Nikki Glass, Immortal Huntress
Dark Descendant (2011)
I have to admit that one of the reasons I buy books and then don’t read them for awhile, is because I don’t like knowing anything about a book before I start reading it (this obviously does not hold true for a series). This is also the thing that makes me buy books based upon their covers. Because most blurbs sound horrible to me. This is also why I love book blogs, and why they’re so dangerous–if I book is highly rated by several book bloggers whose tastes tend to follow mine, then it’s hard not to snatch it up immediately.
My solution for this is to add these books to my Amazon Kindle Wish List, and then check regularly for price drops, which is how I ended up which Dark Descendant and its sequel. (I find it very very hard to turn down a cheap ebook.)
So I picked up Dark Descendant knowing nothing about it, except that the main character is female, and wields a gun, and it was a supernatural fantasy, because that’s how I’d categorized it when I bought it.
I was very pleasantly surprised to discover there are no vampires or werewolves in this book.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against vampires and werewolves, but they are being overdone, and it’s nice to see another area of folklore revisited.
In this case, that area of folklore is gods and goddesses. Yeah, it’s not unique–after all, Jennifer Estep is doing this quite well with her YA Mythos Academy series. But there are a lot of different gods and goddesses out there, and even more ways they can be worked into a modern setting.
Here we have the human descendants of gods and goddesses (and not just the Greek and Roman pantheon either) struggling to remain hidden in the human world.
Plus, other stuff.
And of course that other stuff is where it gets interesting.
Nikki Glass was abandoned as a child, and only after bouncing from foster home to foster home, adopted by a very wealthy couple who already had one natural child. I admit, I found this portion of the store to be absolutely fascinating. Nikki admits her jealously of her beautiful older sister–yet clearly loves her as deeply as she would a blood sibling. Nikki also struggles to be independent and not live off the trust fund her parents set up for her (they also set up one for her sister) while still appreciating everything her adopted parents did for her.
I really liked this complexity in Nikki, and although she didn’t trust easily, she does trust and love her sister (her parents don’t make an appearance in the story).
I’m also fascinated by the mythology of the human descendents of the gods and goddesses that is being developed.
I’ll admit, I did have issues with the way Nikki was introduced to this, only because it seems like the one who introduced her could have done so in a way that would have made things a hell of a lot easier for everyone involved. But I decided to let that slide and went on with the story, and did enjoy it.
So, it was a fun story, and I’ve already started the second book, but I wasn’t blind to some issues with the plot.
Published by Pocket Books
Deadly Descendant (2012)
Nikki Glass is a Descendant of Artemis. A few months ago she knew nothing about Descendants, but much has changed since she accidentally killed a man and became a Descendant herself. The community she has become unwillingly attached to has need for her particular skills–in her prior life she was a private investigator, which is the second reason she stays (the first being the protection it affords her adopted family.)
If you didn’t read this first book, it’s possible you might find this story confusing. If you did read the first book, you may wonder about the near absence of Nikki’s sister. She comes up in conversation, but Nikki spent so much time talking to her and worrying about her in the first book, it seems strange she’s almost completely absent from this story.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was we spent more time with Jack, the Descendent of Loki. I’m always fond of reading about tricksters.
“Since when have you become an expert in dog behavior?” Blake countered. Jack grinned.
Wasn’t it just this morning you called me a son of a bitch?”
“I’ve seen you change forms before. You don’t have to be naked to do it.” When he’d changed in the living room, his clothes had changed right along with him. He grinned at me and stretched out his legs to give me a better view. “I don’t technically have to, but it’s more fun this way.”
Jack is done very well, a completely chaotic good bordering on chaotic neutral character–you’re never sure what he’s going to do next, but it’s also clear that he supports Anderson and everything he is trying to do.
As in the previous book, the story is interesting and held my attention, but it also becomes clear this is going to be a boinking series, which drops my interest (NOTE: this is due to my personal preferences, not because of the way the boinky bits were written.)
So, I’ll see if the next book ever drops in price, otherwise, I probably won’t be picking up the next in the series. I liked it, but I didn’t like it that much.
Published by Pocket Books