Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh #Review

Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh #ReviewArchangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

Series: #8 Guild Hunter
Genres: Urban Fantasy
on September 1, 2015
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars  

First of all, cover! Isn’t it striking? I thought it was perfect for this story once I started reading. This was Naasir’s book and as such needed to reflect something of him.

The Guild Hunter series has been a favorite since I picked up the first book. Most of the stories were unputdownable even many of the short stories and novellas. It is pretty much a series that must be read in order as the series story arc and several lesser ones advance as you go. I have long since stopped trying to figure out if its Urban Fantasy or PNR. It’s a little of both depending on the plot thread you are on at the time.

I have waited through a few books now to get this particular member of Rafael the Archangel’s Cadre- his inner seven. Naasir is not an angel. He has certain traits of a vampire, but he is not entirely a vampire either. He is stealthy and somewhat feral, but he is loyal and has a strong sense of family. Of late, he has both been spying on the crazy yet evilly powerful archangel, Lijuan, and looking for his mate.

As this story opens, Rafael gives Naasir a mission. Lijuan is hunting down an ancient angel who is in his immortal sleep so she can destroy him. Rafael doesn’t know why, but he knows that it must be prevented at all costs. An ancient’s place of sleep is well hidden so Naasir is given a scholar as his partner. They are to seek out Alexander and warn him as well as protect him from Lijuan. The task will be dangerous with the crazed archangel and her lethal army on their tail, but Naasir is up for any challenge particularly with the female scholar who smells like mate to him even if she took some silly vow of celibacy.

Andromeda is now coming of age. For a few hundred years, she has been left alone to study, but now her grandfather, the Archangel Charisemnon, is calling her in to serve the traditional family duty. Andromeda has distanced herself from her depraved family who are aligned with Lijuan, but in just a few days, she will be stuck in service and forced to do unspeakable things until her duty ends. She doesn’t regret this more than when she encounters the enigmatic Naasir who honestly tells her that he wants her and wants to be with her. Between his mysterious origins, his wild nature, his protectiveness, and his treating her like someone special, she soon yearns for the sensual male tracker, too. She keeps it a secret from him that she must return home after their mission. A mission that grows more dangerous with the knowledge that Lijuan knows that she as expert knowledge in the locations of the Ancients’ resting places.

The story has the overarching series theme of the Cascade affecting both natural events and angel kind, creating chaos and upending everything. Within this, the Archangels of the world vie for power and allies. Some work for the good while others have selfish motivations, but the whole world is affected. I love the intensity this creates alongside the more personal plot threads. Naasir searches for his mate, finds her, and then finds that she is not, in turn, looking for a mate. She has secrets, but he will get answers. They share the mission adventure together. Weaving through Naasir and Andromeda’s story is time with Rafael and Elena and also the curiouser and curiouser Illium and Aodhan situation.

Naasir and Andromeda are both interesting characters and I liked their personal stories, particularly the mystery of Naasir’s past which was quite the eye opener when it was revealed entirely. I enjoyed the adventure and partnering they did. Both are strong well-drawn characters.

Naasir has always been one of a kind, different, and even scary to most others outside his close knit group of friends and adopted family. He longs for a mate who will be his and will accept him just as he is. Andromeda might have been startled many times, but she definitely accepted and wanted Naasir. She saw him as a person with splendid abilities rather than a freak of nature. I loved that. Andromeda is the kind of adventure heroine I like. She is more of a warrior-scholar, but she doesn’t let it go to her head. Naasir is better trained and more powerful so she wisely lets him lead. Just as Naasir doesn’t discount her abilities and skills so he trusts her to fight and think for herself.

Their romance was more of a moderate interest, however.   Andromeda ends up blowing hot and cold because of her infuriating vows and need to keep her family duty secret. It wasn’t her that I was unamused with per se, but I found the barrier not one that intrigued me. I thought of a few ways to work around the duty thing and had to sit there waiting until it all played out. As for her celibacy thing, that was laughable. She took the vow because she didn’t want to turn into her parents who were so sensual and depraved. I chuckled when she learned really quickly that she wasn’t the one with the power because of her vow. She was practically begging Naasir and trying to seduce him, but he was determined that she keep her word at least until they were mated. And that would bring her up short because she was lying to him and didn’t tell him that she had no plans to be his mate, but must go home and serve out her family duty.

But truth be told, I was more interested in the story running alongside theirs. I loved the time spent with Rafael and Elena. They had some powerful, pivotal scenes. I like the sense that things are setting up again for something huge.

And then there was that tantalizing Illium plot thread. I really can’t wait to see that one teased out. Illium has been a favorite of the series.

In summary, this was a good, strong installment of the series. The action, the continued amazing plot development, worldbuilding, and large cast of intriguing characters was marvelous stuff. The romance wasn’t my favorite of the series, but it was still pretty good. The tone of bubbling and sizzling excitement waiting to explode into action is just what I want to keep me hooked and looking for the next installment. For something creative and different in an urban fantasy series, I would definitely suggest this series.

My thanks to Penguin Group for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #282 UF

Cliché Klatch #170 ‘between a rock and a hard place’

About Nalini Singh

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There’s no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Nalini Singh is such a wonderful writer, I can’t wait to finally read this series 🙂

    • I didn’t realize just how good she was until I ended up binge reading the first four books and all the between short stories and novellas in a one month span for this series. It was great and now I’m in that ‘wait for the new installment each year’ phase. The joys of being caught up on a series. 😉

      At least I have all the Psy-Changlings to work on in the meantime.

  • I love finding out about a characters past and having it be a real eye opener. I’ve read a few books where we find out what happened to one of the characters in their past and it really makes sense when it comes to how they act now. Sounds good and that cover is awesome.

    • Me too, Mary! The mysterious characters drive me nuts until I get all the answers to what makes them tick. Oh, yes, I agree that cover really nabs the attention.

  • I don’t think I’ll ever get around to reading this series anytime soon. It sounds like very classic PNR though, and 4 stars for book 8 is a good sign! I mean, BDB & DH started to get “weak” around the same #installment.

    • I know the feeling about perfectly good series that have to wait their turn. And yep, this series is still going strong. I chafe at waiting the whole year until the next installment. It is in a much better place at this stage in the series than BDB for sure. I don’t know about DH since that’s one I haven’t read yet.

  • I wanted to read this author so I started with her Psy-Changeling series and have really enjoyed the two I have listened to,so far. I have bought the next 5 in that series, so I am sure it will be awhile for me to get to these. I am glad you are enjoying them!

    • I’m the opposite, Lorna. I started with this series and now need to read her Psy-Changlings. Good things will keep. 🙂

  • i have had such a fun time with this series so far. I am about to start the fourth book soon so I am pretty excited. Yay for Naasir’s book, I just skimmed your review because I didn’t know if it would spoil anything about the other books I haven’t read yet. But I like that the worldbuilding and the action are just as great. I can never get enough of Nalini Singh.

    • Bravo! Another fan. I was late to this series and only got caught up last year. I binged several of the stories b/c I loved it so much. Things get pretty exciting and I tried not to spit out spoilers even for the series, but yes, I think a few comments would be spoilerish based on where you are in the series.

  • I just finished the 1st book in Nalini Singh Psy-changling series and loved it, so I am sure eventually I will work my way into tis series.

    • I still have yet to start the Psy-Changlings, but feel the same about knowing I’ll get there after reading these.

  • I’m waiting on the audio, which just shipped. I fell in love with Naasir in the previous book. I can’t wait to get to this one. *stalks mailbox*

    • LOL! It will be worth it. Naasir is one in a million, Melanie!

  • oh goodness, I cannot wait to get back into this series. I wanted to read more about Rafeal’s seven for the longest time but I like that she keeps his and Elena’s story parallel. Im most looking forward to the snake eyed one and the one that doesn’t like to be touched. Sorry I can’t remember their names….see that is how long I’ve haven’t dipped my toe in the books, lols! Great review as alwatys Sophia

    • Oh yes, I want their stories too. I think ‘he who doesn’t like to be touched’ Aodhan will probably be soon the way he was so prominent in this one. And Mr. ‘snake eyes’ Venom will be exciting as well I think. I love that Rafael’s guys are all so mysterious and different.