Title: Archangel Chronicles Vol. 1
Series: Archangel Chronicles 01 – 03
Author: L.J. LaBarthe
Genre: Angels & Demons, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length: 3 Novels (657pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (26th August 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 – 3 ½ Hearts (Overall)
Reviewers: Thommie, Pixie, Shorty
Blurb: Gabriel, Michael, and the Brotherhood of Archangels must try to deal with relationships while fulfilling duties of fighting demons and protecting humans in the Archangel Chronicles. Gabriel and Michael have been pining after each other for centuries, but an egomaniacal human trying to raise a hell army pushes their relationship to the backburner in No Quarter. Gabriel and Michael are finally reunited in No Surrender, No Retreat, but their happiness is threatened when someone begins kidnapping angels and selling them on the black market. In No Shadows Fall, newly bonded Gabriel and Michael and torn from their idyllic island retreat when Gabriel’s ancient enemy Semjaza escapes from his prison.
Purchase Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/archangel-chronicles-vol-1-by-lj-labarthe-7382-b
Thommie’s Review: No Quarter: ♥♥♥ 2 ½ Hearts
This is the second time I read this book and other than typos and errors lacking, there isn’t much done story-wise. Thus, while much, much easier a read this time around, it was still lacking profoundly in intensity for such an “epic” book/series.
Let’s take a look at the lore here. This series is about the Archangels and their duty bestowed to them by God to protect human kind and the plane of Earth. Specifically here, we have a megalomaniac human who believes to be himself the reincarnation of a Saint and thus he has bargained with a Fallen One, has surrounded himself with demons, and plans to open up the Gates of Hell and unleash the poor condemned souls. The Archangels must intervene and eliminate him, but the impending doom is not overthrown.
This is the main action plot and frankly, I found it lacking. The epic-ness that characterizes such reads was nowhere to be found, the characters making the backbone were quite flat and uninteresting, and the story itself was a bit ludicrous. I mean there were demons that really looked like lackeys, Archdemons that made no impression whatsoever, except for that mwahahaha-type of villain you get on all cheesy reads (seriously Ondrass was overkill), the human megalomaniac named Bob was, oh my God I have no words for him, and they all, all of them fell flat making me wonder what is the point of writing a bad guy if you don’t intend to do something with him.
Romantic wise it was just the same. Michael is supposed to be pinning for Gabriel for years, Gabriel always wanted Michael, but this meeting after a thousand years drove home the fact that he loves him. The beginning – before either of them talked – made you think we’d get the tragic/epic hotter than Hell kind of burning relationship that would make even the stars shine less in front of its brightness etc.etc. But, but I’m afraid it was the most disappointing thing. The longing one would come to expect, the you’re-finally-mine feeling one would rightly expect, the Earth-Heaven-Hell-are-nothing-before-us kind of feeling that should be there, were not. The sex was good, nice and all, but it was no match for Archangels, if not a bit cheesy and laughable at times. I was really put off with this relationship, one ought to have made it burn and explode, but this was beyond lukewarm.
As for Michael and Gabriel as personalities, oh my, especially with Michael, Archangel Michael, the Prince of Heaven, I wanted to blind myself and stop reading altogether. That was one hell of a way to ruin all my fantasies for the big badass Archangel and that I do not forgive. He was ruined and a total fail in my opinion, and while I’d go for any ludicrous story and lukewarm sex/love, ruining such a powerful figure such as Michael is a crime. Gabriel was just, I don’t know, just so weird… I’ll not go there at all.
Overall, this new edition did not bring any changes in the story. The only good thing was the fact that the typographic errors were lacking and it was easier a read than before. Still base core of this story, the backbone of it, held a slight interest, that’s why I’ll be reading the next installment and see if the series is a worth reading one or drop it and move on sort. As for this one, I don’t know. If you like, angels and demons so much and you don’t mind the above, then give it a try.
Pixie’s Review: No Surrender, No Retreat ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts
The war is over between the Angels and Demons and humanity has to pick up the pieces of a world that was torn to pieces. Michael and Gabriel are reunited but it isn’t all perfect, they can’t help humanity without making the situation worse and Raphael is kidnapped which leads to the discovery that other angels have gone missing. As they launch an investigation into the disappearances, Agrat is kidnapped and her bonded begins to lose himself to grief.
This is a well-written story that combines many relationships and hardships with Michael and Gabriel leading the way. Now that the war has ended and the demon Hell portals are closed humanity can begin to pick up the pieces, the angels and archangels help as much as they can but they have limitations. But problems become worse when Raphael is taken and his power is smothered, which leads to healing throughout the world beginning to fail. The other archangels must work together to discover who is kidnapping the angels and to what end, and Michael is made to face the fact that sometimes love strikes everyone, even those that he finds unacceptable.
There is quite a bit going on in this book with Michael thinking that Raphael’s lover is unsuitable, Gabriel dealing with the loss of his children, Raphael disappearing, Israfel unsure if he is good enough for Raphael, all the angels and archangels wondering how they can help mankind and then the investigation into the kidnapped angels. It is quite a good storyline but you don’t get to feel connected to any one character as it jumps from characters to characters so you don’t get to know them that well, even though you do get interested in the storyline you miss out on the characters.
There are some very romantic moments between various characters and some couples are very sweet together in the brief times that we see them together. The storyline is good and the twist was surprising, our angels are being betrayed by someone who was an ally.
I will recommend this to those who love angels and demons, true love, disgruntled archangels, and interesting storyline and a happy ending.
Shorty’s Review: No Shadow Falls ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
Semjaza escapes from his eternal prison in the star Aquila. He has several main objectives get his family back, make Gabriel pay for imprisoning him as well as several other archangels for their roles in different things and take back what he believes is rightfully his. Semjaza seemed delusional to me in his thinking. Plus he was cruel to those he commanded. He was not fit to be a leader in my opinion.
Gabriel and Michael seem like the perfect couple. Michael, I didn’t understand why he acts as if he’s embarrassed when someone mentions sex. He’s been around humans for thousands of years surely he’s heard it all by now.
I loved all the details of the different places the archangels travelled. Very beautiful scenery. The archdemons helping the archangels was an interesting surprise. The battle scene between Semjaza and Gabriel was intense. Hot sex scenes throughout.
This is a wonderfully written story full of drama, mystery, suspense, adventure, and action. I was surprised that instead of being with humans or other beings that some Archangels were coupled with each other. Great read.