I have mixed emotions about this book. It started off strong. Santino captured the spooky atmosphere perfectly. The isolated old house and Jeremy’s fe
I have mixed emotions about this book. It started off strong. Santino captured the spooky atmosphere perfectly. The isolated old house and Jeremy’s fears had me on the edge of my seat. I was instantly intrigued by these four men. They each have their own strong and distinct personalities. This is what I love about Santino’s writing. He has the ability to create great depth and complexity in his characters.
From the beginning, I was captivated by Jeremy and the rest of his band, but I have to say Watts ended up stealing the show. Jeremy is the youngest and newest member of Stygian. He’s trying to fit in, but because of his personal baggage, Watts’ sparkling personality and his attraction to Kennedy, he's being held back. At first, I was able to understand and sympathize with him, but by the end I got kind of tired of his story. I was frustrated how tight-lipped he was. I was also hoping for something more (view spoiler)[ with his relationship with Hunter. Not romantically, but something where his “family traits” may surface. It was alluded that he was special so I was hoping that would've been explored more. (hide spoiler)] Watts and Quince slowly took over.
Let’s move on to Kennedy; the strong and sensible member of the group. He is all sorts of sexy. The chemistry between Kennedy and Jeremy was steamy. I loved his loyalty to Stygian and his band family. Everything about him was perfect.
The paranormal aspects got a little weaker for me as the story progressed. I loved the build-up and Hunter's not-so-subtle plan to get to Jeremy, but I was hoping for something a little more dark and sinister. I thought the last scene in Hunter's house was anti-climatic. Plus, nothing really came out of the "big reveal". (view spoiler)[ Hunter and Laurel are husband and wife (a bit predictable), but it really didn't amount to anything. There was one scene when they were both with Quince, but it felt unfinished. (hide spoiler)]
I think if this book was longer, the paranormal aspects would have been outstanding. As is, the scenes felt like they were cut and incomplete. The outcomes couldn't live up to the eerie and suspenseful build-up.
Even with my slight niggles, I was swept up in the descriptions and the characters. It still has that gritty and raw feeling common in Santino's books, which I love! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
So I am totally in the minority here. It's happened before and I'm sure it'll happen again.
First off, let me say that Nachari is my favorite Silivasi
So I am totally in the minority here. It's happened before and I'm sure it'll happen again.
First off, let me say that Nachari is my favorite Silivasi brother. Unfortunately, I think he got the raw end of the deal. This book did not feel like his book - AT ALL. Nachari was not in the spotlight. It was split between him, Saber, Kagen, Kristina, and Braden. There was no focus, too many POV changes, and I thought there were many scenes that were completely unnecessary. I didn't think hearing from Kristina, Braden, or Noiro added anything to the story. All it did was take away from Nachari.
Deanna, Nachari's destiny, had a lot of potential but unfortunately she was weak and fell flat. I didn't think there was any character development. I never got a good impression of who she was. She came to Dark Moon Vale because she "saw" this gorgeous guy being tortured and suffering in hell. This manifested in her drawings which ultimately led her to the Silivasi's. It was such a great idea for Deanna to have this connection to Nachari before anyone even knew she was his destiny. Unfortunately, once she got there, all anyone did was sit around and wait. Nachari deserved better.
Because Nachari and Deanna didn't meet until the last 5% of the book, there was zero connection. I had hoped she would have felt Nachari's pull more so they would've had something substantial between them before they met. Nachari should have emerged long before the end of the book. They had no chemistry and the sex just had me wincing. I need more than "she's his destiny" for me to feel a connection.
I kept waiting for Nathaniel, Marquis, and Kagen to push Deanna to draw more, for them to work together to help Nachari, but basically he was on his own. The brothers also dropped the fact they were going to call the wizards for help. I wish Deanna and the brothers would have tried to reach Nachari somehow. Don't get me wrong, I loved the idea of Nachari using his magic to get out, but I at least wanted to see everyone trying to help him. Instead, too much time was spent with Kristina and Ramsey/Saber and Braden wasting time talking to Deanna, and defending/worrying about Kristina. *Sigh*
Also, there were several times that Kagen and Marquis seemed out-of-character to me. I thought it was odd that Kagen let Deanna out with Kristina without seeing Ramsey first. Also, bonking Deanna on the head was completely childish. Furthermore, Marquis was a little too warm and fuzzy for my liking. The joking was uncharacteristic. The fact that all the brothers didn't try to decipher the drawings didn't seem right. You would think with this new found information they would be doing everything they could to figure this out. Even Saber, with his laid-back demeanor and his modern slag, just didn't sit right. I really hope this was part of the character he was playing and not his true self. This was not the same guy we met in book 1.
Lastly, the Unchained Melody scene had me cringing. It was over-the-top cliché. This does not seem like Nachari. Also, the torture scenes had very little impact on me. Most of them were campy and had the opposite effect.
I was so looking forward to re-visiting this world and for the most part I did enjoy hearing from the Silivasi brothers again but unfortunately I was quite saddened by these turn of events. I guess I'll have to just keep thinking Narchari will someday find his true destiny.
Wow, this book is a mess. I don't even know where to begin. The writing in these books has always been simplistic and predictable. It also suffers froWow, this book is a mess. I don't even know where to begin. The writing in these books has always been simplistic and predictable. It also suffers from a lack of editing. Some scenes just drag on and on. This book just took all that and put it in the forefront. The funny thing is I could ignore some of it in the previous books because I enjoyed the characters (all except the heroine, Felicity - more on her later) and the lore.
The biggest problem in this book was the pacing of the story. The time elapse killed it. We leave the story while Felicity is a freshman in college, of course even though it was a college setting you'd swear they were in high school. The first 4 books take place basically over 6 months or so. Fast-forward 3 years and this is the beginning of Descendant of Darkness. I don't mind the fact that time passed but when you think you're reading a totally different book, then something is wrong. We have Cain brooding over Felicity, not much changed on that front. That's one thing that didn't drag, like it did in the previous books. The biggest problem was Ben and Felicity. I have no idea what happened to them. They were completely out of character. Granted years have passed but I felt nothing from these two characters. Of course they're going to grow up and mature but I felt like an outsider watching some soap opera where Felicity either can't make up her mind what she wants or she's some alien trapped in a young adult's body making all the "proper" decisions out of life. In order to explain, I have to give spoilers. So here we go.
(view spoiler)[ Felicity decides she wants to live a human life so she gets married and has a baby with Ben. This is all fine a dandy except why give her a love story with Cain for the first 4 books of the series? Ok, maybe Cain will eventually be with Felicity and the baby, still why does Felicity have to get married? Why does she have to be completely in love with Ben and make Cain her past love? If she's going to stay with Ben, why give her a love story with Cain at all? Plus, she can't make up her damn mind. If Felicity wants to keep Cain in her heart, then do in a way that's obvious, enough with the back and forth.
First, Felicity visits Cain and they kiss, twice. She realizes how much she still loves him, oh but then she marries Ben! She actually says that she loves Ben but he's not Cain! What the hell is that? Then, at her wedding she has to have part of Cain with her so she's wears the hair comb he gave her. We think it's because maybe she needs Cain there with her because she still loves him but NO, " Cain could not share this day with her. She was moving on, and her love for Ben was true, but she couldn't help but feel that Cain deserved this acknowledgement." So once again we're given something beautiful and then it's downgraded to a thank you note. Finally, the last straw was naming her baby after Cain. It seems so fitting and beautiful. It's perfect but then it becomes a "tribute". So we get a little then it's taken back. This all seems to me like a big tease, nothing more. (hide spoiler)]
Now another big problem is the nice neat package of Felicity's life that the author presents us. I cannot see any young adult making the choices Felicity made, especially considering her personality just 3 short years prior. She was an insecure girl that met the love of her life, her first love and has never completely let him go. (view spoiler)[ The first "perfectly mature decision" Felicity makes is while she's dating Ben. She admits she loves Ben but she wants to make sure her love for Ben is strong so she decides that they should see other people. What 21-22 year old supposedly in love would do that? That is something a parent would tell their 22 year old to do or a girl playing the field that doesn't want to settle down, which is not Felicity. I guess this fits into the nice, neat image of the mature woman. Not believable at all.
Next, most of the dialogue that involves either Felicity or Ben are so out of character. They act like adults that have experienced all the trials and tribulations of life rather than young adults just beginning their lives. Yes, they've been through a lot in a young age but this was just not them. Again, this was because of the timing. We missed all the "in-between" years of Ben and Felicity dating, etc. I liked her and Ben in the other books, even when they hooked up.
Next, we see Felicity visiting Cain and she has doubts about her feelings for Ben, and Cain for that matter. She admits that she thought her feelings for Cain had faded but she says her feelings are just as strong as when he left her. So she loves Cain but then goes back to Ben. Who would do that? We're suppose to believe that she's mature enough after 3 years that her emotions are not conflicted enough to affect her relationship with Ben? Nope, don't believe it. She goes on to be the mature woman of 22 and marries Ben and has a baby. Nice and neat! (hide spoiler)]
Enough of boring Felicity. Now onto Cain and Sindy and the draggy moments in the book. There were so many but I'll just pick a few that bugged me. I am not a Sindy hater at all. I dislike how she acts and I believe she doesn't deserve to end up with Cain but hey she does what she thinks she has to. I get she's insecure but do we really have to read pages and pages of (view spoiler)[ her wanting bigger boobs? Then, her enhancements? Then, what Cain thinks of these enhancements? OMG all this felt was like page fillers! (hide spoiler)] All I kept picturing was Cain rolling his eyes. It is not even plausible that Cain would move forward after such a short time. What is 3-4 years to a vampire who is over 300 years old who finally found the love of his life? Seems like a drop in the bucket to me. I just didn't believe him moving on at this time.
Also, there was too much of Elric. I get he may be a big part in the coming books but do we have to see all the background of him and Latisha? Also the entire part with Anthony and Marguerite. I saw no point to any of it. Lastly, I did like Allie training but even that got to be too much.
The funny thing is that this book is described as Paranormal Fantasy but the first three books and this one were ALL romance. I'm ok with that and I enjoyed the romance but then I do expect the romance feel to continue. I felt nothing with Ben and Felicity compared to the last book, nothing between Cain and Sindy and Felicity was just beyond fickle. It's not just the doubts or subtle nuisances. That I could accept. What I can't accept is the annoying back and forth that is Felicity in this book. I loved the action but there was just too little of it.
So was there anything I did like in this book? Yes! I liked Kieran, Mattie finally standing up to Allie, Allie training. That's about it.
I don't think I can continue with this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
**spoiler alert** I am very disappointed with this book. Am I happy that Qhuinn and Blay got their HEA and Ward finally brought m/m to mainstream? Abs**spoiler alert** I am very disappointed with this book. Am I happy that Qhuinn and Blay got their HEA and Ward finally brought m/m to mainstream? Absolutely! However, the cynic in me questions whether this watered-down version of Qhuay was done intentionally. Yes, she's always had different story lines in her books but never to this extent. Qhuay was not in the forefront.
As I said, to me this was not Qhuinn and Blay's book. Sure, they took up some page time but basically it was split between them, Assail/Sola, Trez/iAm, Xcor/Layla, and The Lessers. There were also at least 10 different POV changes. I think I got whiplash. There was absolutely no focus to this book. I don't mind if there's a different story line in a book but at least have it tie into the main story or the couple. That was not the case here. Each one of these characters had their own story line.
Plain and simple, it was a mess. There was a steady stream of modern-day references, such as tv shows, music, and brand names. Does she get a kickback or something for dropping these names? She really should because it was throughout the damn book. Besides this, there were a ton of typos and grammatical errors. Typically, I can put this aside if the characters and/or plot(s) were engaging, but they weren’t. For the most part the plots were boring. Trez was a big snooze, I tolerated Assail’s storyline and Xcor and Layla pissed me off. They were both completely OOC. First, Xcor was constantly pining over Layla. That’s all he did! I expected a little but geez, he turned into a puppy dog with his tail tucked between his legs. Then we have Layla, dropping curses and getting all possessive. Ward was really reaching with this one and I didn’t believe it for a second. Did she really think that this sudden change would make us forget how manipulating Layla is or the fact that she is a Chosen? I guess so, but not with me. I think it would take a lot longer for this 180 to occur.
Plus, the rest of the brothers were washed down and they all sounded alike. I don’t know what the hell happened. By now I’m used to the fact that she fucked up V but I really hope she can get back on track in Wrath’s book because I saw no differentiation in their personalities. There was also nothing unique with Trez or Assail.
Now onto Qhuinn and Blay. *sigh* It made no sense to keep these two apart for the entire book and then have some over-the-top sappy epilogue. I’m not saying I hated the ending but it should have come way before. Blay also seemed OOC. I couldn’t believe he kept the breakup with Saxton away from Qhuinn. It was a simple plot device to keep these two apart. I also thought Saxton bowing out of the relationship was a major eye-rolling moment. How easy for everyone! Maybe if Ward stuck to making Qhuinn and Blay the focus of the book, she could have come up with something more complex.
There was also an imbalance between these two. We got a lot of development with Qhuinn but really none with Blay. Just the same old same old. There’s more to him that just being gay! It was a letdown that Blay fell to the side-lines.
Something that Ward does very well, is sexual tension. She always has that great build-up, the kisses and the touches, usually fantastic and this book was no exception. Unfortunately, the actual sex had little passion. It started off good but the sex scenes felt rushed and at times awkward. I don’t know if this is because of a lack of experience with m/m or what it was but the sex ran hot and cold for me.
Even when Blay went all alpha in the bar with Qhuinn and we finally get the bonding scent, it was rushed and little happened next. I was so excited for this but from this point on, we're only told what happens and never shown. Grrrr.....
Back to the epilogue. Even though it was sappy, I loved Qhuinn’s surprise and my favorite part was that he put his piercings back on! I was hoping he would. Corny as it may seem, I even loved the dance. The problem was that it came way too late. It was mostly from Qhuinn’s POV and we barely get anything from Blay. It was rushed and seemed like an afterthought. They deserved better! Even though my heart skipped a few beats and I was yelling “finally”, it still felt out of place. What happened to a mating ceremony? This was too “human” for me. It didn’t fit in the BDB world.
Uggg, and the Happily-Ever-After line? Are you kidding me? Gag!
Ok, I feel better now that I got this all out. Time to put this mess of a book behind me and replace it with a fanfiction just as True replaced V's book! ...more