Author: Nalini Singh
Publish Date: 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Guild Hunter, book 7
Archangel’s Shadows is the seventh installment in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and features the characters Ashwini and Janvier. I had been looking forward to seeing Ashwini and Janvier get their book ever since I read about them in the short story, Angel’s Pawn. Unfortunately, I was a little let down by their novel.
Ashwini is still recovering from an injury she sustained in the last book, Archangel’s Legion, when she’s given the “fluff” task of investigating the cause of a mummified dog. What on the surface looks to be a simple case, turns out to be connected to something much more insidious. With the city’s vampire population on the verge of going into a blood frenzy Ashwini will need to work together with vampire, Janvier, to put the pieces together before everything turns to chaos.
From my description you would think that most of the book will concentrate on Ashwini and Janvier, but that would be incorrect. Archangel’s Shadows is steeped in characters and the perspective changes frequently. As I’m a fan of ensemble books, this normally wouldn’t be an issue but it didn’t work for me here. Primarily because when the point of view switched to characters other than Ashwini or Janvier it was rarely to advance the main plot. This caused the book to drag in places and interrupted the flow of the story.
I also had an issue with how easy everything was for Ashwini and Janvier. Conflicts were handled quickly and efficiently, both in their investigation and their relationship. The big battle (if that’s what you would call it) lasted a nano-second and both of them walked away without a scratch. This was a huge let down after watching Ash and Janvier try to find answers around a mummified dog and dead prostitute for most of the story. The same thing goes for the conflict in their relationship. Most of the book is Ashwini angst-ing over if she should pursue Janvier since she has a “big dark secret” that might ruin their relationship. While I could understand her worry, it was annoying how easily the issue was fixed once she finally told Janvier about it. I hate when the majority of conflict between characters is due to not talking and the solution to Ash’s problem was so obvious that the whole situation was just frustrating by the end.
I’ve heard a lot of people refer to this installment in the series as a filler book and I can see where they’re coming from. After the events of the Archangel’s Legion, I’m guessing that Singh wanted to re-stabilize her world and that’s why this book’s plot is rather low-key. However, the low amount of conflict, tension, and how easy problems were solved didn’t work for me here. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series, but I’m really hoping that Singh will start keeping her books to one or two character perspectives.