archangel's shadow   3.25 out of 5 stars

I am so conflicted about this book. I mean it’s Nalini Singh whom I love, and it’s the Guild Hunter series which is like one of my favorite angel urban fantasy/pnr series. So many great characters, and story lines, and even here at book 7 there is still so much left to explore, so much more that I am waiting anxiously to see from this awesome world. Archangel’s Shadow was good. Seriously it was a solid addition to the series. I love that even though there are new main focus characters in each addition, time never stands still, the grander picture is always moving forward, and we never lose track of any of the people from this world that we have come to love. In fact, it seems as if that list of favorite characters still keeps growing and growing. I love this. BUT I was like so freaking excited for this book. I mean, this was Ashwini and Janvier’s book. We’ve seen this saucy badass hunter and her spicy Cajun vamp flirting and fighting in the background for multiple books now. I was so pumped to FINALLY get their story up front and in focus.

And then while reading I started to notice that while technically Ash and Janvier were the main story line, it didn’t necessarily feel that way. There was a lot of POV jumping in this book, which was fine. In fact, sometimes it was superb. But then there were times when the constant reminding of how in love Honor and Dmitri and Raphael and Elena were and short kind of catch-you-up back stories just got tiresome. We know this stuff. Like for multiple books now. Why must we spend so much time devoted to hammering this in our skulls? It was disappointing to take the limelight off the people I was excited about seeing develop, just to rehash feelings between characters that we already know about.

Then there is this other thing. It’s so strange that I was simultaneously happy and sad about it at the same time. Naasir. I was so happy about Naasir because this was the first time that we really got to know this exotic creature that until now we have only had glimpses of. And every new bit I learned about Naasir in this book charmed and intrigued me. He’s this mysterious, confusing, deadly, innocent puzzle that I NEED to see solved. As much as I loved getting to see more of Naasir, this too was disappointing, if only because he stole the freaking show. At least for me. He was more captivating than the main characters, and while that’s cool and all, it was a tad of a let down when I was expecting to be wowed by Ash and Janvi this time around.  What we saw of the two main characters was great. Could have been more. Just all around more. More time, more wow factor. Just more something. I missed more their games.

The story line was interesting enough. It was a little more tame compared to the massive battle that was in the previous book. Which totally worked for me. There was more rebuilding and recuperating, but there was still a good little mystery for the Scooby gang to solve. I enjoyed the fact that Janvier was really something a little different than we are accustomed to. He’s so sweet, like from day one. He’s charming, funny, and a gentleman who doesn’t seem to have that jaded mark of eternal life that the rest of them seem to carry. Even better than that was that he was never that overprotective guy. He knew Ashwini was a warrior and he never thought about holding her back, instead he had her back, and that’s badass. Ashwini was her usual kickass self, but I did enjoy seeing some of her vulnerability in this one. That was something I can’t remember seeing very often in the previous books, so it was a nice new development with her. I was a little disappointed with the end of her tale where she undergoes a huge transformation, and I swear it seems to happen in like two pages. That kind of sucked. It was almost like it was an afterthought, when it would have been nice to actually get a little more show rather than tell in that scenario.

So all in all this was a solid addition to the series. I enjoyed being in this world again, with all these incredible characters. I can’t say it was everything I was expecting it to be, but that’s ok. I really look forward to seeing who the stars of the next book will be and what will happen next!

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