The premise for this series enthralled me when I picked up the second book in the series from my local Barnes and Noble (they didn't have the first onThe premise for this series enthralled me when I picked up the second book in the series from my local Barnes and Noble (they didn't have the first one). I had to wait a few days to get Dark Descendant from the library but it was worth the wait, so much so, that I've ordered it from B&N, so I can have all the books in the series.
Dark Descendant truly is an urban fantasy, so don't expect any romance packed within it's pages. There is a little dating of Nikki's sister, who's a secondary characters, but it's not a big part of the story. What is does have is a solid backbone in mythology. Nikki discovers she has Artemis as an ancestress, but there are are few other cultures mixed in as well. It's a cornucopia of gods and goddess at the basis of the story and Ms. Black has created a rich and varied world to explain these many-times removed grandchildren of the gods.
Nikki (a very unique lady) gets introduced to others abruptly and painfully. These people are not warm and fuzzy or particularly friendly. The author uses a well crafted world, vivid descriptions, a complicated plot and interesting personalities to pull you into Nikki's newly discovered world. It's dark, dangerous, filled with pitfalls and people willing to kill you.
Then there's Nikki. She's a private investigator and a great hunter because of Artemis, which also makes her a super shot. I like that she doesn't have super powers. It's actually rather refreshing. But who knows, she's still growing into her powers. Things could still change in the future and that would be okay too. The situation Nikki finds herself in is frustrating. Her life is no longer completely her own and Ms. Black did a good job expressing those emotions...at times her sadness and fury.
Now to the mythology part. Don't be afraid that you're going to saturated with historical information because it doesn't happen. Ms. Black seamlessly integrates snippets of data into the story so it never feels like an info dump---it's all very natural, with a good flow. Well enough rambling. I enjoyed Dark Descendant and have already started Deadly Descendant....more
I found Birch rather annoying in the first part of the the book. She's abrasive and so opinionated I don't know why Niall wants anything to do with heI found Birch rather annoying in the first part of the the book. She's abrasive and so opinionated I don't know why Niall wants anything to do with her. It's only after probably 25% of the story and we've had explanations of why she reacts as she does that I began to understand her...but it was a rocky start.
From that moment on I began to enjoy the story much more. The pace smooths out, the details are vividly written and I enjoyed the setting and characters. I particularly liked Niall's very special dog, Shep, who steals every scene he's in. I enjoyed the slow growth of Niall and Birch's relationship and how the drama/bad guys worked into the story line without overbalancing it. The ending is filled with danger and action, and despite a few unanswered questions, the book has a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to the next one....more