Genre: paranormal fantasy.
Source: publisher via Netgalley (thank you, Momentum Books, for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review!)
Kat Chanter isn’t your ordinary girl. And she isn’t your ordinary vampire, either. The ruthless Directorate would go to any lengths to have her power – including murder. And when that leads to a war between races, Kat’s fate becomes the ultimate prize …
Kat is done with being on the run, or so she hopes. A new pathology job in Paris is her big chance to start afresh, far from the Tabérin Directorate who want her dead. Sure, adjusting to life as a half-vampire, half-human hybrid poses its own challenges, but it’s nothing Kat can’t handle … until the past starts to catch up with her.
Teenage loner Ben is also hiding his hybrid bloodlines and a troubled history with the Directorate. His growing involvement with Yara, the most popular girl in the senior class at his school, exposes secrets that place them both in mortal danger.
Because the Vodas, the all-powerful leader of the Directorate, has made eradicating hybrids like Kat and Ben his obsession. And as his methods grow more extreme, it’s not just his own people, the vampiric Tabérin, who plot to overthrow him. Another ancient and arcane power stirs. One that could threaten them all … (Goodreads)
* * *
My rating: 3/5.
This might be slightly spoilery if you haven’t read the first part of the series. You can read my review of that novel here.
This second part of the Dark Child series starts with Kat’s story in Paris, but we also get another POV, that of a half-blood vampire-human teenager, Ben, who is crushing on a girl that’s off limits for him. This ensures a faster pace for the story as we jump from the US to Europe from chapter to chapter, but it left me a bit confused as to the target audience of this novel. I’d classify Kat’s story as adult paranormal fantasy but Ben’s parts clearly deal with issues otherwise found in YA (and are also less graphic, not that there are many graphic scenes in Kat’s part, but still).
I liked that the story took a more nefarious turn, what with the Directorate moving in on the hybrids and their families and the ominously powerful witches making their stand. Kat is put smack in the middle of the conflict due to her heritage – and she wants nothing to do with it. I liked Kat’s parts better – probably because I already knew her story from the previous book, which made it easier to connect with her.
But there’s a part of Kat’s story that bothered me a lot: she’s one of those “chosen” characters, a reincarnation of a goddess, heir to an all-powerful witchy family, has THIRTEEN strong, sexy men pledging their undying allegiance to her, can influence others with her will, and more. The only thing that saves this problem from overwhelming the story is the fact that Kat is remarkably unimpressed by all these people trying to stash her into their pre-determined roles and fights her “destiny” on every turn. She’s uncomfortable with the responsibility and power that is thrust her way.
And a word on her grandmother: I know not everyone’s grandma bakes cookies and offers warm hugs, but Kat’s grandmother is one scary, manipulative lady. Again, I really like that Kat doesn’t just roll over and let her have her way.
All in all, this was a slightly-too-long second instalment of a series that is actually published in smaller parts. I’m not too sure how this works. But I’ll be looking forward to the next collection of those parts because I like Kat and I really want to know how the things will turn out now.
* * *
Would you read a series-within-a-series like this? It reminds me of those novels from the 19th century which were published in the newspapers first and only later as a whole.