Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter Series #11)

Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter Series #11)

by Nalini Singh

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451491640
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/30/2018
Series: Guild Hunter Series , #11
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 9,168
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. You can contact her directly through her website. While visiting the site, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter for up-to-date news about both the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, as well as fun exclusive extras, including free short stories set in her worlds.

Read an Excerpt

1

Elena noticed the sparrows with the periphery of her mind.

The small birds were dipping and dancing beyond the Tower windows, their wings nearly brushing the glass. For a second, she felt a chill on the back of her neck, but then the sparrows flew off to do sparrow business and she realized she was being paranoid. Just because the city's birds had gone all creepy and otherworldly once didn't mean every sparrow was a harbinger.

Sometimes a bird was just a bird.

She returned to her Scrabble death match with Vivek.

Ten minutes later, the two of them were taking an insane amount of pleasure in arguing over a word when Sara called to ask her to track a young vampire who thought he could skip out on his Contract. "Why?" she said to both Sara and Vivek, after putting the conversation on speaker.

"Because you're a Guild Hunter, and we find and haul back runaway vampires," was Sara's dry response. "If you don't know that by now, Ellie, there's no hope for you."

"No." Elena leaned back in her chair across from Vivek. "Why do a certain percentage of baby vamps think that (a) all the nasty, terrible things they've heard about the old angels aren't true, and (b)-after discovering that, in fact, all the previous knowledge they had is true, why do they think they'll be the one wet-behind-the-ears idiot who'll make it to freedom?"

Both of those things made zero sense to Elena. You'd have to be blind, deaf, and mentally unhinged not to realize that angelkind was not human in any way, shape, or form. To a being who had lived a thousand years, what were mortals and new-Made vampires but bugs to be crushed? Nothing but fragile fireflies. Pretty perhaps, if your tastes ran that way, but gone and forgotten in mere heartbeats.

That Elena was now the consort of the most powerful immortal in North America didn't change her bone-deep understanding of that searing truth. Raphael was learning to act with more humanity because of the bond of love that tied them together, but he wasn't human, and he never would be; it'd be like asking a ferocious tiger to turn tame. An impossibility-and a destruction.

Raphael was a glorious fury, a power.

Elena was a newborn angel with a heart that would always be mortal, even should she live ten thousand years.

"I have an answer." Vivek raised his hand, his sharply handsome face bearing a cheek-creasing grin, and the rich brown of his skin lit with good humor.

It had been a long time since Elena had seen any sign of the petulance and pettiness that had once been as much a part of him as his striking intellect. Then, Vivek had controlled the Cellars, the hidey-hole the Guild kept for hunters who needed to lie low for a while-such as a wayward hunter who might've slit the throat of a vampire so brutally powerful he was an archangel's second.

Elena still wasn't sorry about that. Dmitri had deserved to feel the lethal edge of her knife and more. And it wasn't as if he'd been at any risk of dying. The arrogant fuck had blown her a kiss while his shirt was wet with darkest crimson, the blood loss nothing to a vampire that strong.

Not that his lack of injuries and twisted delight in the violent interaction had stopped him from stalking Elena-hence her need to disappear into the Cellars. In that underground world, Vivek had been king, and he'd relished his power. Piss him off and you'd say good-bye to air-conditioning, your room a sauna-and forget about fresh coffee. These days, however, the Cellars were someone else's domain; and, like her, Vivek was growing into a strange new skin.

In the five years since he'd been Made a vampire, the formerly tetraplegic guild hunter had regained the use of his arms and most of his upper body. Even though his lower body remained numb to sensation and offered no way for him to get out of the wheelchair he'd been in since childhood, Vivek wasn't complaining.

The healers had predicted it would take decades for him to regain even basic movement.

"Enlighten us," Sara said in response to Vivek's declaration, her tone distinctly amused. Whispers coming through the line told Elena her best friend was clearing paperwork while she spoke to them; the Guild director's job was never finished.

"The transition to vampirism," Vivek said in an ostentatiously pompous tone, "causes a reaction in a small percentage of vampires that turns on the idiot gene." He held up a finger in a "pay attention" stance. "Said gene is located on chromosome pair twenty-four, colloquially known as the vampire chromosome."

Elena nodded with equal solemnity. "An intriguing hypothesis, Professor Kapur. Perhaps you should apply for a VPA research grant."

As Vivek cracked up at her reference to the Vampire Protection Authority-which seemed to exist to slap guild hunters with "excessive force" violations, usually while the hunters were still bleeding from vampire bites and clawings-Sara said, "If you two comedians are finished, I need you to haul ass, Ellie. Angel involved is very senior and very angry. Name's Imani."

Elena could've resigned from the Guild years ago. Being Consort to the Archangel of New York tended to tie up a woman's time. But she'd clung to the Guild with her fingernails, being a hunter as much a part of her psyche as breathing. Even more so because she was hunter-born: a bloodhound with the capacity to track vampires by scent.

Rusted oak, champagne, sugar mixed with camphor, a cascade of flowers.

Just four scents among the millions in the world. Her brain had the capacity to narrow down a particular scent to a particular vampire. Vivek, for example, was cold and fresh river water and a vivid burst of aquamarine shards. She knew the latter wasn't a scent, but it was the only way she'd found to describe what she picked up around her friend.

As for the angel-tracking ability she'd begun to develop after waking as an angel, that remained erratic at best and nonexistent at worst.

"I know Imani," she said to Sara.

"I was hoping you'd say that. She's . . . touchy."

That was one word for the angel in question. "I'll calm her down."

"I've sent the details to your phone. You want a necklet?"

"No, I'll be fine." No point detouring to Guild HQ for the vampire immobilization device when she already had the advantage of wings as well as a droplet of immortal strength. Not much. Laughable when compared to angelkind, but she was now much harder to hurt than any other hunter in the Guild. "If I can't haul back a runner on my own, I need to be put in Guild remedial school."

As Vivek grinned, Sara said, "Come by tonight for a coffee. I want to talk to you about something."

"I'll be there." Hanging up, Elena pointed a finger at Vivek. "I do not withdraw my challenge about your most recently created word."

"Your funeral." Vivek had on his Scrabble poker face. "I'll save the game to continue the next time you're in." A beep sounded behind him in the surveillance control center.

Turning his wheelchair around using his hands, he went to check on the alert. After much anguish, he'd retired his previous high-tech and networked electronic chair-the manual chair gave him a way to exercise his upper body without having to spend even longer with the physiotherapists. He'd bulked up considerably in the past couple of years, his shoulders strong and his arm muscles defined.

"Ellie, hey, wait." He flicked up an image onto one of his many screens. "Signs of seismic activity out by the Catskills."

"Shit." She stared at the jagged lines that danced across the screen, her stomach suddenly in knots and images of the sparrows blazing to the forefront of her mind. One word loomed large in her thoughts: Cascade.

A confluence of time and unknown critical events that had ignited a power surge in the archangels who ruled the world, with a side-helping of random cataclysmic occurrences, the Cascade had demonstrated a tendency to spike then flatline as it built toward an endgame none of them could predict. It had been two and a half years since the last resurgence-back during her and Raphael's trip to Morocco-and she'd been hoping the damn thing would go from dormant to stone dead.

Elena was sick of fucking zombies, impossible diseases that struck angels from the sky, and storms and quakes that left scars in the earth. Oh, and let's not forget the Hudson turning crimson, as if the city was bleeding. That had been just lovely. "How bad?"

"Too deep and too weak for humans to feel. And it looks like I have a report from the seismic people at the university." He read the e-mail. "Movement tagged as standard settling of the land. Only picked up because they're testing the super-sensitive new equipment the Tower helped finance."

Stomach unknotting, Elena blew out a quiet breath. No Cascade-linked insanity, then. No need to put on her tinfoil hat and start yelling about the end of the world. Just a tiny-normal-tremor deep in the earth. "Ping me if you get any more alerts, and make sure Dmitri knows too. I better get going on this hunt."

Vivek swiveled his wheelchair around. "Happy hunting." In his eyes, dark and intense, lived a feral hunger. It was as if his transition to vampirism had splintered more than two decades of grim-willed control.

Because Vivek, too, was hunter-born, the hunt in his blood.

That he hadn't gone mad long ago was a testament to his incredible resolve. Elena had used him as backup on two recent jobs where he could situate himself on a rooftop and cover her using a sniper's rifle. A number of other hunters had pulled him in the same way. For now, that seemed to be enough to take the edge off. "You, too," she said with a nod at his control center. "Say hi to your man-crush for me."

A raised middle finger before he turned back to the screens that flowed with data. "Come back when you're ready to get massacred on the Scrabble board."

Leaving the Tower's tech hub with a final "You made up that word!"-to which Vivek called out, "Illiterate Luddite!"-she read the details of the job on her way to her and Raphael's Tower suite. All she had on her were knives, and she liked to take a weapon with distance reach when on a retrieval.

Droplet of immortal strength or not, arrogance was a good way to get dead.

Just last week, Ransom had barely escaped being disemboweled by an aggressive vampire's disgusting dirty claws. Some people had no sense of good hygiene. As it was, Ransom's treasured leather jacket hadn't escaped the attempted mauling unscathed.

He'd still be sulking over it if his wife hadn't managed to source a near-identical jacket from who-knew-where: Librarians obviously had stellar research skills. And librarians married to guild hunters had nerves of steel. Per Ransom, his wife had told him to hose himself clean of the vampire blood before he set foot in their home.

Demarco had snorted when Ransom relayed that story, the shaggy blond of his hair in serious need of a cut. "I wouldn't obey my wife's orders like that-you gotta be the man in the relationship, wear the pants."

"Sure," Ransom had drawled, unperturbed. "I'll pass your words of wisdom on to Nyree the next time she talks about inviting your sorry ass over for dinner. Enjoy the moldy bread in your fridge."

Laughing at the memory of how Demarco had clutched at his heart and fallen off his chair, Elena entered the suite. She grabbed her crossbow first and strapped it to her left thigh. Lightweight, with the extra bolts carried in a new flat quiver she would strap to her other thigh, she treasured and babied it like it was "her precious."

Ransom's words.

Also true.

She decided against a gun; she kept up her training, but the crossbow combined with blades was more her thing. Today, she slid a long blade into the sheath that ran down her back. The near-white of her hair was already in a tight braid, and she had her heavy-duty hunting knife in her boot, so all that was left for her to do was check that the knives she wore in her forearm sheaths were all snugly slotted in, and she was done.

Striding across the thick carpet of the living area, she opened the doors that led out to a railingless balcony and stepped into the crisp white of a winter's day.

The cold slapped her. Hard.

She gritted her teeth, grateful for her long-sleeved thermal black top. It had been designed especially for her, to provide a measure of protection at high altitudes. She had nowhere near ordinary angelic levels of cold toleration. The squadron with whom Raphael had gone out in the pre-dawn darkness were probably in sleeveless tunics.

Her teeth threatened to chatter.

"Screw looking tough," she said to the disinterested pigeon that had stopped on the balcony. "I'd rather be warm." Going back inside, she pulled on a form-fitting black jacket designed with slits for her wings, and fancy straps that held it tight to her body. Then she tugged on gloves for good measure-after first moving the forearm knife sheaths on top of the jacket sleeves.

"Okay, now I'm ready."

Shutting the balcony doors behind herself, because she had no desire to return to an arctic environment, she took a moment to enjoy the glittering spectacle of New York gearing up for the day after a long, cold night, then fell off the edge of the balcony, her wings spreading behind her in a snap of strength. Those wings were an extraordinary blend of colors, beginning as pure black on the inner curve, then flowing into indigo, deepest blue, and the whispered shade of dawn.

Her primaries were a shimmering white-gold.

Beautiful wings, but they could've been dishwater brown and she'd have loved them as much, for they took her to the skies.

The air was razored glass in her lungs, it was so cold, but a cool yellow sun rode the sky today. The distant star wasn't strong enough to melt the snow that blanketed the city, but it made that snow ignite with light and turned the ice that dripped off the edges of buildings into iridescent diamonds.

Beneath her, the Legion building lay draped in pristine white.

The greenery that covered its outsides in spring and summer slept under winter's kiss, but Elena knew that should she fly inside, she'd be met with a blast of heat and the rich, earthy humidity of growing things. Green was the color of the Legion building on the inside-living green.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Archangel's Prophecy"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Nalini Singh.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Archangel's Prophecy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
It was great to have another adventure with the consort and archangel. But this is the first time in any of this author's writing that didn't allow the reader to feel the satisfaction of completing the journey and leaving the hero and heroine safe until our next adventure together. That pretty much took the fun out of it for me. Authors sometime fail to recognize that their readers return faithfully because they like the author's established recipe. Otherwise we would read another author who suited us better. After all, we have a pretty much unlimited supply at our fingertips with ebooks. I'd kind of expect this jv move from a less established author who feels like they need cliffhangers to make a reader return. As soon as I read the first one I delete the author from my library. I've been with this author from book one so I won't do that. But I sure hope this doesn't happen again. Finish what you start like usual. Hint your next book through emerging characters, not unresolved events central to the plot of the whole book. That's all we need to come back. Not tricks.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Ok I am as big of a Nalini Singh fan as can be and this book is amazing. I tend to reread all her books multiple times but here is a book that took me on such an emotional journey that when I reached the end I sat there for several minutes just letting myself FEEL. I can’t reread this book until the next one comes out. There was a great mystery that kept tying everything together and the passionate moments between Elena and her archangel were as searing and heart pounding as ever. This time however there was an added emotionality to every interaction with a higher cost that could be paid. If you haven’t fallen completely in love with the Guild Hunter series you will now
Anonymous 3 months ago
It’s a **** cliffhanger!!! I kind of feel like I did after watching “The Infinity Wars.” As always, Singh’s writing is beautiful And her characters feel real. The secondary mystery is interesting, but the situation with Raphael and Elena is heartbreaking. I loved the book right up to the end when I realized it was a cliffhanger. So I’m reserving final judgment until I find out what happens next.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Cliffhangers wouldn't be so bad if authors didn't make you wait a year to resolve a story. If the story wasn't finished, it shouldn't have been published. This doesn't build excitement, it forces frustration in my life that I don't need or want. Finish the story dammit.
Anonymous 3 months ago
If you have not given this series a chance yet you won’t regret it. You won’t be able to put this book down or any of the others for that matter. I cannot wait for the next release in this series. The story hooks you and leaves you begging for more! This particular one ends with a cliff hanger so be forewarned but so good.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I loved it! Looking forward to the next one!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I am disappointed in the various plot points and especially the ending. An example if the plot no it's would be (Minor spoiler : after Elena finishes the important part of the investigation she continues to try to find the bad guy even though family is safe. It feels irresponsible considering her health issues. Someone else could have easily taken over at this point. And I'm surprised as hell that Raphael didn't try and stop this). I also disliked the ending. Mainly because of the cliffhanger. It made me disappointed in the author and feel a little betrayed. One, this is an author whose brand before this has been HEA. No matter how dark a book gets, I've always knew the characters would come out ok on the other side. I no longer trust this may happen. Honestly, if Nalini Singh wasn't on my favorite authors list before this, this book may have been a deal breaker. I don't like cliffhangers as a rule. There are some exceptions but for the most part I stay away from them. If I do read a book with a cliffhanger, I want to be warned ahead of time (before I buy the book) that the cliffhanger is coming. I honestly feel more betrayed that there was no warning in all the publicity for the book. This book is a transition book to either a new story arc or the ending of the series. Again, I would have like warning. I probably would have waited until the next book was out before buying it. That being said, the book was still good. Even as the worst book ever written by Nalini Singh, it was still amazing. Im still looking forward to the next book but my guard is up.
Anonymous 3 months ago
This book never really brought any passion to any of the relationships; consequently, I didn’t feel overly sympathetic to any of the characters. That’s a shame because I’ve waited quite a while (many of us have) to follow up on our favorite archangel and hunter.
Anonymous 3 months ago
So should have waited to read this one after I heard it was a cliffhanger. Wonderful as always, but it left me crying ugly tears. Cannot wait till the next book is released.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Have a great time reading
Anonymous 3 months ago
It left me mad that I have to wait until the next one. Great book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
So good, story goes like a roller-coaster, with Elena and Rafael and just doesn't let up, all a reader can do is just hold on! Ms. Nalini, the cliff hanger ending was hard enough so please, do not make it too long before next book in this wonderful series..perhaps tomorrow ;D
Anonymous 3 months ago
I couldn't put it down. My favorite book so far.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Nalini did it again. I did not want to put this one down. So well written that the real world just ups and disapears. Soooo good! Wanted to scream at the ending.....argggh!! Write faster Nalini...hurry up!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I love this series. However, this book took me on an emotional journey with this couple. It was dark, sad but hopeful. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book. Which I hope will be a continuation of this and not another story featuring another character from the series.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I'm stunned. Just, wow. Be sure you have uninterrupted time to read the last few chapters.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Not well written and confusing. A waste of money.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I can't stand the wait for the next book. I read this one in one night.
Anonymous 3 months ago
So much confusion in this book and really lots of stuff brought up with nothings answered. Guess we're waiting for the next book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I loved it. Am about to do my traditional immediate re-read to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Please keep them coming Nalini!!!
Anonymous 3 months ago
I have a love hate relationship with this book. The story line was excellent. Well written. The hate part is having to wait for the next book for a year after the cliffhanger of an ending!
Anonymous 3 months ago
The usual wonderful world building and amazing characters, but too much of a cliffhanger knowing it will be at least a year before we know ......
Anonymous 3 months ago
3 stars
Anonymous 3 months ago
Loved this book and this series. Please don’t make us wait to long for the next book, I have to know what happens to Elena.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Such a cliffhanger.... can't make up my mind if I like this story.... love it and the end don't like it. Now Ms. Nalini Singh... how many months or years do we wait for the continuation of this book? Ugh!!!