‘Archangel’s Viper’ Nalini Singh

archangelsviper

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy grey underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman – it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalised by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerise her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head . . .

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself – because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening . . .

No one is safe.

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Potential spoilers!

Considering the Guildhunter series is one of my favourites and Archangel’s Viper was released back in September, it has taken me a hell of a long time to get around to reading it…was the wait worth it?

Yes and no. Let me explain.

The Guildhunter series began way back in 2009 and the first book is the book in which we, the readers, first meet Holly. I was a bit of a latecomer to the series, reading Angel’s Blood in 2014, but throughout the next eight books, I always found myself wondering about Holly and Venom. There was just something beneath the taunts that they threw at one another, something other than simple contempt and resignation in being lumped with one another for Holly’s training.

And in Archangel’s Viper, the truth is revealed. These are two people unlike anyone else in the brutal Guildhunter universe. Venom, a vampire with snake-like eyes and impossible speed and agility and Holly, a not-quite-vampire cursed by the tainted essence of Uram, an archangel gone mad (understatement of the year *laughs nervously*)…these are two individuals who both captivate and horrify those around them, but find understanding and acceptance with one another, even if it is begrudgingly prior to this book.

The storyline itself is great. Holly may be a fictional character, but seeing her evolve from the broken, self-named Sorrow into the rainbow-haired, badass woman that she is now has been incredible. Strong female characters are often lacking in paranormal romance fiction, but the Guildhunter series is full of them…from Elena to Honor, from Ashwini to Mahiya, from Michaela (whose a bitch, but is still amazing) to Lijuan (who you can go on a date with here). There isn’t a single woman in these books – mortal, angel or vampire – who isn’t powerful in her own right and what makes these books even better is that the men in this series support them 100% and don’t feel ’emasculated’ by the fact that their female friends and partners can stand their own ground.

However.

The romantic element to Holly and Venom’s relationship was an ember that didn’t get stoked into a raging fire until about 80% of the way through the book (I was reading on Kindle). There was a lot of teasing and a lot of suggestive comments, but Venom didn’t start making her samosas or chai tea from scratch until the near end and while these scenes were touching in all their sweetness and cuteness…it just felt a bit rushed. Venom letting down his defenses and telling Holly about his past and about his Making seemed to come out of nowhere. I just feel that if Archangel’s Viper had been maybe fifty pages longer, I could have believed in their relationship more.

I felt the same about a specific plot element; the bounty on Holly’s head seems to play an integral role in the story as she and Venom prowl the dark underbelly of New York, searching for information regarding the person offering five million for her. They get sidetracked by other things (which I won’t reveal because it’d be a major spoiler), and the whole thing is forgotten about until the end of the book, when it’s quickly explained that it was merely a ‘flunky’ in Charisemnon’s court taking a shine to her because of her connection to Uram. What initially began as a major plot element devolved into nothing and was explained away in the space of two pages.

Archangel’s Viper isn’t my favourite, but it’s a good addition to a fantastic series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Song: Nine Inch Nails’ Dead Souls (the lyrics just fit perfectly with Holly, plus it’s on the soundtrack of one of my favourite movies)

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This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and e-reader format.

 

15 thoughts on “‘Archangel’s Viper’ Nalini Singh

  1. Can’t say I’ve heard about the book series but I like the sound of strong female characters and 100% supporting males! Very nice! There are entirely too many female characters who are weak and whiny and fool themselves (and the reader) by trying to be strong (trying!) and fail miserably… it’s pitiful, really (cough- Bella- cough) 😀
    The two points you made which took away from the book for you are so valid… if you don’t believe in the relationship and if one of the major plot conflicts is turned into absolutely nothing, I’d be pissed off… Kind of makes you wonder- why include them in the book at all?
    Great review 🙂 I like this cover… I gotta go check out the US one! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, right? There are so many questions I have about that cover! Why is he stood in the middle of the road!? Why is everything but him moving!? My friend said it looked like he was on a really fast travelator and since she said that, I can’t unsee it 😛

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    1. Exactly, those types of female characters really piss me off. What makes me even sadder is that, a lot of the time, it’s other women who’ve created those characters. Books can be massively influential and I think by creating strong characters, a writer can inspire and motivate a lot of people. One of my biggest literary inspirations is Elena from this very series! She made me realize that I didn’t have to put up with shitty behaviour from people, regardless of whether they’re family or not. If I hadn’t been introduced to her character, I might still be putting up with certain family members!
      I think it was the major plot point turning into nothing annoyed me the most. It was even announced on the blurb, for crying out loud! They spend about 50% of the book hunting for this person 😛
      Yeah, the cover is gorgeous. I think these covers differ from most paranormal romances. They’re classy and simple!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that a book character made you realize something so existentially important! It’s great… This is like, learning from others’ mistakes in a way… 🙂 Not only does it show that you put your full attention towards a book and it’s characters and story, but that you think about them in a way that makes it relevant for you as a reader.. Love it 🙂

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  2. I know how much you love this series! It is the very reason it comes to mind every time I think I need to explore paranormal romance haha. But 80% huh.. that goes beyond a slow burn I believe 😛 Seems like it was just to rushed in the end?

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  3. You nailed this review on the head. I really struggled with Archangels Viper, Nalini is one of my favourite authors and for us to wait for a whole year and get mediocre was such a shame. I don’t know about you but I am a little worried about how Nalini is going to finish up the series…I mean she has nailed the psy-changling serie, but I get a sinking feeling the end of the series could flop. (Even when its Aodhan and Ilium left)

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