Archangel's Consort

ARCHANGEL’S CONSORT is the third book from Nalini Singh featuring former-Guild-Hunter-now-turned-angel Elena and the Archangel Raphael. Singh’s writing is strong and her descriptions and characters are well drawn, but this book gives a new reader the feeling of walking into the middle of a conversation.

This book immediately succeeds Archangel’s Kiss and follows Elena and Raphael in their growing romance and burgeoning problems. Things start looking a little bad for the world, in the “biblical destruction” kind of way – you know, earthquakes, tsunamis, the usual death and destruction that precedes really bad news. And this is bad news. Raphael’s mother Caliane is awakening and she is not particularly pleasant. The Archangel and his “Seven” set out to make things right, and the book happens along the way.

Central to the story is the relationship of Raphael and Elena. He expects complete and utter obedience. She is a warrior and is fiercely independent, and therein lies the rub. Their slow dance to discover a harmony weaves a continual melody throughout the story and gives insight into the characters that someone new to the series desperately needs.

Ah, there’s the problem. Archangel’s Consort is one of those books that just assumes that you are up on everything that has come before and spends very little time covering events of the past. I know this is becoming a trend within some genres and some authors, but it really is not a way to garner new readers. When, within five pages of the start of the book, I am most frustrated and lost and wanting to know why things happened rather than enthralled with the story, there is a problem. Taking even half a page at the beginning to pop through the things that have led up to that point is not a bad thing, nor is it boring. Fans will brush past, but new readers, potential fans, will have the chance to get in the know so they will want to go back and read the entirety of those events in the previous books.

So, where does that leave Archangel’s Consort? For all that I generally enjoyed the book, I was frustrated by how long it took to figure out what was going on. I think fans of the series will find a lot here to love as the story moves forward. I will say that Elena is one of the best female protagonists to come out of Urban Fantasy in a long time. She is not overly snarky, or too tough, or over done. She is a real person, and that gives her points in my book. I do wish that there had been more introduction to the characters, as I noted above, but all in all Archangel’s Consort is worth the read.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Berkley | Pages: 352 | Source:  Publisher | Buy on Amazon

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