*** 4 ***
A buddy read with the Wednesday UF Support Group at BB&B!!!
What ever happened to the fluffy, cuddly, benevolent Angels we all grew up believing in? You know, the ones whose pictures your spiritual aunt has all over her house, the ones that come out when a loved one goes away and we need the comfort their image gives us??? The ones that are supposed to be the messengers and enforcers of G-D's will??? I most certainly did not find them in this series of The Guild Hunter, written by the very imaginative and creative Nalini Singh.
The angels we get here are ancient, immortal, if not indestructible, have the required wings, can fly, and are eons older and stronger than any other creature on Earth, thus giving them the top spot of the food chain. So they rule all with an iron fist, sword, angel-fire, or just pure power, which emanates from the strongest of them - the Archangels of the Cadre of 10. Those 10 have split the Earth into arias of influence, and Raphael is the one ruling over the Americas.
We got acquainted with Raphael in last book, when he hired our hunter Elena to catch a maddened Archangel, who had devolved into insanity and blood lust. Raphael is a perfect specimen of manhood and Archangelic power. He is as far from human as it could get, although he has not yet crossed into the Ascension territory his Cadre companion, Lijuan, the queen and demigoddess of China... This woman IS the furthest away from a human or a living creature you can possibly get. She is becoming a pure representation of power and energy... - a very scary creature, merciless and incapable of anything close to a human emotion.... She is old beyond remembrance and only rumors of her childhood are spoken as myths among angel kind...
" ... " ... “Do you ever worry?”
“Yes. Cruelty seems to be a symptom of age and power.” He thought of Lijuan, raising the dead, playing with them as a child would with toys. “I look into my heart and see the abyss looking back at me.”
“I won’t let you fall.” A fierce promise.
He held her close, his immortal with a mortal heart...."
This is the playground Elena awakes in after a year of recovery from near death, and finds herself a made angel and the talk of the world... See, there has not been an angel made, created by another angel, in the memory of those living. So she is the new curiosity, and in keeping with the angelic inhumanity, most of the powerful ones want to break her and enjoy the fall-out from her destruction - did I mention, those ancient creatures have very little that amuses them anymore - live couple of thousand years and I guess you would have problems staying entertained as well. After all, there are only so many times an angel can watch "I love Lucy" reruns before getting vexed from boredom ...
For some reason, Raphael finds himself in love with Elena and decides he wants her and he will keep her. Only she has something to say about that - he can not keep just making decisions for her, or fancy himself her Master and Owner... It has to be a willing give and take, and this is a very difficult task for the Angel, who is used to not work for anything, but just claim... Interesting situations ensue...
" ... " ... “I’ll give you my hunger, my heart,” she said, fighting to retain her independence, and more—to build a foundation for their relationship that would last an eternity. “But my mind is my own. Accept that.”
“Or?” The cool question of a being used to getting exactly what he wanted.
“I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”..."
So, on top of learning how to be an Angel, how to deal with her wings, how to fly (apparently this is hard work!), and how to be in a relationship with a powerful Archangel, there is a string of terror and murders going around, as well as attempts on her life, and disturbing nightmares plaguing her daily and nightly hours.... And her Archangel can only keep her safe so far...
This is a very intense book and I would definitely recommend it to all UF and PNR fans! Some violence and sex, so maybe not for the very young... PG at least... I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book with my fellows at BB&B and I am forever grateful for finding them and calling this group a home!
I wish all of you Happy Reading and may you never lose your humanity!!!