In the reading world I’m more of a turtle than a greyhound. During the past two weeks, I read two books. Here’s a recap:
Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh
I picked up this third novel in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series in preparation for book four, Archangel’s Blade, which I had committed myself to reviewing. Since Jane has reviewed Archangel’s Consort I won’t regurgitate the plot. Suffice to say that though I liked the book less than Jane did, it wasn’t a bad way to pass the time.
As others have said, the ongoing conflict between Raphael and Elena was somewhat repetitive. Those parts of the book didn’t engage me as much as others. Also, I find some of the graphic violence in this series very hard to read, but I thought that in this book it wasn’t quite as gruesome and disturbing as in book two,Archangel’s Kiss.
What I liked a lot was the conflict between Elena and her father, Jeffrey. Their scenes together have riveted me since book one. There are times I wish that complex family dynamics got a little more attention in the romance genre so I was pleased to see that was the case in this book. I also love the vivid descriptions of the angels in these books, and the aerial love scene was something. Still, Angels’ Blood (#1 in the series) remains my favorite of the Elena/Raphael books.
Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh
Who would have thought that I could come to care so much about Dmitri? He’s been a complete jerk to Elena for three books, but as soon as Honor St. Nicholas showed up on his turf, I was 110% engaged with this dark and sometimes painful story, and couldn’t put it down.
Ultimately, though it wasn’t perfect, I ended up liking Archangel’s Blade a whole lot more than Archangel’s Kiss or Archangel’s Consort. It’s probably my favorite of all the Guild Hunter books thus far. This may be partly because I prefer books that introduce me to a new couple and resolve their romance in one book to books that drag a relationship out for multiple installments. But another part is simply that this story was deeply emotional – even haunting and touching.
Since I have a review of the book in the pipeline, I will endeavor not to repeat my thoughts, but I did want to discuss something that interests me about my own emotional response to this series. As in Archangel’s Kiss (#2, my least favorite) there is quite a bit of violence here – including brutal violence against children. I won’t say that this aspect of Archangel’s Blade didn’t disturb me, but I was able to tolerate it much better than I did in Archangels’ Kiss.
Perhaps my greater ability to bear it was because the nature of the violence against children was less gruesome, though no less horrific. I felt there was somewhat less focus on the physical details, and much of the impact came from the emotional effects of these acts on the characters. But it may also have been due to my being more caught up in this story, more interested in Dmitri and Honor than I had been in Raphael and Elena by their second book.
What about you, readers? What have you been reading lately? Have you read Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and if so, what are your thoughts on these books? Do you ever find reading about violence, in this series or elsewhere, disturbing? Do you ever tolerate equally strong violence more in one book than another? Why or why not?