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MinnChica from The Book Pushers

I'm MinnChica, from The Book Pushers. I love reading all things romance. Come chat books with me!
Archangel's Blade - Nalini Singh Joint review with Has originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/08/30/joint-review-archangel%E2%80%99s-blade-by-nalini-singh/

Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: September 6th
How we got this book: ARC from author

Has: I have been looking forward to Dmitri’s story since from the first book in this series! I was really interested in how Nalini Singh would approach his story, because he was such a dark and complex character. I have to say she didn’t fail to disappoint and, in fact, excelled my expectations. This was a multifaceted and emotional love story and I loved how the story threads entwined from his past to the present as well as with the ongoing mysteries.

MinnChica:I’m not usually a fan of stories that jump from the past to the present, but this one worked for me. Maybe because the “past” moments were usually small snippets of memory weaved throughout the story line. I was honestly a little worried that the romance would fall to the wayside in this book, because of how strong the mystery subplots were. While I enjoyed the dance between Dmitri and Honor in the beginning, I was actually disappointed with how it all worked out. (MAJOR SPOILER – NO, I WON’T TELL YOU!)

Has: I loved how the story threads linked up because in a lot of ways the present was reflecting the past. The way in which the romance evolved was wonderful because of that slow buildup and burn — which was realistic. Honor and Dmitri both needed that slow buildup to realise and focus on their feelings since they both have dark pasts. Although I was surprised by that twist concerning Honor and I felt that was introduced too late into the story.

MinnChica: I’m with you in that Singh is one of the best story tellers in the world. She has this amazing way of threading all the smallest little story lines into one amazing story. Everything fit together in its own way and turned out perfect. The murder and mystery and politics in this series is so detailed and thought out and intense. I love it!! But yes, the “twist” with Honor almost left me feeling a little cheated.

Has: I wished it was introduced a bit earlier and Dmitri’s reactions towards that knowledge needed more time, but I think this was a little niggle because this was an almost perfect book for me. In fact, I think I preferred it to the last Archangel book featuring Elle and Raphael because of the mysteries and the romance. It was pretty intense, emotionally and sexually (although there was only a few love scenes) but the heat factor was definitely above scorching!

MinnChica: Yes, but Singh has always written super steamy books. One of the many reasons I love her. I have to say that I loved the fact that she showcased more of the Seven in this book. I loved the scenes with Venom and Sorrow (AKA Holly) and hope we see more of him. Getting a few lines from Jason was a treat too, what insight that angel has! And of course getting more of my favorite Bluebell. *sigh* I can’t wait to find out more about him. I hope that Singh showcases the Seven more through out the books as she does such an incredible job with secondary characters. I hope they get brought to more light and get their own chance at an HEA.

Has: I agree with you about the love scenes but I think in this book they felt more intense to me, but then Dmitri is a very intense character and it is reflective of that. I am glad we got a deeper insight to the Seven and I totally agree with you about Venom and Sorrow, and do you get the feeling that they had something together with their scenes? And yes Bluebell – I echo that sigh!

MinnChica: Yes, I can totally see the connection between Venom and Sorrow. I do so hope that there is more to their story! For me, I thought this was one of Singh’s more brutal books. But at the same time, I loved the mystery surrounding both Honor’s search for the man who kidnapped and held her hostage, and Dmitri’s struggle with figuring out who was leaving him dead bodies. For a long time I wondered about how closely related the story lines would go, and was ultimately pleased with the way they both worked out. I was impressed with the way Dmitri held himself back a bit and really gave Honor the chance to get her revenge. It added another layer to his character.

Has: Oh totally! I really loved how they joined up to focus on getting justice and getting back at her attackers – and it definitely showed a different side of Dmitri that we didn’t get to see from the previous books. I also loved that insight and reason on why he pushed Elle so hard. But I think the main core of this book is the romance. It really felt like an epic love story and I am glad they finally got together despite the hardship and obstacles they went through. There was a line in the book that really summed up their romance for them. ‘I will love you even when I am dust on the wind’, and when I read that I admit, I totally sighed because my heart turned to goo.

I also felt this book was like a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with Honor being asleep metaphorically, and due to the aftermath of her abduction and assaults, she has kept to herself until her encounter with Dmitri. I really loved this theme because her character really came alive. And I liked how Dmitri ‘awakened’ her by challenging and protecting her at the same time, and seeing how Honor reclaim herself especially in light with that twist.

MinnChica: All in all I have mixed feelings about the book. I loved the first seventy-five to eighty percent of it. The plot was engaging and the mystery was perfect. The romance was full of tension and sexual chemistry. It was steaming along to a solid “A” rating. But then as clues were being hinted at regarding Honor I started to get a little concerned. I really wanted the resolution to their romance to work, but for me it just didn’t. Then, it just started to feel like the ending was rushed. As Has said to me when we talked earlier, there were parts to the ending that felt anti-climatic. I couldn’t agree with her more.

I give Archangel’s Blade a B-

Has: I also wished the twist was explored more. My issue wasn’t so much about that twist in general, because I think it really added to the story, but it was Dmitri’s reaction that bothered me. I felt more time or development should have been spent on his reaction, because I felt a bit let down by that. However that was a slight gripe for me because I loved the book. The solving of the mysteries entwined really well with the story and the characters which also developed the ongoing series plot-lines. But the real strength to the story was the romance; the sexual tension between Honor and Dmitri was rich, evocative and it really felt like that I was biting into a box of sinfully dark chocolates. Because with each bite it brought a new revelation or a development in the story.

I give Archangel’s Blade an A