Author: Nalini Singh
Length: 323 pages
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Ok, this review contains spoilers, as I am writing it presuming that you have read the first book in the series, Angel's Blood. If you haven't, I highly recommend it, and my review is available here.
So, Archangel's Kiss starts off immediately after the events of Angel's Blood; Elena (a Vampire Hunter) has woken up after being in a coma for a year, to discover that she has turned into an Angel by Raphael. This makes her a bit of a novelty, as typically Angels are born, not made. Elena is Raphael's one weakness, and now she needs to learn how to survive as a baby immortal, and, (the part she is looking forward to most) learn how to fly. In theory she is in the safest place possible for her, The Sanctuary, where baby Angel's are raised, and no human has ever set foot. But, Angels and Vampires are being attacked, and various factions of Angel's are being set against each other, as an unknown Angel begins making a power-play, so as to take their place in the Cadre of Ten.
Then, to raise the pressure even more, Raphael and Elena receive an invite to a ball thrown in Elena's honour by Lijuan, another of the Archangels- to attend would be a trap, and to not attend would be a fatal sign of weakness. Lijuan is the most ancient of the immortals, and her powers have evolved to have influence over the dead. Plus, she is totally psychotic with no remaining humanity.
I really love this series of books; as I may have mentioned in my review of Angel's Blood, I swoon over Raphael, and Elena is a kick-ass protagonist. I found it really interesting how their relationship is a personal power struggle- Raphael is used to being master of all, and Elena knows she has to fight to retain her personality and independence, and not be lost in the strength of the relationship.
The story is packed full of things going on, and the politics of the Angels, Vampires and the Cadre of Ten is complex and well developed by Singh. There is plenty of sexual chemistry and banter throughout the book- as well as the exemplary world building, these are two strengths of Nalini Singh's writing. Fantastic stuff. 8.0 stars.