Saturday, November 16, 2013

Catch-Up Quick: The Guild Hunter Series by Nalini Singh

With the release of Archangel’s Legion, the sixth book in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh, it’s probably time for a Catch-Up Quick of one of my favorite adult urban fantasy series.

WARNING: Spoilers Abound!

So, in Book One, Angel’s Blood, we met Elena Deveraux, a vampire hunter and certified BAMF. Elena works for the Guild, which tracks down renegade vampires and delivers them back to their angel overlords. See, in Elena’s world vampires are created by high ranking angels, who get a hundred years worth of service in exchange for changing their vampires eternal life. But not every vamp likes the idea of being an indentured servant for a century. So when they run, people like Elena are called in to hunt them down.

The Archangel Raphael, who rules over North America with his headquarters in New York, calls on Elena because she’s hunter born: she can smell vampires and to a point, angels. Raphael needs Elena to help him hunt down an Archangel gone cray-zee, who is running around New York killing people in a very bloody way. Long story short, Elena and Raphael have some disagreements, fall in love, and when Elena all but dies in the final battle, Raphael turns her into an angel through an all but unheard of ritual.

I told you there were spoilers.

In Book Two, Archangel’s Kiss, Elena must navigate her new life as an angel. She has to figure out how to use her wings, plus there are shenanigans afoot in the Refuge, the angel sanctuary where Elena will stay until she is strong enough to function on her own. There’s some really great world-building in this book, where we get to learn about the private lives of the angels and see Elena struggle to learn to be a BAMF again. Mostly this book serves to set up Lijuan, the Archangel of China, as the big bad. Lijuan is bringing people back from the dead as zombies, and Elena and Raphael have to stop her. But even though they destroy Lijuan’s physical form she doesn’t die. Because what would be the fun in that?

In Book Three, Archangel’s Consort, Elena and Raphael are faced with…Raphael’s mother! Really. In this installment, Raphael’s crazy ass mom is waking up after centuries of sleep. But other things are going really, really wrong as well. A worldwide event known as the Cascade has begun. The Archangels are getting more powerful, and maybe a little crazier. What the Cascade will mean for the world is unknown, but when Raphael’s mother wakes and is relatively sane, there is some hope that she will help the Cadre, the Archangels that rule the world, keep some order.

Except for Lijuan, who sees herself as the incarnation of death and is more than happy to destroy the world in the name of her godhood. And because she is the big bad.

That’s the majority of the important events in the series. Archangel’s Blade and Archangel’s Storm deal with two of Raphael’s lieutenants, the vampire Dmitri and the angel Jason, respectively. Both of the books are solid romances, but they don’t do much to forward the overall story arc of the main series.

The real draw to this series is the chemistry between Elena and Raphael. The Archangel is a jerk, as you would expect an all-powerful creature to be, but Elena doesn’t back down (even when she should!) and the smexy scenes are super-duper hot (and plentiful. Also, very explicit, if you’re not into that sort of thing).

So, that’s the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. Now that we are all caught up, check out my review of Archangel's Legion!

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