Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh
Published September 6th, 2011 by Berkeley Sensation
Author’s website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/blade.php
Photo and synopsis from Goodreads book page
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…
As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. I have breezed through the first four books in just a few months and already have the book of novellas and 5th installment on order. Even with how much I had loved the series so far, I admit to being a bit apprehensive at the idea of a book about Dmitri. I was intrigued with Dmitri and wanted to know more about him but an entire book? I wasn’t quite so sure about that. Yet, even though apprehensive it turned out spectacularly and I think I might like Dmitri more than Raphael!
Dmitri is a character unlike any that I have read recently. He is a hard man, a dangerous man. But there is a depth to him that I admit I wasn’t expecting. I loved getting a glimpse into Dmitri’s life before he was a vampire and at the same time it was heartbreaking to watch it unfold. I understand his character in a way I never thought I would, and I absolutely love him.
Honor is another character that I found both heartbreaking, real, and inspiring at the same time. She is another flawed character but with an inner strength that makes her a great character as well. I enjoyed her story no matter how hard it was to stomach at times.
The plot was one that was more predictable to me than the previous ones. I enjoyed watching it play out and was surprised a few times, but ultimately there weren’t any earth shattering reveals. But not everything needs to be about the surprise. It was still a great story! Someone is targeting Dmitri and essentially sending him a challenge. He partners with the traumatized hunter Honor to figure out who wants to come after him. It is quickly revealed that this is connected to an angel that Dmitri killed, Isis. Since that was a thousand years ago, grudges are something that near-immortals can hold for a long time it seems. I liked the idea between the parallel plots. First we were trying to help Dmitri figure out who wants revenge on him. And we are also trying to help Honor get her own revenge for the horrific attack on her just months earlier. The stories were similar enough that it was easy to follow them both and see the connection. But they were different enough that they were engaging in their own right.
My only real disappointment with this book was the villain. I have found all the villains from previous books to be terrifying. I would get goosebumps and shivers when they were mentioned in the book and they had an air of menace that couldn’t be ignored. This villain didn’t give me that impression. Mostly I found him, and his story of revenge, to be rather pathetic actually. He was a weak and petty little thing that didn’t really make me feel that Dmitri or Honor were in that much peril. Not having your characters in mortal danger is not the hallmark of a good villain.
Regardless of the lack of a decent villain, I loved the story a lot. The intricacy and engaging stories about Honor and Dmitri more than compensated for where this book was lacking. It easily gets a four star rating from me and a nod to my new favorite character, Dmitri.