ARCHANGEL's VIPER is book 10 in the unspeakably good Guild
Hunter series by author Nalini Singh. This is a
series centered around Raphael, the Archangel of New York,
his consort Elena (who was once a Guild Hunter tasked with
tracking down rogue vampires but is now a new Immortal
gifted with wings), and Raphael's Cadre of Seven, powerful
angels or other beings who assist Raphael in running his
empire. Singh has created an incredibly compelling world of
vampires, angels, and other fantastical beasts.
Venom is one of one of Raphael's Seven. He's a
centuries-old vampire who was created by a twisted Maker to
have deadly snake venom in his fangs. Venom has been a
wonderful snarky presence since book 1, ANGELS'
BLOOD, and has been a sparring partner to Elena when
he's not working to protect Raphael's people. I have
always adored Venom because of his brutal honesty and his
unwavering loyalty. And his (literal) snake eyes make him
feel delightfully "other."
Holly was kidnapped by one of the Big Baddies in the series,
the sadistic Uram, an insane archangel with unbelievable
depravity. Uram forcibly fed Holly his blood and gave her
powers which have been slowly revealed. Holly was wrenched
out of her humanity and has been haunting the pages of prior
books as a secondary character, a broken shell of her prior
self. Now, she steps into the foreground in ARCHANGEL's
VIPER because someone has put a bounty on her head, and
Venom is tasked with protecting her and unraveling the
secret of who is trying to capture her to collect her as an
oddity and as a growing power. I enjoy Holly's personal
growth in this tale. I love the feminist underpinnings,
showing a woman who decides to embrace her true self, coming
to love herself and her emerging strength.
As usual, Singh writes a superlative tale. There is a
compelling mystery, and the tension spools out in gorgeous
ribbons. There's also an incredible chemistry between Venom
and Holly, and their complex romance is breathtaking to me.
We don't see much of Raphael in this book, but even though
he's my favorite character by far, I don't really miss him
here because this story is so mesmerizing in its own right.
Singh continues to reward my faith in her writing by
delivering a delightful romance with an intricate plot and
unbeatable action. This is one of the best PNR series out
there, hands down, and Singh delivers another wallop with
Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini
Singh's breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with
the story of a woman who isn't a vampire or an angel...or
Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls
the shadowy gray 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. Brutalized by
an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a
vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous
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...