Archangel’s Enigma
Grade : A-

I’ve been consistently impressed with Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series since I read the first book. It’s easy to become sucked into the character’s lives and loves. The flipside of this, though, is that with each new book, the expectations for future books grow just a bit higher. Happily, this latest installment—the story of Naasir and his mate Andromeda—lives up to the standards set by its predecessors.

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The book opens with Naasir, one of Raphael’s Seven, setting out on the hunt for his mate. As he told his friend Ashwini in the previous book, he wants “a woman who knows me, understands what I am, and who wants to have secret rules with me.” This hunt gets interrupted when Raphael sets him on a mission to work with the angelic scholar Andromeda to hunt for the ancient archangel Alexander who is hidden in Sleep, as they have reason to believe that Lijuan is setting out to kill him.

Andromeda is more than just an angelic scholar. For years she’s been training as a warrior in secret to give her a skill set to fall back on when she joins her grandfather Charisemnon’s violent court—a point which is only two weeks away as the book begins. When Naasir, who immediately identifies her as a potential mate by her scent, realizes that she also wears a secret skin, he becomes intoxicated with her, pursuing her relentlessly. Poor Andromeda is unsettled by his persistence and uncomfortable with the idea that she might fall for him just days before she’s forced back to her grandfather’s lands. Then, just as they’re getting ready to set off in search of the Sleeping archangel, Andromeda is kidnapped and the adventure begins.

First, this book is not one that I would suggest reading as a start to the series. Although the romance between Naasir and Andromeda—or Andi, as he calls her—could certainly stand on its own, the main events of this book are all tied in with what has come before. Ms. Singh has woven a complex world of politics and deceit which has me eager to read each new book she publishes. The plot thickens here as Raphael grows ever stronger and Lijuan even more fearsome. It’s clear that a major showdown is coming, although I’ve no idea when.

The romance between Naasir and Andromeda delighted me. Since he was first introduced Naasir has been a sort of mysterious character, not fitting into any easy description—he’s not really a vampire, not really a human, has certain animal characteristics and yet isn’t really a shape-shifter…I would have devoured this book out of sheer curiosity alone, to be honest. Happily, there is more here than just answers to questions about what Naasir is. Archangel’s Enigma also provides an interesting peek inside Naasir’s head, as well as introducing a wonderful new character in the form of Andromeda.

It’s difficult, I imagine, to come up with entirely new characters to match others who have had the chance to grow and develop (and charm readers) over the course of several books. Although at times I’ve seen authors struggle with this, Andromeda emerged as a likeable person well-suited to Naasir. She, like Naasir, is changeable—although at heart she is a scholar who loves nothing more than immersing herself in history and learning, she is eminently capable of handling other, more dangerous situations she comes across. I liked her better for this combination of passion and quiet competence.

In fact, this couple did what I cannot recall seeing—at least recently—in any other paranormal romance couple. Somehow, although they both had plenty of tragic bits to their lives, Naasir and Andromeda managed to convey a sort of lightness in their relationship. Perhaps it came from Naasir, who has unique voice that, although not necessarily innocent, always seems optimistic. I think most immortal characters come across as jaded and cynical, but here both Andromeda and Naasir seemed refreshingly disinclined to dwell on angst and sorrow.

To tell the truth, I think this book might be among my favorites of the entire series. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between the couple as Naasir wore Andromeda down with his insistence that she was his mate. I relished the chance to see more of the world of angelic politics. I didn’t intend to become so invested in the series when I picked up the first books a while back, but now I eagerly await the next installment. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as I did this one.

Reviewed by Alexandra Anderson

Grade: A-

Book Type: Paranormal Romance

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : September 16, 2015

Publication Date: 2015/09

Recent Comments …

  1. Personal impression is subjective. What works for one person doesn’t always work for others, as we all know. However, when…

  2. I appreciate your comments, I find their tone completely in line with the tone of the review itself, not an…

Alexandra Anderson

College student by day. Book enthusiast around the clock. With any luck I'll eventually be able to afford food AND books. But I've got my priorities straight.
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