Author: Nalini Singh
First Published: 26 September 2017
“For a woman with unicorn hair, you’re very bloodthirsty. I approve.”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Gollancz and NetGalley for sending a copy my way!
This is a sequel; I will try and keep my review as spoiler free as possible but just be wary if you haven’t read the rest of the series.
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 bite.
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.
I was so excited to get to this book since we finally get to see the romance between Holly and Venom! I have been waiting for their story since book one! While I enjoyed this book, it’s not my favourite of the series.
The story unfolds in the same timeline as the previous book, Archangel’s Heart. Archangel’s Viper diverts from the series’ main couple and features the youngest member of Raphael’s Seven, Venom. Venom is back in New York and is roped into discovering who put a bounty on Holly Chang, the broken girl he helped rescue from the Archangel of Blood, Uram. Holly was turned against her will; she’s left not quite a vampire or human. She has the left with a vampiric bloodlust, a poisonous bite and the ability to mesmerize her prey. The strange, violent power is growing inside her.
Venom was the member of Raphael’s Seven that I was least interested in — to be fair he has some tough competition. It was nice to see a softer side to him. While Venom seems to embrace his unique snake-like abilities, it was heartbreaking to see how his family reacted to his transformation.
Holly was made into something not quite vampire, much like Venom. It’s amazing how far she has come, from the closed-off girl who never feels safe to a wicked smart and confident woman. She has done everything within her power to reclaim her life. I adore seeing her relationship with her family. I also enjoyed seeing her accept the otherness inside her with a special thanks to Venom’s encouragement.
The romance comes late in the story. There did seem to be a weird shift in their relationship. One moment they can’t stand either other but secretly attracted to each other and the next they are together. But, I’m not going to complain since I adored seeing Venom take care of Holly mostly by cooking for her (who would have guessed he was a chef!). It was a nice touch that their venom is the antidote to the other’s poisonous bite.
I know I have said this before, but I am totally in awe of Nalini Singh’s world-building! She is the master of creating a captivating macro plot, which each book adds new dimensions to while creating an engaging and compelling romance.
Yeah, so while this did not end up being my favourite of the series, I still flew through it. I love the Guild Hunter world! I cannot wait to get to the next book, Archangel’s Prophecy.