Angel’s Blood & Archangel’s Kiss Nalini Singh (books 1 & 2 Guild Hunter series)
So, I’m on a re-read of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series before the arrival of the mysterious Naasir’s book on September 3rd.
Two things struck me with these first two books that didn’t quite resonate first time round. Of course, these are stories about Elena & Raphael’s romance and the world of angels and vampires that Nalini has created, but beyond that there are two powerful themes in play here – The Bogeyman and the Immortality Choice.
At some stage everyone has a Bogeyman. For the humans and vamps of the GH world Raphael’s Archangel is the bogeyman, that is no doubt the purpose of the broken vampire left in the centre of his New York. Elena’s connection with Raphael allows us to see his own bogeyman – Ms Singh’s imagery of him with broken wings in a field is vivid and heart felt.
“Drip, Drip, Drip” Lijuan goes to extraordinary lengths to taunt Elena with her fears. Whilst her nightmares increase equally Raphael’s determination to vanquish them grows, allowing her to start to understand the grip this horror has on her. Again, the imagery of the blood, tiles, shoe, etc is vivid and painful.
Interesting to see how Michaela and Lijuan both fear not being the centre of attraction or being forgotten. Lijuan in particular fears being inconsequential. Their hatred of Elena is multi faceted but driven by the fact that her existence threatens their roles as the most compelling (Michaela) or extraordinary (Lijuan). How the world has space for both of them is amazing!
Michaela and Lijuan also bring clarity around the choice to be immortal. Knowing the potential downsides – insanity, infertility, boredom, watching those you love die – would you choose immortality? Is living forever enough of a gift to live on knowing you’ve seen it all hundreds of times before? And that the resulting detachment from humanity may make you evil?
Yet, so many willingly make the choice, even Elena’s own family aren’t immune. What’s powerful though is that neither Dimitri or Elena willingly chose their immortal status. Dimitri has at this point thrown himself into the advantages and for the time being abandoned his mortal heart, whilst Elena fights not so much to hold onto her heart but to bring her mortal heart to others.
What a fascinating and multi dimensional series this is and I haven’t even mentioned Bluebell or Aodhan! Nalini Singh is the mistress of world creation, powerful imagery and gripping romance. It’s not for the faint hearted!
Oh and my bogeyman is Jaws – white pointers terrify me.