• Archangel’s Light

  • Guild Hunter Series, Book 14
  • By: Nalini Singh
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (513 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Return to the hauntingly beautiful world of archangels in New York Times best-selling author Nalini Singh's captivating Guild Hunter series.

Sinuous new secrets come to life in the wake of Archangel Lijuan's destruction. The war isn't over yet....

Contains mature themes.

©2021 Nalini Singh (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about Archangel’s Light

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

No heat

I have been looking forward to this book for months, and pre-ordered the audiobook and started listening to it as soon as I woke up this morning. I just finished, and I have never been so underwhelmed by a Nalini Singh story.

I knew this was going to be a story of friendship, but there was zero sexual heat between the two. which should not be possible considering how invested I already was in these characters after all these books.... Also, though I'm glad of it in a way since the two had no chemistry, but there was also no hanky panky.

Half this book is flashbacks of history, another quarter is a new storyline that feels, unsurprisingly, a lot like all the rest of the storylines (a potential growing threat in China?! gosh, who'd have guessed). A smattering of Raphael and Elena, and the rest a series of interrupted conversations and poor communication between two supposedly 500 year old angels who are 'best friends'.

Lame plot, hobbling of characters, and no sexual chemistry. Basically all the things I'd previously liked about Nalini Singhs books are gone in this story, that I had had such high hopes for. I guess there was some character growth but it came from a place of angsty immaturity that felt contrived so not sure if it really counts. I'm so disappointed

24 people found this helpful

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‘edited’ Great Story- I still want more

I am a huge fan of this series. They are my go to books (I have listened to them all at least 10 times). The narrator is amazing at bringing the characters to life.

That said I was counting down the days for this release as Ilium and Audon are two of my favorite characters. I was pleased to learn about their pasts (unlike other reviews I found the intermixing of past and present flowed well). I think to understand you need the context of their childhood and what happened to them.

I disagree with others I felt their was chemistry and I wanted more of their relationship. It’s seems to end in the middle… most books in this series allow you to see the relationship grow, strengthen, and settle. I feel like we see this arc in their friendship but barely glimpse the start of their romantic story. The last scene in the book is what occurs at the midpoint in her other stories. I only hope that #15 will give us more of their story. I am glad she brought these two together because it’s a relationship that fits for the two of them. I do wish she hadn’t avoided the normal passion that exists in all the other stories in this series. Maybe other readers will appreciate her avoiding but to me it just left the story missing what I have come to expect from such a great author.
*new edit
After multiple listens this has become one of my favorites in this series. In 2022 I am appalled by the number of readers that ‘claim’ they are going to stop reading her books because she wrote a M/M romance. Get over yourself and just don’t listen/read this book… we all know you will continue to read the others it’s just a scare tactic to get your way. I don’t read M/M romance normally so I did not know what to expect but I appreciate the Recognition that their is more in the world the cis-gendered heterosexual people.

11 people found this helpful

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She is one of my favorite authors

I have read every book that Nalini Singh has written. I look forward to each and everyone. I pre-order them as soon as possible. She’s a wonderful writer.. I don’t know if I was excepting more because I was looking fo forward to this book, but I was a little disappointed. It felt like she got stuck and just kept going around in circles. Writing a novel like this one isn’t for everyone maybe she struggled with it. Would I re-read no is it just ok YES is it epic NO it isn’t.

11 people found this helpful

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Another one bites the dust

This book was not for me. I have been a huge fan of this author on both of her series. I no longer buy the psy-changeling series and I will no longer buy this series. Earlier books were great, but once she started writing contemporary books, these two series were not up to par. I tried her contemporary and didn't care for them. Another series bites the dust for me. Bye bye Nalini.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent addition to series

Quietly satisfying book if you’ve followed the series. I don’t see getting anywhere near as much enjoyment from reading this as a stand-alone. For better or worse, we get to find out what truly terrible thing happened to Aodhan, but it’s balanced by lovely vignettes of his childhood with Illium. In hearing the details, we get to appreciate how truly strong Aodhan had to be to survive at all.
Overall, it’s a story of soul deep friendship and the growth and change that comes with living. We are none of us the same people we were 5 or 10 years ago and this puts friction on our relationships with our friends and family who are also changing. If we want to stay connected, we work things out.
I liked that the title reflects on how Illium brings light to everyone with his open hearted personality, but it also fits with the title of his mother’s story - Archangel’s Sun. It also refers back on how Aodhan reflects light.
This is a must read if you follow the series, which I strongly recommend, as it’s creative and well written. This book is a natural ending point for the series, but I sincerely hope Ms Singh can find at least 1-2 more books that give us a future update on Elena, Raphael and the cast of characters.
Eyre delivers another excellent performance in her narration. She was a great fit for this series.

8 people found this helpful

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Disappointing so far.


The narrator is always perfect. BUT the story is a mush of past and today. every other chapter is the path. And the rest of the story is based in China... I THOUGHT Lujann arc was finished but the author had to screw up this idea.
honestly I M bored. I've never been able to say that. And they are the best two characterss. And the "argument" is Illum being a big baby. And Cal? or whatever her name is. Really pointless. Because we keep go back to the past as Children, the actual story in the present is very boring and dusjointed. I have to stop reading it for a while. I hope it gets better. You may love it. I just don't

6 people found this helpful

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What a waste of characters

I felt no chemistry between both characters More like brothers . I was hopping for more .The story was force to me . One of the more blah stories of Nalini . How sad

5 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story overall and so worth a read

I’m giving this 5 stars with a caveat, lol. Why Five stars if there was something that gives me pause? Because in the end this long awaited story is beautiful. The friendship between ‘Sparkles’ and ‘Bluebell’, the love they have for one another and the way Nalini gives us their story…I have no words. I just want to say beautiful over and over. It’s emotional, it’s powerful…it’s beautiful.

Why the caveat? I felt like Nalini went on a safe path to make sure she didn’t upset any reader. This story’s romantic action action (trying to put it politely, much like Nalini did, lol) is not the same as what she has written in her M/F books and I don’t hold it against her but it is disappointing because I think it was done to placate a crowd of readers and not necessarily what she possibly intended when the relationship between these two characters developed. Does it take away from the story, not at all, the story is superb…it’s just frustrating to walk away feeling a little ‘unfulfilled’ with their story. She also did something I don’t recall from other couples in this series and left these two discussing what happens if they don’t work, that leaves one to wonder if they won’t and I honestly don’t know how to feel about that.

But again the story that she did give us is one of my favorites…I just wish these two had been given the same ‘treatment’ as ever one else.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointed!

I pre-ordered the audio book and was really excited to finally get Illum and Adohn's story. Highly disappointed, there was no chemistry, no romance no real story. It's like someone else wrote this and put Nalini Singh's name on it.

I hope to read more of their "romance" in future installments.

4 people found this helpful

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If you have eternity, who will fill it with love?

Spoilers throughout, although nothing is really possible to spoil in this book unless you've been reading and listening with your eyes and ears closed the last SIX books. I know, I did a re-listen to prep for this book.

Also please note, if you use the word "Homosexual" to describe a gay, LGBTQ+, or otherwise queer relationship -- ok boomer.

I've been waiting for Illium's book for over a decade, even though every book is Illium's book. When the cover was revealed a year ago for this book my jaw dropped and I shed some very, very happy tears. I just couldn't believe it was real -- one of my favourite authors across all genres was going to write my favourite character... with another man?

I figure the response was actually echoed all over the place, except the tears weren't joyful. It's okay. That's what fanfic is for. I ought to know, as ten years of straighty mcstraight relationships has made for a whole lot of gay fanfic. Dmitri + Venom, now THAT is #SuitPorn.

Nalini Singh has been (finally) making same-sex couples occur off-page and on over the last couple of years (as I said, I've been reading and listening for over a decade in multiple languages, and since I'm very gay it's something that is just on my radar... and so is a conspicuous absence of them) from a Mercant and a Bear to Kier explaining that to some angels, gender is about as important as hair colour when it comes to attraction and love. This book paints that as being a far more typical type of thought process to angels, especially for Aodhan. Cool.

This isn't a recap of the story, but why I had lots of feels throughout this book, things that were super right and others that were very interesting to me.

What this book is:
- Aodhan and Illium's love story
- An excuse to give them a kitten
- A continuation of the Archangel world plotline, but in an honestly skippable amount save for a single creepy plot point

What this book is not:
- The end of their story (We've been assured it's just beginning)
- The end of the series
- Spicy

It's the big dealbreaker for a lot of people, it appears: a Nalini Singh novel with zero sex in it.

I'm okay with that, and for a lot of reasons. The author wanted to tell their love story but wasn't able to write the sex scenes -- not because she was like, weirded out by them, but because she writes emotional and evocative and explicit sex scenes and felt that sex between these two men (angels?) was not something she could get right. I know it's part of why this was so long in coming (heh) and I really do get it. When I read straight sex scenes it's definitely not interchangeable, all of the "flutterings/warming/efc in their core" does NOT translate super well as "flutterings in his ass". I would not be surprised in the slightest if this was a wall the author banged her head against for a while, as a lot of relationship building occurs during her sex scenes.

I get it, and honestly I'd rather have no sex or closed door sex to really phoned in and awful gay sex. There's plenty of the latter out there (please see above re: fanfic).

But the folks saying there's no heat in this book, oh, I disagree strongly. When Illium feels butterflies in his stomach? I felt them too. So much can happen with a silence, a glance, a gesture. Especially considering that they're best friends.

"Gay for my best friend" is totally a trope, but NS doesn't do that, either. What happens is something that felt utterly organic and natural to me... maybe because it was so familiar.

My partner and I were best friends for over 20 years before we had finally figured out that a) we were gay, b) were attracted to each other, and c) actually LET THE OTHER PERSON KNOW about said attraction. We didn't always live in the same country, but we were always a part of each other's daily lives, from dial-up internet bulletin boards to AOL free CD accounts to the days of Livejournal and then Facebook and beyond.

Usually I just joke that we're both really slow on the uptake, but the truth is much more than that, and this book feels like it honours that relationship perfectly. It took us 20 years of friendship and also growing up from our teens, through our 20s and into our late 30s and all of the experiences and successes and failures and heartbreaks and loves that went with it. 20 years of living, like Illium and Aodhan's 500 years. Or last 200 years. There's a LOT of time for growth and figuring out who we are and who we want to be in there. If you had just told us at 20 "hey you're gay -- and that's okay -- and dig each other" it would not be even close to the same depth of relationship as to what we have now.

So that first touch when suddenly you're aware of that attraction, attraction that until now was nonexistant or buried deep beneath the box of "friendship"? Holy hell, NS nailed it. It was wonderful. Maybe in time we'll have more (and I do, absolutely, hope for Nalini Singh brand sex with them), but I'm okay for now. A tiny bit disappointed, but definitely okay.

The other big reason I'm still impressed by this, sex or no, is that it was incredibly fucking brave. Romance readers are often very specific about what they want to read, and quite frankly, the world is still pretty hostile to folks who are LGBTQ+. Sometimes there's grudging acceptance, but it's often along with "just don't ever actually say or do anything that will make me aware of sexuality/etc that isn't exactly like mine". It's okay to be gay -- behind closed doors. Some (major) authors have gone as far to outright say gay doesn't exist in their written universe and never will, and that is a hell of a thing to be told after handing over $15 for their latest book.

(Some of said authors have also been blacklisted by their publishers, but it's a cold comfort when you don't want people to get booted for writing, you just want the right to exist in that universe. Disney buying Star Wars actually put a stop to a whole lot of nonsense, for example. I know, I'm still shocked.)

So for any author, nevermind one as auccessful and widely-read as Nalini Singh to say "This is the story I am going to tell and yes it's about two men who love each other", the amount of backlash is honestly staggering, as is the sheer volume and venom of hateful replies. Another favourite author of mine has been adding in LGBTQ+ characters and has been getting death threats... over regency romance books. Yet another favourite author of mine IS gay, but she gets huge amounts of flak for "forcing in sjw stuff like Deaf people and Lesbians" despite being... well, a Deaf lesbian. People are super uncool about anything that isn't straight cis white (did you see the blowup of Titus for example? Oh noes a black person in my romance novel!), and anyone who doesn't think so can go read the first handful of most recent comments on any book that is not those things.

As I said, I read/listen to NS's books in multiple languages and if anything it's WORSE there.

So this book was a big deal to me, just by existing. I enjoyed it, because NS's books don't deal with just one topic, so there was so much explored about trauma and when protectiveness becomes clingy or overprotective, different love languages learning to communicate instead of alienate, and mysterious kitten doings.

That it took until the final hour to get the first flutters of attraction and awareness, well. It's disappointing. That half the book is flashbacks would usually make me lose interest, but it's GOOD flashbacks, snippets of the relationship that has built and changed over centuries, that recently stretched and seemed to be ready to crack, but instead proved both sides were capable of bending and will be in the future... and that that future is now hopeful and bright, because they know it will contain the other, in their arms, where they've been meant to be. They just had to get here to realize it.

PS: Justine Eyre is a gift to Hearing humankind. She is SO DAMNED TALENTED. I don't know how many languages she speaks (a lot) but her ear for accents is so good she does regional accents perfectly. As someone who often has a Quebecois French speaker and a France French speaker in the same meeting, both speaking English no less, I can tell you her regional accents are dead on to the city at times. I've listened to books performed by her in 100% English accents (The Pennyroyal Green series for example, or The Palace Job which is awesome btw), then hear books where some of her base is North American, and I could not tell you which (if either) is her native accent. This is not typical. This is an incredible talent, one she has worked hard at, and thanks to her all of the characters from this series have huge new dimensions to them as she has given every single one a distinctive and fully emotive voice.

4 people found this helpful