Archangel's Kiss

Archangel's Kiss  - Nalini Singh This was a great addition to the series. This story deals with the aftermath of 'Angles Blood'. Elena and Raphael start to learn about one and other while also dealing with massive changes in both of them. Elena now an immortal with a mortal heart and Raphael dealing with feeling something for another being and by doing so becoming a little bit mortal. We get more insight into the angels and most of the book takes place in ‘the Refuge’. The home of the angels and where the baby angels spend their childhoods.

Raphael is still his big bad self, but he also acknowledges the fact that Elena is changing his way of looking at the world and therefore some of the things that he would of done in the past (such as take away her nightmares) are no longer second nature. He worries as to how she will feel if he were to do it. This is a major development as in 'Angels Blood' Raphael was pretty clear that he would do as he pleased and what he thought best for Elena. Now he does enter her mind on a few occasions when he thinks it's for her own good and they do argue about it. A LOT. But this is still a major development for Raphael and to be honest the only improvement he needed. Cause he is all kinds of hot and alpha and just plain yummy.

I love these two together and it is pretty clear that Elena needs someone as strong as Raphael because she has always had to be so strong and self-sufficient. The surfacing of her nightmares was absolutely heart wrenching and very frightening. It is difficult to wrap my head around the horrors she experienced at such a young age, it proves how strong willed she really is as I think most would be a drooling mess. This was hard reading for me, it was just so horrific and she was so young, every part of me was screaming about how wrong it all was. She went through so much while it was happening and then her father continued torturing her. She has been a victim from the moment Slater entered her family home and she still is in a lot of ways but she would never admit it and would never allow herself to be treated as one. She really is incredible. Jeffery Deveraux is just a very cruel man. We got a very small glimpse in ‘Angles Blood’ at what could be some kind of remorse for the way he treats Elena and in ‘Archangels Kiss’ we get a glimpse as to the man that he was. Floods of tears would describe how I handled this. The fact that he became a cold hearted, cruel and obnoxious a-hole made the whole thing even sadder. Raphael has stated that he won’t kill Jeffery because Elena (even though she shouldn’t) still loves him. I think that this may be one of those times where he should do something she doesn’t want him to do for her own good. Cause Jeffery needs to go down. Maybe not kill. Meme perhaps? Yeah meme would be good.

Raphael also begins to share some of his own nightmares and fears and I think this is important to the development of their relationship. Even as he starts to tell her things he mentions that he either has never spoken of such things or not spoken of them in centuries, him doing it for Elena just shows the importance of the relationship to him. (If you know, Making her an angel wasn’t evidence enough). I loved their claiming of each other with the amber. Both instances were sweet and very Elena and Raphael. No hearts and flowers. Just ‘your mine’.

We get to meet the rest of ‘the seven’ in this one as well. So from the top: Dmitri, Venom and Naasir (the Vamps). Illium, Galen, Aodhan and Jason (the Angels). I am intrigued by all of Raphael’s Seven but Aodhan more so. Mainly because of his appearance and I just know his story is going to have me in tears once it is told. Anoushka refers to him as broken so that about says it all. Naasir is also most intriguing, after the feeding scene I feel I need to know more. Lot’s more.

One of my favourite aspects of this series is the portrayal of the ‘Immortal’. To live forever is something that when asked, a large amount of people would say they wanted. But to be immortal is to become something other than human. There is such a high level of cruelty and violence involved. How do you reprimand an immortal? Prison for 20 years is but a blip for them, the torture and violence used by Raphael and the Cadre seems to be horrific but the more I get immersed in this world the more I come to realise that there really is no other way. As humans life is precious, some use violence and take lives but I think most understand that what we have is very precious and should be cherished.

Uram (before he went batshit crazy) explains to a young and pretentious Raphael (after Raphael asks how humans can really understand love and hate when they live so short a life) how a human must live in comparison to an immortal:

“It is not quantity that matters, Raphael. We flitter away our lives because they’re endless. Humans must live a thousand lifetimes in one. Every hurt is keener, every joy more incandescent.”

I have to say that by the end humans looked pretty good. The world of the immortal was not a joyous place to be and if the possibility of ending up like Lijuan or Uram is what’s on the cards then immortality does not sound like such a good deal. I can’t even get into Lijuan. There are just too many disturbing aspects to her.

Another 5+ jam packed stars from Nalini Singh for me.

The fun is set to continue back in New York in ‘Archangels Consort’. Elena trying to live her new life while retaining her old? Excellent.