an angel, she has to learn some painful lessons.   Her Guild is no longer her family. She has information, secret information regarding angels and vampires that she cannot share with them.   She feels isolated even though she has found a true love with Raphael.

As with the other books, this is one part mystery, one part romance, one part urban fantasy.   While I think the world is rich and the romance is satisfying, I did feel that there is a tendency to overdwell on some issues.   There was a certain repetitiveness in passages that I could have done without.   I do, however, like that themes and motifs brought out in Book 1 are carried forth in this book, indicating to me that you have a plan for this series which I appreciate as a reader.   B.

Best regards,

Jane

Book Link | Kindle | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

38 Comments

  1. Isobel Carr
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:25:16

    I’m starting this on the train home from the office!!! Can’t wait.

  2. Diane V
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 15:07:54

    Loved this book – the relationship between Raphael and Elena reminds me of Roarke and Eve. I would love it if this series would continue just as long (and with a book coming out every 6 months instead of every year.)

    I also would love to have the stories of Raphael’s Seven — hopefully Dmitri’s first and then Illium’s.

    Great review – agree about the repetitiveness (but I also find that to be true in her Psy series too.)

  3. may
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 16:18:53

    I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this book!! Thanks to Borders (mine has NO new releases… just piles of older books…) problems and this one not being at Target (which surprised me) I’m going to have to turn to on-line, and wait. *sigh*

    Great review – sounds like I’ll really enjoy this one.

  4. Manda M
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 16:28:31

    Singh has announced that this year she’ll have two Angel books out and only one of the Psy/Changeling. “Archangel’s Blade,” is due out in September and is Dimitri’s story. Looooooooove Dimitri!

  5. Kaetrin
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:04:07

    I’m new to this series, having only recently listened to the first 2 books on audio. I really enjoyed them and Archangel’s Consort is on its way to me now.

    I’ve seen on the author’s website that she is writing Dmiti’s story next and plans to write books for the 7. I was wondering if anyone knew of any other series’ which start off as 3 books about 1 couple and then morphs to each book being about a different couple? eg. The Psy/Changling series has a different h/h each book and the In Death series is always about Eve and Roarke (even though other secondary characters get some romance too, it’s still mainly about Eve and Roarke). But this series, seems to be combining both styles which I think is pretty rare (and maybe brave and/or really clever?) – does anyone know of any other series’ like this?

  6. may
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:08:26

    @Kaetrin: I can’t think of any, but I REALLY like the idea and I can see it working really well. Still seeing quite a bit of Raphael & Elena, but focusing on a different of the 7 and more of their stories/perspectives… I’m actually REALLY looking forward to that!

  7. Joanne
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:15:48

    I admit that the first thing I read was the excerpt at the back from Kiss Of Snow. Hawk = Hot, I hope.

    There is so much similarity to Eve and Roarke’s relationship, including the fight for balance of power, that the world building and secondary characters are what is keeping me fascinated with this series.

    And Singh can write some great gore and fight scenes.*grin*

    I know that could be a turn-off but as a long-time mystery and suspense reader it’s a huge plus when it’s well written.

    @may: Our local Borders too. I’m sorry to say I guess the end is near for them or at least they’re not feeling at all well.

  8. Lindsey
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:27:44

    Oh man, I bought this yesterday, and it’s sitting on my Kindle (along with two other Jan. 25 releases) until I can finish reading my library books, which take priority, since I only have them for a limited time. I cannot wait to read it, since I absolutely love Singh’s books to death.

  9. Christine M.
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:47:56

    @Kaetrin:

    There’s the Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress (NH) and Night Huntress World (NHW) series that sort of ‘replicate’ this concept. NHW is a spinoff series of NH and these are the romances of the secondary characters of the NH series.

  10. SonomaLass
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:15:42

    I liked this book a lot; I’m enjoying this series. Thanks, Jane, for getting me started on it!

  11. Nifty
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:24:42

    @may:

    I’m all for reading books featuring the Seven, but I’m not keen on the idea of each new book covering a love affair, from soup to nuts, for the guys. I’d be fine if the next book was Dmitri-centric and we MET his love and watched the beginning of their relationship…but then continued to watch the courtship over the next couple-few books. I dunno… I just mean that when an author tries to do one romance per book in a series like this one, I think that the series loses something overall.

    Incidentally I just finished Archangel’s Consort tonight and liked it a lot…despite being stoned on cold medicine. All three of these books have been in the strong B to B+ range for me.

  12. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:52:38

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nalini Singh, dearauthor. dearauthor said: NewPost: REVIEW: Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh http://bit.ly/fOPRqh […]

  13. Cara
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 20:02:29

    Oh, I’m so glad you reviewed one of these. I’m slowly making my way through the Psy-Changeling series before I crack into these, but it’s really nice to see such a good summary/preview in a review. (I didn’t look at the spoilery stuff, though!)

    Also, I just wanted to comment that I really do love the reviews on this blog. I’ve bought a pretty large number of reads based on your reviews. We all know romance is the biggest and most popular genre of fiction, but that means there’s a greater quantity of scary-bad stuff to wade through. It’s sites like this one that help us readers navigate the sometimes sketchy sea of romance.

  14. May2
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 20:24:50

    @Kaetrin:
    Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series starts with 2 books about 1 couple and then moves onto other couples. I haven’t read them all, but I believe that there is at least one other volume later on that is again about the first couple.

  15. J.
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 20:53:58

    First and foremost, I loved this book because we got to see more of Raphael’s Seven. :D I also loved that there were a lot more scenes between Raphael and Elena that showed that they were still learning about each other despite how much they’ve been through. As much as I love Raphael and Elena, I was really happy to see more hints about the Seven’s personalities. I know from her blog she’s working on Dimitri’s story; I hope Nalini will have a full book out for Ash too. That anthology was just too short!

    Not to give out any spoilers, but at the end of this book I kinda had the same feelings from the last book. I felt like the solution to the ‘problem’ ended too plainly. For some reasons I had expectations of new twists and turns but I was kinda disappointed. There was a certain rush I got from the first book like “OMG what’s going to happen next” that I didn’t really get from this one and to be honest the second book too.

    However, I still love Nalini’s books. She’s an auto buy for me. I always pre-order it for my nook so once the release date comes, I’m all set to read it. I absolutely can’t wait for Hawk’s book. It’s going to be a long wait :(

  16. Christine M.
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 22:03:10

    @May2:

    The series (novels, novellas and shorts stories) alternate different pairings (Clay and Elena, Paige and Lucas, Hope and Karl, Jaime and Jeremy, Eve and Kristof) and it’s one of my favourite UF series because of the variety of couples and dynamics (Hope and Karl are my favourites though they’re not in the spotlight very often).

  17. Christine M.
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 22:04:40

    @Christine M.: I should have specified that first main couple (Elana and Clayton) are the leads in books 1, 2, 6 and 12, plus several novellas and shorts.

  18. tori aka ggs_closet
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 22:05:42

    I too love this series a bit more then her Psi. I think it’s because I like only the Psi/shifter match ups. When she matches shifters together I lose interest. Either way, I still squeeeeee like a little kid when they come out.

  19. Connie
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 23:59:11

    @J.: I totally agree on the ending! I was like “Really? I thought she was a forgone conclusion.” Totally is why I didn’t think this one was as good (though still great) as the other two. Though I did kind of think while reading this book that it would be kind of predictable if Calienne wakes and is totally against R&E…hello so is the entire angel/vampire world.

    I’m beginning to get really interested in Elena’s past and it was a nice surprise that Singh was still writing about it though the main baddie was dead.

    I also felt like this book didn’t have as much world-building compared to the last two…probably because it’s pretty much built. But what captured me with this series (and Ilona Andrew’s On the Edge’s series) is the world-building part. The last book had talked about the Refuge which was a brand new area. Though I really enjoyed this book and thinks it is very well-written with interesting plot, it does feel a bit the same as the last one. Totally agree with the grade Jane gave.

    As for Dimitri…that Holly person…maybe? or is that too predictable…I feel like Dimitri should be with someone bad-ass but not similar to Elena at all. I still think that Holly person.

  20. nitnot
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 09:27:57

    I haven’t read this book, but I truly hope it’s not lukewarm like the second one.

    The first book was mind blowing. Read it to tatters, recommend it to everyone, cried at the ending kind of mind blowing. But the second book, to be honest, I could live without. I read it once and that was that. I did not enjoy Elena and I felt Rafael was being too unreasonable for something that happened in the book. The parts I enjoyed the most – maybe the only parts, have to read again to make sure – where parts about Illium and Dmitri and the rest of the Seven.

    I think it would be a good move to leave Rafael and Elena and move on to the Seven. Sort of like Sherrilyn Kenyon? But knowing Ms Singh’s ability to keep a series going and coming up with wonderful characters, this series would just be, for lack of a better word, “the bomb”.

    But even if you keep writing about Rafael and Elena, I suspect I will still swipe my card blindly for any one of Singh’s book.

  21. Jaclyn
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 14:56:44

    As much as I love Elena & Raphael, my heart belongs to the Psy-Changling books. ;)

    I’m halfway through Archangel’s Consort and the parent-child relationship issues are so compelling, especially as Ms. Singh has offered layers and insights into Elena’s and Raphael’s complicated parent issues throughout each of the books. Their problems & vulnerabilities make them such accessible characters–I can’t really understand what’s it’s like to be an all-powerful flying angel, but I completely understand fighting with one’s mom or dad.

    Because Raphael & Elena’s ever-after isn’t perfect–it’s full of the angst, learning, and pain of realish life (they’re angels, it’s not ‘real’ life…), I continue to be fascinated by their story and will keep on reading this series.

    I’m looking forward to a story about Dimitri, but it’s Venom who has me intrigued.

  22. allison
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 16:12:00

    I have enjoyed the Angel series though I am a fan of the Psy books as well. I’ve enjoyed the continuity of Elena and Raphael. I definitely want to read other books about the 7 but I’m worried that the world Singh has created will get too big and it’ll be difficult to keep track of all the stories and relationships (I’ve experienced this with other authors and I’ve ended up disliking the author and not reading them again) and it’ll take away from the overall quality of the work.

  23. RStewie
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 17:27:23

    I really love this series–I love the dynamics of the couple and I am with @Nifty that I hope the other characters’ stories have more than one book in the series. They are all so dynamic, I just don’t think you could get the whole story in one book–and I really HATE when “secondary” characters resolve their issues in just one book.

    For instance: NO woman I know would be able to work through a relationship with Dimitri in just one book. LOL It would be just as much a power struggle to deal with him and the seven and Raphael and even Elena–it would require more than one book to have a HEA.

    But it seems like all the issues are dealt with and then we only get to “visit” them later as they are perpetually ecstatic with their lover and, eventually, preggers. Disappointing.

  24. J.
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 18:00:26

    @RStewie:

    I totally agree with the Dimitri part! I don’t see him having a HEA in just one book; he’s just as difficult and complicated as Raphael and the other Seven. Can’t wait till Nalini gets his book out :)

  25. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:14:41

    @RStewie I would love to see a multi book set dedicated to each one of the Seven. I think that there is a lot about Dimitri and all of them to be told. Does no one like Jason though?

  26. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:15:48

    @Connie RE: Dimitri, Nalini has said we haven’t met Dimitri’s hero yet. I was sure it was going to be Holly.

  27. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:16:34

    @Cara Thank you! I am so glad that we can help you wade through the books. There are so many of them out there.

  28. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:16:56

    @Lindsey You’ve got nerves of steel girl!

  29. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:17:45

    @Kaetrin Now you have me interested. I’m not a huge fan of romance audio books but someone (Lisa Renee Jones, I think) mentioned that Barron’s narrator for the shadow series is awesome. Is the narrator for this series is a woman?

  30. Jane
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:21:31

    @Manda M I did not realize that. I’m kind of excited not that I don’t love the shapeshifter series but I just love this world she’s built in the Angel one.

  31. Kaetrin
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 20:44:13

    Justine Eyre narrates the first two Guild Hunter novels (and I expect she’ll do the others).

    Joyce Bean narrates the first 3 Fever books and then Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante take over for books 4 and 5. I’ve just stared listening to Dreamfever so I’m still getting used to the change in narrator (having been listening to them all in a big glom). Bean did a great Barrons but I haven’t heard Gigante’s yet – I understand it is very very good – PG’s got a really deep voice and I think he does accents well.

  32. TKF
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 12:09:23

    Enjoyed the book, but it really felt like they’re rehashing the same emotional/personal issues they were working on in book one (and all through book two) . . . I’m super glad to hear that she's going to move on to Raphael's Seven.

  33. Shaheen
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 12:47:02

    I’m glad she’s going to start telling the stories of the Seven. I was a little worried that they would only come in novella form. But I don’t think that Elena and Raphael’s story is done yet, so I hope she comes back to it later.

    Like one of the other posters upthread I worry that Singh will drag out her worlds too long and they will become ridiculous like some other paranormal series that I could name. But at nine books and counting in her psy/changeling world she seems to be in no danger of this so far. A rare talent indeed, and one that makes Ms. Singh’s books a guaranteed and absolute pleasure to read.

  34. may
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 13:05:28

    I finally finished this book… I had a love/hate with it. I love Nalini Singh’s writing, her world building, and all the places that this series has to go. I’m glad we’re going to get other main characters in future books, and I have a lot of faith in where she’s taking it.

    That said, I felt like this book could have gone so much farther, been so much more if only she’d cut down on the “and then they had 2 pages worth of sex” every single chapter. They’re hot for each other. got it. They have parent issues. check. NEXT!!

    I would have loved more non-sex action and more talking that didn’t involve somebody’s mom or dad.

  35. Polly
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 21:01:51

    Just finished Archangel’s Consort. Overall, I really like this series. But this book didn’t grab me as much as first two. I’d rather have seen more page time devoted to the parts of the story that weren’t “and then they had sex again and it was awesome.” Understood. I’d rather we actually got the meeting of Sara and Deacon and Raphael. And I really want to see Raphael, Elena and Elena’s dad meet. Or have the ending not be quite so whirlwind.

    I really like the Seven, and the ones I’m looking forward to the most are Illium, Jason and Aodhan.

  36. Emme
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 15:25:34

    I’m glad you mentioned the repetitiveness of some of the themes in Archangel’s Consort. I am trying to force myself to finish this book– but I kinda feel like, “what’s the point?” I can appreciate that Raphael and Elena both have parental issues– but I “got it” in the first and second books. And as far as the principles relationship goes, it seemed like a rehash of the previous books– there is the tug-of-war between the two, and very little growth as the outcome.

    Anyhoo…I appreciate your review and will look for what you have to say about other books.

  37. Cecily
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 09:13:13

    Is it wrong that I am totally against Raphael? I want Elena and Illium! Illium has so much more personality and he is playful and funny in so many ways that Raphael is just not. Raphael is painfully protective and his humor is quite dry the only redeeming quality in him is that he talks great during sex. Illium is just that character that is stealing the scene in the few sentences that he is even in the book. Illium or Raphael?

  38. Jane
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 12:32:19

    @Cecily Nah, not at all. Readers all have different takes. I fear for Ilium and that he is bound for some real heartache.

%d bloggers like this: