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Daughter of Darkness #1

Grand Theft Life

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Ame always knew she was different. The voices in her head reminded her all the time. Anti-psychotics couldn't stop them. Her abduction from her home to the underworld was foretold.
What seemed at first a nightmare, however, turns around. Her kidnapper, Freddy, actually has the heart to protect and care for her. And her new best friend, Bless, a tall and sarcastic American chick with a bastard for a boyfriend, reveals to her the hidden nature which is her birthright.
What follows is an extraordinary adventure in the heart of a contemporary American city. Ame is both intrigued and conflicted by the violent practices her people employ, to survive a culture of fear.
What choice does she have?
There is no going back! The alchemy is in her blood.
Some will live to tell. Others must die.

76 pages, Paperback

First published February 12, 2015

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About the author

Katya Mills

7 books136 followers
An Independent, Katya Mills is an American and nonbinary writer of German and Huguenot (French Protestant) descent. They grew up in New England, mostly in New Hampshire, the 'Live Free or Die' state. They studied at Northwestern University and spent about a decade in Chicago before settling in California. Mills is a licensed psychotherapist and helps people imagine, envision and reauthor the stories of their lives. Mills writes creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and has a lifelong obsession with words. The stories they create often involve marginalized characters who have been somehow reduced or overlooked and, in turn, they have exiled or overlooked themselves. Lovers, dreamers, loners, addicts, scribblers, and latchkey kids. Adventures toward wholeness. You can find Katya Mills also on Amazon.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
July 10, 2020
Grand Theft Life (Daughter of Darkness #1), Katya Mills

Ame always knew she was different. The voices in her head reminded her all the time. Anti-psychotics couldn't stop them.

Her abduction from her home to the underworld was foretold. What seemed at first a nightmare, however, turns around. Her kidnapper, Freddy, actually has the heart to protect and care for her. And her new best friend, Bless, a tall and sarcastic American chick with a bastard for a boyfriend, reveals to her the hidden nature which is her birthright.

Paperback, first, 76 pages, Published February 19th 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published February 12th 2015).

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سوم ماه دسامبر سال 2016 میلادی

عنوان: دوره سرقت بزرگ؛ نویسنده: کاتیا میلز؛

در این داستان، نژاد ویژه ای از مردمان مجبور میشوند، با انسانهای عادی درآمیخته شوند، تا از خود محافظت نمایند ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 20/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for J.D. Estrada.
Author 21 books167 followers
February 14, 2016
This is one of the more polarizing reads I've read in a long time, meaning that as I read it, I could easily see why some people wouldn't like it and why other people would love it. Before anything else, I need to say I've never read anything like this write by Katya Mills. That's very good news for people who have an open mind.

If you want a one line description for this book, consider it neo-noir poetic prose.

That said, this book for me puts more emphasis on craft than story, which might put some people off, and that would be a shame. Katya has a unique, odd, and wonderful way of putting words together to create such lush imagery that I really find no better way of describing it than poetic prose.

It's walking through a dark dream set in Oakland where people have telekinetic powers, where the Delux feed on fear, where people communicate with thoughts instantaneously, where sex, violence, drugs, robbery, misdemeanors, and murder happen.

The overriding visual theme of the book is light and its variants. Neon plays a large role, from lightbulbs to luminous cheese puffs that nourish our heroine Ame. She gets kidnapped by a man whose description intimidates as much as it endears.

I say it's like a dream because as a reader you're basically hovering on the plot and that's why I also compare it to poetry, there's a certain ambiguity some people might be bothered with. That said, the craft of Katya is what really sets her apart.

I love reading something different that challenges me and offers a new type of narrative. In that sense, this read delivers in spades.

If I were to break down my thoughts on the book, premise is interesting and would get 4 stars, plot per se would get 4 stars too, maybe a bit less since it's not easy to always keep up and some relationships just pop up on you. Now as for craft, I give it a full on 5 stars because of her unique style. I read a bit and wanted to read more, although more than to push along the plot to see what Katya wrote and how she wrote it.

If you want something different, something that reads like a noir Stephen King daydream filtered through equal parts David Lynch and Sling Blade, give this book a spin. Is it weird? Yes... and unlike anything I've read. Does this mean you will like it? Not necessarily. But it does mean Katya Mills is the type of writer who makes me thankful for self published authors for breaking with normalcy and challenging the status quo.
Profile Image for Katya Mills.
Author 7 books136 followers
February 26, 2015
I am the author of this book. Of course I rated it 5 stars! So don't pay attention to my rating, because I am biased. I just wanted to mention in this review that this book is serial fiction, and this is the first book in the series. This novella also stands alone.

This book is literary fiction. Character-driven. If it fell into a genre, the genre would probably be 'low fantasy'. If you check out wikipedia, you will see that low fantasy means the world is mostly not a made up world. That would be 'high fantasy'. The action in my book is based in contemporary Oakland, California. The characters are mostly human in nature, but have divergent extraordinary abilities. Some of these could be called supernatural. Think of our senses, amplified.

Our heroine, Ame, is unaware of her origins or her people. She hears them in her head for most of her youth. Then she is abducted to the city, where she meets them. She begins to realize where she belongs. In order to survive, her people use alchemy upon humans where they find them, when they roam. This is an often violent practice. Death-dealing.

Ame is conflicted by the practices of her people in this new world. In discovering her own innate abilities, she has the help of her new friends Freddy, Bless, and Maze. But she has yet to unravel the many mysteries of her life and life purpose.
Profile Image for Lacey Reah.
Author 5 books10 followers
December 27, 2015
Katya Mills has a riveting, urban writing style that is all her own. I was seduced by her prose and the way her sentences flow. Her voice and her character was unlike any other I have read and this intrigued me. "Daughter of Darkness" is about a woman who is coming to her own, realizing that she is part of another race of humans with extra sensory perception. They also feed off of fear and are all too aware of how humans are trapped by this fear. However, having super powers does not stop them from rising above the gutter. Ama (the protagonist) and her new adopted family live in the underground and thrive on crime.
I enjoyed discovering this urban underground world with Ame, but I think I wanted her to get into more trouble. She discovers a lot in her adventures, about herself, humanity and her adopted family in crime. However, she seemed to get in and out of trouble a bit too easily and nothing impossible happens that leads to any major climax. Nevertheless, the character of Ame and the beautiful prose of the book still drew me into the story like classic poetry and I really enjoyed it. The city of Oakland is described in all of its dark beauty and I felt like I was prowling the streets myself.
Profile Image for Jen.
Author 7 books111 followers
April 2, 2015
This was one of the most difficult books for me to review. I honestly took much longer than I expected to contemplate how to review this book. I had to talk about this book for days before I could coherently organize my thoughts for this post. I could say this book was stunning, amazing, wonderful--all the adjectives I might use for a 5-star review, but I wouldn't be doing this one justice.

Writers of all ages often wonder about writing the next Great Amercian Novel. Katya Mills has done it.

A hundred years ago, if the genre had existed, I believe William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying would have been something like paranormal fiction.


Did I just compare Katya to Faulkner?

Yes. Yes, I did.

This is a masterpiece of urban fantasy that should be dissected in classrooms and universities. while I may not agree with the socio-political opinions, I recognize the importance of her vivisection of urban gangland. This book kept me engrossed and I even had to reread it before reviewing. I can say that very few books warrant a reread from me, but I got to the end and immediately reread the entire thing.

My first reaction to the first few chapters was, "What the hell?" and I honestly thought I was going to have to pass on reviewing this one, but as I read further on, my opinion sky-rocketed. She left me both confounded, confused, and amazed--and in dire need of a second read. Give this book a place on your shelf and in fifty years when your grandchildren are complaining about their reading in school, remember this moment. They will be complaining about Katya Mills.
Profile Image for Robin Chambers.
Author 18 books44 followers
April 30, 2015
This is a riveting read: gripping in the power of the telling, disturbing in the mindset of the teller. It is short enough to be read at one sitting, and fascinating enough to make it difficult to do otherwise. I suspect that the author – as she says about one of her characters – has “read a lot of culturally-sanctioned literature; from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen to Hemingway.” The style is assured and ambitious: crisp, focused and strong.

“The voices. They were incessant. They reminded me I was not like the others.” “There was a meanness about humans, to which I could not relate.” She says of Freddy – the man who snatched her when she was of age – that he was like family she never knew she had. “Maybe I was ready to start making my own Hallmark cards for a year. Ya. Then open my veins in a Sylvia Plath bath.”

Daughter of Darkness is a powerful poetic monologue from someone who felt so different from those she grew up with/around that she concluded she belonged to a different species altogether: one that looks human, and that lives among humans, but is in fact not ‘human’ in the accepted or acceptable sense. One that has no fear of consequences, and that feeds off human fear. You find them in numbers in the dangerous, poverty-stricken, blighted belts of every concrete jungle. They come out at night, and prey on humans whose fear of consequences makes them easy meat. They can also prey on each other when those inner voices scream…

I urge you to read this book. It thoroughly deserves to be widely read.
Profile Image for Josephine Sorrell.
1,494 reviews28 followers
January 7, 2016
This book is incredible. The writing style is like nothing I have ever read. It is extremely intellectual and creative.

Her name is Ame; she's fast, adopted, weird, loved by her parents and a delinquent. Ame knows she's unusual. Afterall, she has voices in her head that talk to her. Not like a conscience; her head voices are real. One day Ame is suddenly abducted from her home to the underworld. Through this, she enters present day Oakland, California. She joins a diverse group of folks with extraordinary capabilities. While Ame is certainly fearful, she enjoys the mysterious and wonderful experienced. Where, she once felt like an outcast, she is now feels embraced by her new friends. She soon forms a bond with Freddy, the one who kidnapped her to bring her home. Here is where she meets a tall, abrasive girl and finds a sister in Bless. They befriend a young punk with a skateboard and a serious love of ice cream sandwiches. Her new friends and associations nurture her and she feels a co dependency for once in her life. Together they roam the streets, encountering humans and spirits. "The alchemy is in her blood."
Profile Image for Paul Kater.
Author 78 books40 followers
March 25, 2015
Daughter of Darkness is a different kind of fantasy book. It's tense. Paced. Fast. And it introduces you to a world of people who are different from us. Different in a way you can't see. Ame, the main character, is one of those different people. She grows up being 'strange' and it takes a drastic move and lots of strange encounters and experiences before she realises who she is and what she can do.
I was very entertained by the opposite of the title of the book and how these people, who are so different call themselves. If you want to know what that is I suggest you buy the book and read it.
Profile Image for Kristy Rulebreaker.
Author 9 books24 followers
April 23, 2015
I enjoyed reading this book. When I started to read, I couldn't drop it from my hands. I could literary feel that I live in the head of the main character. It was always something happening, in her surroundings, or in her head. I look forward to the next part.
Profile Image for Candra Hodge.
713 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2021
interesting concept about another group of beings living among humans. I found this group intriguing and I hope the author writes more about them.
I won this book through a goodreads.com giveaway.
Profile Image for Terry.
424 reviews89 followers
October 28, 2021
Unique and unusual, but creative genius in my humble opinion. Not a fast read, but the author's poetic prose writing style is genuinely worth it. A cool plot, unlike almost anything else you've probably read for a long while, and stand apart characters make this a great read. May not be for everyone due to the unique writing style, but for those who can stick with it, it's well worth it.
Profile Image for Nat.
912 reviews9 followers
September 26, 2021
It is was alright. Just not my thing I guess. Nice writing style however.
60 reviews2 followers
May 7, 2022
I would have passed.

I almost always give a positive review, as I do enjoy most books I read, however, I honestly didn't enjoy this book. I did receive thus book in a giveaway, but I found it hard to read. I feel that the words were awkward instead of flowing together. It all felt disjointed to me, hard to follow.

91 reviews7 followers
May 17, 2015
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this book for the first ten pages or so. After the eleventh page though, I was hooked. The main character is a girl who was raised by an adopted family. She never fit in at school. She was faster than the boys and acted different than other girls her age. The other kids sensed that Ame wasn't like them. Ame also hears voices in her head telling her that she is special and unique and that one day she will understand who she is and why she is the way she is. The book then skips ahead ten years to Ame having been kidnapped, and driven to Oakland, California, by a man named Freddy who tells her that she is part of his 'people'. The voices have finally stopped talking to her in her head. They have stopped because she is now part of their community in Oakland. The thing that makes her 'people' different from humans is mostly through feelings. Ame fears nothing. She never has. She learns that her people feed off of this Fear that regular human beings feel. She is also connected telepathically to others of her kind. This book was only 75 pages long and can be read in a single sitting as I did. This is the first in a series and I cannot wait to read the second novel to find out what happens to Ame and her new family in Oakland.
Profile Image for E.Y.E.-D.
342 reviews40 followers
January 16, 2016
This book was a tough read for me. The concept seems decent but the story was all over the place. There wasn't any character or story development. Everything seemed to happen very suddenly even relationships between characters. They met then in the next sentence the relationship had evolved. It was a very strange slow read for me. 75 pages should have taken me a little over an hour not a day and a half because I had to keep putting it down.

I only picked up this book because I got the second one through a goodreads giveaway, I will be reading the second one as well since I got for the purpose of reviewing it.
180 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2022
I won this novella in a goodreads giveaway that I entered because the synopsis for an urban fantasy series seemed right up my alley. Unfortunately this was not my cup of tea. An editor could address the issues with sentence structure, typos, and grammar, but I also had issues with the overreliance on exclamation points and a first person narrative from a character that I did not connect with. I enjoy stories with morally gray characters and Villains as the main characters, but I found the characters in this story very one dimensional and just not compelling for me. With some editing I think this book may appeal to some, but I will not be continuing with the series.
Profile Image for Melissa.
731 reviews15 followers
April 27, 2015
~Disclaimer: I received this book for free in a giveaway~

I can't even be nice. This book was a misery for me to read. It jumps all over the place, the dialog is dull to say the least, its hard to tell what is going on, and the relationships between characters developed out of no where. There was a lot of telling and not a lot of showing in this book. The author tells you what the character is rather than showing you what the character is.

The only think I can really give the author credit for is that she obviously understands rhetoric.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
674 reviews
February 5, 2022
I want to thank the publisher for sending me this ebook in a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not sure what to say about this book other than I unfortunately didn’t connect to the story. This was advertised as the first book in this series but it was only 67 pages. Also I just didn’t connect or really understand the world we were being told about through the perspective of the main character whom I also didn’t connect with. This sounded interesting but it wasn’t for me but that doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t find this interesting.
Profile Image for Ted Waterfall.
150 reviews14 followers
July 27, 2019
The main character of this novella is a young girl named Ame who is kidnapped into a life of crime in Oakland. Ame is unique in that she has certain telekinetic skills and the group she is forced to join has similar traits. This, as it turns out, provides her with a support system she had been lacking in the strictly human world from which she had been stolen. I found the book with a lot of undeveloped potential. There were no great suspenseful confrontations, aside from a couple of fight scenes, although the book certainly could have developed some. There weren't even any well developed romantic encounters, even though Ame fell in love with one of the characters. Perhaps the length of the book (fewer than 80 pages) prevented such development and future installments of this series will make amends, but to tell the truth, I'm not real motivated to find out, unless I win another free download like I did this one from Goodreads.com.
Profile Image for Alexis M..
23 reviews
November 22, 2021
As a firm believer in the theory that we are not alone, I was kind of into this book but it took a bit for my interest to continue reading. Mostly, my quirky nature of how other inhabitants would be introduced to human beings on this planet. The main character's description of her origin at the beginning of the story with a shift to ten years later left me super confused. For instance, in III, my mind jumped to a kidnapping until I got to V. Then, I realized the author was setting up a surreal group of beings especially after the main character kept wishing for a normal reaction to arrive.

I will admit this is an interesting style of writing. Not a lot of fluff. Short, descriptive chapters which ebb and flow with action. It made me rethink if this was a style I would like to read in the future. And while I get Freddy is supposed to be like a big brother, I felt major creeper vibes from him.

All in all, I give it a 3.5 but that is because I am debating the writing style.
Profile Image for Sarah  Woodhouse.
233 reviews5 followers
December 17, 2021
I was really excited to read this book. I thought the premise sounded really neat and that it would be an 'otherworldly' experience. I was so wrong. This book reads like a teenage girl who talks and talks and talks without actually giving you any information. Everything was so convoluted and read like leftovers from an acid trip back in the 1960s.

To be honest, I couldn't even tell you enough of what I understood about the book to be able to explain what the heck happened. One minute you're reading about how they're feeling and then bam! They're in this world with no explanation of what brought them there and why? Okay, I get it. She grew up hearing voices and those voices told her things. But what? That actually would've been nice to know. And now she has these abilities but even those are never fully explained. Honestly, I gave it three stars because I thought the concept was a really good one. However, if it wasn't for that, I would've given it one star.
Profile Image for Maggie Mcdonald.
254 reviews3 followers
August 9, 2019
First, I received this book for free by winning a good reads giveaway
Second, I don't think this is the type of book for me. I thought it was urban fantasy but it's reading more like horror or well, a fantasy that is too deep and wordy for me.

the description of the book sounds like she's going to be a kick but lady, but so far I haven't seen it. I'm not too far into the book admittedly, but I have no sense of who she is or what she is or if I even like her. I'm just too confused by what I'm reading. It's beautiful writing. I'm just not that type of reader. Though this review is definitely too wordy, when I read, I like a more plot driven story.

I'm sorry, I won't be finishing this book. I know there is a market for it because Stephen King has a huge audience and I guess this writer reminds me of that. It's just not for me.
Profile Image for Megan.
16 reviews
March 1, 2022
I received the Kindle e-book as part of the giveaway. I had shelved this book because I used to really enjoy genres like this, and I wanted so see if it was something I still liked. The first page drew me in, and it was a fairly quick read. Sometimes the usage of a cluster of descriptive words was tiring to read through, but that didn't deter me or cause me to put the book down. It's definitely an interesting read, and it took me away from my typical historical fiction picks. The ending wasn't much of a cliff hanger for me, not sure if that's intentional or not, as this is part of a continuing series.
Profile Image for Lacey.
498 reviews3 followers
June 6, 2022
Not a long read

I won this book through the Goodreads Giveaway.

The book is only 67 pages long so it's definitely a quick read. It's not my cup of tea. Paragraphs to me were too long and it was kind of on the wordy side where the author used a lot of big words in some parts. And some formatting was off. I couldn't get into the book because of all of this. Sounded very interesting when I signed up for the giveaway, but the book, sadly, was poorly written.

Like I said not my cup of tea but it might be yours.
Profile Image for Kara.
75 reviews
June 28, 2022
I received this book through a goodreads giveaway.

This was a hard rating for me to give because i do think this author has talent, I just don't think it was properly honed in this book. Maybe a better way to explain that is that I don't think the description properly gives you an idea of the novella. Each chapter/passage was highly descriptive and poetically written, but it doesn't allow the reader to have a grasp of what is going on.

I think everyone should give it a shot since it is so short, but it truly isn't written for everyone's taste.
995 reviews1 follower
February 8, 2022
I won this book on Goodreads Kindle and was super excited because I love books with Sci-Fi, etc. It started really interesting but went off on a different path when Ame went to live in California with a group of her own kind. The series needs to have a clear theme but the story may improve with the next book in this series.
1,655 reviews39 followers
May 22, 2022
I very seldom give up on a book .... especially one as short as this one. But, after several attempts, I'm throwing in the towel. I couldn't keep with the plot and really found nothing that engaged me. It is unique and I'm suspect others will enjoy it but I'm giving it a pass.
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.
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