Feature book: Archangel’s Enigma
Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh
If you have read any of the Guild Hunter books, you will know they are fantastic paranormal romances where the characters have exciting adventures. The world has vicious but sexy vampires, who are Made by angels. In this canon, angels are not wrapped in religion, they are a race, similar to humans, but extremely long-lived and with beautiful wings. Vampires (also long-lived) are indentured to the angels that make them for a hundred years, and during this time the angels serve as a control on the vampires so that they don’t run rampant killing humans. There are humans with a little something extra. They are known as guild hunters, and they track and return or kill rogue vampires for the angels. Angels and vampires can evolve over time, potentially growing in power and skills; angels that develop significant power and skill levels are known as archangels. A ruling council of ten archangels, known as the Cadre, has divided the globe into territories. They are responsible for maintaining control over the angels and vampires in those regions while keeping each other in check.
Andromeda, an angel, has secretly trained in the warrior arts and openly trained as an academic. Her home life was unpleasant before she entered the angelic refuge to study. Imagine a mix of over-the-top cruelty and sexuality. Knowing she will be recalled to her grandfather’s court, an archangel called Charisemnon, known for his casual and vicious cruelty, she trains as a warrior in order to protect herself. Andromeda, given what she saw in her childhood, has been celibate for many years. She is also hiding a secret; she must return to court and can’t imagine loving someone and leaving them for hundreds of years while she serves a blood debt with Charisemnon. She has a specific academic interest in the Sleeping archangels. These are archangels that have for various reasons chosen to sleep for centuries and whose location is hidden.
Naasir is one of Archangel Raphael’s Seven, a group of highly trusted vampires and angels that assist Raphael in the government of his territory. Naasir is a vampire with a second something, which is revealed as the book progresses. He is an excellent tracker and is able to infiltrate archangels’ territories, leaving little, if any, trace of his passing. He has an interesting perspective on life and family, and when he adopts someone they fall under his considerable protective instincts. He is often wild (undomesticated) in mannerisms when around family and friends but icily polite or ferocious to anyone else, depending on his mood and how he wishes to be perceived. He has been watching his friends find their life partners and is now actively looking for his mate.
Naasir and Andromeda are a match made in heaven in an opposites-attract way on the surface, but there is underlying ferocious passion. Naasir knows, with one sniff, that Andromeda is his mate. Andromeda’s celibacy doesn’t stop her from appreciating the wild fantasy that is Naasir, but it does throw a spanner in the works for his short-term plan to claim her (fortunately, he’s tricky and resourceful). Andromeda and Naasir have some nail-bitingly worrisome adventures together with the external stumbling blocks on their way to happily-ever-after.
There were quiet tears running down my cheeks at various times reading this fabulous story; it was enjoyable though, because you can rely on Ms Singh to give you a happy ending. Glimpses of Naasir in the other Guild Hunter stories have teased us with an irresistible character, who is beautifully realised in this book. His mate, the lovely Andromeda, was just delightful, and their adventures on their journey to HEA were thoroughly entertaining. It’s an excellent story, and you could probably read Archangel’s Enigma alone, but the previous equally enjoyable books give you more background to the world, so start with the first book Angel’s Blood. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.