This is book 8 in a series, not the place to start. There is far too much stuff in this book furthering the ongoing story arc for this to be an especially satisfying book to start the series with. Start at the beginning with Angels’ Blood.
There are dark rumours that Lijuan, the Archangel of Death, is about to murder one of the sleeping Ancients (powerful archangels who have gone to ground to sleep for millennia so as to stave off insanity). As this goes against everything angelkind considers holy, Raphael sends one of his trusted Seven, the mysterious Naasir, his most skilled tracker, to find the sleeping place of Alexander. Naasir has decided that so many others in his family have found happiness with their mates, he too wants one. He’s been searching for seven months, with no luck, but will postpone his quest for his mate to aid his archangel.
Andromeda is a young angelic scholar, fifteen days away from coming of age (when she turns 400). The granddaughter of the archangel Charismemnon, dealer of poisons, disease, pain and debauchery, Andromeda fled his court and has been working to prove herself at the Refuge, devoted to learning, record keeping and all manner of other scholarly arts so despised by the kin at her grandfather’s court. She knows that on her birthday, she has to return, bound to serve there for five hundred years, a service she dreads with every fibre of her being. Because her specialised field of study is the burial places of the Ancients, Andromeda is asked to help Naasir locate Alexander. At first she is startled by his strange manner and mysterious origins, but it doesn’t take long before they form a bond – making the thought of five hundred years away from him seem even more unbearable to Andromeda.
It’s clear that while working on furthering the plot of the ongoing arc of these books, the building war between Raphael and Lijuan, the dangers of the ongoing Cascade, the changes and threats to angel-, vampire- and humankind, Nalini Singh is also determined to have fun, playing around with different sub-genres. Archangel’s Shadows was mostly a police procedural, this is an adventure novel, with a quest and a chase against time at its centre.
Full review here.