Ongoing series with 12 novels, 2 novella collections and a host of short stories.
Genres: urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Elena Deveraux is a vampire hunter. She has been hired by the Archangel Raphael to find another Archangel, one who has gone crazy. Elena knows this will kill her, but she doesn’t have a choice – she has to take the job. And it gets even more dangerous when Raphael takes an interest in her. And that’s only the start of the madness.
1. Angel’s Blood
2. Archangel’s Kiss
3. Archangel’s Consort
4. Archangel’s Blade
5. Archangel’s Storm
6. Archangel’s Legion
7. Archangel’s Shadows
8. Archangel’s Enigma
9. Archangel’s Heart
10. Archangel’s Viper
11. Archangel’s Prophecy
12. Archangel’s War
Guild Hunter is one of those series that I love without solid reasoning other than “I love it okay, leave me alone!” I love the characters, to a point. I love the story, to a point. I love the world, to a point. I’m enthralled with it. I love it. But man, does it have some issues. If you read only book one, you would wonder why I love it so much, because wow does that have some issues. Yet I worked past book one and just love the series. It is pure popcorn fuel.
Elena Deveraux is awesome. Broken, too. But awesome. She is strong and capable. And DAMN does she know what she wants and what she doesn’t want. Raphael is an Archangel. He is used to being the most powerful person around. He is arrogant. He doesn’t like the word no. And he has no regard for humans or their silly little emotions or morals.
And if you think to yourself “Boy, Raphael sounds like an asshole, how could you love him?” Well! He gets better. And quickly. It is one of the best things about the series. Raphael, who doesn’t understand the meaning of “no” builds a wholesome and perfect relationship with Elena in just a few books. Elena is Raphael’s heart. She teaches him respect and boundaries. here is a great give and take in their relationship that respects both who they are as people, what they are to each other, and what their very natures are. Because they love each other. And this is the way things are meant to be, damn it!
The worldbuilding..is a bit of a mess. The way this world is set up is what has always captivated me. Angels rule over the vampires and the humans. Archangels rule over the Angels. Vampires are created by Angels. Guild Hunters go after Vampires who try and skip out on their contracts they made with an Angel. And the entire world is shaped by these facts. Everything comes down to this. It is more complicated than this, of course, and it is fun to read about. But do not poke at the worldbuilding. Do not think about it. Do not pay any attention to it whatsoever or it will crumple around you, leaving you to go “this could not possibly work!”
The story is fun though. It has its flaws. However Nalini Singh has a good idea of when to let the story settle, and when to build it up. And she knows when to add things to keep the series going. It takes a while to get there, but after several books of crazy things and a bunch of crazy characters getting even more insane, Singh writes in “The Cascade”. Which is a very, very rare event where everything goes to shit, basically. If that sounds like an excuse to write more books, it probably is. Doesn’t mean I don’t love it.
Also, while Elena and Raphael are the main characters of the series, Raphael being an Archangel and all, they aren’t the only leads. We come back to these two again and again, but many of the books in the series feature other characters, finding their loves, getting into trouble, and just supporting Raphael and Elena. These other characters are Raphael’s commanders, Elena’s friends, and just all around great people.
Overall, there is something about Guild Hunter that captivates me. It isn’t without flaws, but for me it is still magical. Things that aren’t that great get better. Things that are already great get amazing. Some of these books hit better than others, some of the characters make better stories than others. And some of the books are so full of stress and dread it is amazing I’m still alive. I just really, really like this series.