I received a copy from Netgalley.
This is another one I’m not entirely sure what to make of. It’s described on Netgalley as “the start of a spooky yet romantic dark paranormal horror”. There is nothing romantic whatsoever in this book, at least not to this reader. It certainly managed the dark paranormal horror bit well. It starts off with a scary incident, and the dark creepiness doesn’t let up at all. Not even at the end.
Becket lives in Center City in Philadelphia. She sees something strange in an alley, hears a cry that might be an abandoned baby whilst walking her dog Bob. All her instincts are telling her to run away and never look back but morality wins out. But that single incident is the start of a host of catastrophic events that change Becket’s world forever. It’s subtle changes that barely register at first.
Her dad is the police commissioner and seems to be under the idea that all teenagers are vandals and morons and only out to do no good. Even his sensible daughter. Her best friend is Piper, one of the most popular girls at school. I loathed Piper. Piper is so popular that Becket practically has to make appointments to hang out with her when she can “fit into Piper’s schedule”. Not exactly my idea of a best friend no matter how nice they might be when you hang out. Piper comes from a very rich family and seems to do whatever the hell she wants to regardless of any consequences.
She’s also dating Becket’s neighbor Luke, who unknown to Piper, Becket has had a big old crush on Luke, like, forever, just never done anything about it. She’s too shy. Becket follows the rules, is a good student and generally does what she’s supposed to. Even though occasionally Piper helps her rebel which usually goes wrong. Her police commissioner father is always harsh with the punishments (he doesn’t like Piper at all)
The city seems to be having a rash of violent crimes and bizzare incidents happening. A few of these are described in single chapters from the victim’s view points. Becket’s dad’s nerves are stretched to the breaking point. Becket starts noticing weird things herself and doesn’t know what to think, she’s either going crazy or something really really freaky could be happening. Since that baby incident. She rationalises every possibility that it could be, tries taking pictures of uncomfortable weird things she spots. Anything to prove that it’s not something supernaturally dark or weird.
As a main character Becket is actually very likable. She’s strong, smart and despite bad taste in best friends, a capable girl who thinks things through and doesn’t jump to stupid conclusions. Even when things take a turn for the worst. Thankfully she’s not the only one who’s noticed things are weird and scary out in the world, particularly when the sun goes down. She’s hanging out with Luke at one point and points things out to him - he’s noticed it too.
So what does it all mean? To make things worse Piper’s behavior is getting worse. She’s more callous, she flaunts the rules more than ever and speaks with little regard to what she’s saying or who she might be hurting. Luke’s fed up with her, even Becket is getting irritated. All the while at night things are getting more dark more scary and more violent out in the city.
It soon becomes a city wide epidemic of catastrophic chaos, violence, death, murder and darkness. Though once the sun comes up, things turn to normal. Becket is smart enough to protect herself when the chaos starts going down. I suppose the romance part comes from her feelings for Luke developing throughout, even though he’s supposedly with Piper, even after Piper’s personality hits rock bottom and she becomes part of the people involved in creating chaos in the night. (There are reasons for this of course). It’s a well done relationship starting off slow and a where are we going does this mean anything, what’s happening here? Despite the unravelling madness of the city, Becket has some pretty good teenage crush moments. Kind of a relief from the darkness and unpleasant atmosphere the novel creates.
It has all the makings for a pretty good book, but there was just something about it that didn’t work for me. The unending parade of violence and bizarre acts just bothered me. I actually like horror novels, and horror movies. I’ve seen my fair share of very violent horror movies and read some very disturbing books where the horror and the gore just doesn’t let up. I actually really liked Becket as a main character, I even liked Luke. I even liked the grownups in this novel.
There was just something in this one I just did not like. I didn’t like the end much at all. I’m glad though I read that it was the start of a series according to the Netgalley page on this title because as a standalone I would have dropped the rating. While I wasn’t overly impressed with this book, if there is a sequel I’m still interested enough to know where this story is going.
Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for approving my request to view the title.
Nikki and Liberi face some of the biggest threats to their existence – a furious and vengeful Olympians and a genocidal campaign of actual gods. Which is a big step up from the descendants
And Anderson, their own god on side, is absent, leaving everyone with unanswered questions and a sense of betrayal.
In this book Nikki really steps up as a leader of the Liberi – and it’s really excellently done. She doesn’t demand, she doesn’t start dishing out orders. But she steps up. Anderson is missing and also heavily discredited; everyone is confused, betrayed and sad and kind of lost. Someone needs to step up, someone needs to take over. Someone needs to stop the Olympians from crushing them now their protector who has gone missing. Someone needs to have difficult meetings with Cyrus, head to the Olympians. Someone needs decide what to do about Niobe and her potential world ending campaign. Someone needs to try and find a solution that is both morally acceptable and will save humanity and get some sense of justice. And that someone was repeatedly Nikki. It was excellent to see her becoming leader because she truly earned it. She’s a leader because she showed leadership, she’s a leader because she led when everyone else was hiding and backing down and panicking – she rallied them, made them put aside their differences and kept many disputing factions together to address the actual problem.
I can’t stress enough how pretty awesome she was in this – this book was not about her special powers or her relationships or the world setting – this was about Nikki taking an absolute dog’s dinner not of her making, being surrounded by terrible options and finding a path through them for everyone to follow. She was good and unlike so many leaders in the genre, I am 100% behind Nikki
The whole plot excellently showcases this with great pacing and well conveyed confusion and uncertainty without the plot being either
I do like her relationships as well. Her relationship with Anderson is excellent – she is both in awe, and angry, she is respectful but disappointed, she both demands him being more human while recognising how alien he is. There’s a lot of layers to that
Her relationship with Jamaal is excellent. Jamaal has grown a lot since his early rage cursed existence. He’s not only moved away from that trope but he’s revealed to be a very emotionally complex character dealing with both the powerful effects of the death magic inside him as well as his own traumatic past an abused man and an ex-slave. And the way he works through that with Nikki is excellent – moving at his pace, exploring his triggers carefully, being kind and respectful and gentle. There’s no judgement, no impatience, no rushing and perfect respect of the limits he raises when he needs them and a willingness
Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.
Finally, we have a book four in the Nikki Glass series. I’ve been waiting three years for this book to come out. I can say that I’m glad that this story is finally out in the world. After the long wait, I went through earlier this year and did a revisit of this series (and reviewed since I read these way before I was blogging). I’m really glad that I had the refresher. This book start where Rogue Descendant ends and it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I was glad to see the story take shape quickly.
Nikki is an immortal and a PI. As a descendant of Artemis, she is great at finding things, not to mention has flawless aim with whatever her weapon is. She is coming to terms with her new life. Anderson, the leader of the “good” Liberi is MIA after killing the leader of the opposing and less friendly Liberi group, known as the Olympians. Problem is that Konstantin had a failsafe to protect him. He knew Anderson’s secret, which is a big one. When Konstantin is killed, his failsafe goes into action and Anderson’s very large secret is unleashed upon the world. Nikki is hoping that Anderson is working on solving any ramifications of the secret that is out in the world. However, she doesn’t know for sure.
Also, a woman shows up at the mansion and has even more of Anderson’s secrets. Anderson is someone who isn’t as “good” as he had lead them to believe. All of the Liberi walk a line between good and evil. Anderson’s Liberi lean more towards the good side. After hearing about Anderson’s past, they start to question things even more. This woman is the sister of Anderson’s ex-wife. Needless to say, she is not happy to find out that Anderson is still alive and she is willing to destroy the entire human race to hurt him.
Maybe Niobe’s problem wasn’t so much that she was angry but that she was batshit crazy. I’ve never met anyone with taste in women as epically bad as Anderson’s. If he had a thing for crazy women, couldn’t he have at least stuck to ones who weren’t homicidal.
Another great part of this story was the relationship between Nikki and Jamaal. This is a relationship that has be slowly building since the first book. Well, it finally makes some forward process. Jamaal has issues from his past that have really kept the relationship from making any progress. His past as a slave and the one mistress that owned him and enjoyed his scars and forced sex from him really did a number on him. Add to that the stress of his death magic as a descendant of Kali, makes him quick to get angry.
Although him finding Sita, his tiger which is a manifestation of his death magic has helped him with his stress, she is a jealous tiger and doesn’t like Nikki. Sita and Nikki have a heart to heart, as much as you can with a magic tiger who can’t talk, but thinks on a higher level than a normal tiger. They learn to deal with each other so that they can both make Jamaal happy.
“I’m surrounded by the dead in the middle of the night hoping to pull a previously unknown power out of my ass. What could possibly go wrong?”
“You, however, couldn’t look harmless if you had flowers in your hair and were carrying an armload of kittens. And that face you’re making proves my point.”
This series continues to have wonderful characters and a great premise. I also love the action that goes on this book. There aren’t a ton of fight scenes that you see in some urban fantasy series, but it does have some great suspense that kept me glued to my Kindle.
Jenna Black wrote this where it could be the end of Nikki Glass or where she could continue the series. I for one and hoping that the series has a few more books. I would love to see where Nikki goes from here. If she decides that she isn’t going to continue the series, she did leave it at a place where I could be happy with the series. You can voice your opinion as to whether the Nikki Glass series should continue on Jenna’s website (I’m not sure how long she is taking feedback, but it was open when I posted this review).
|The Nikki Glass Series|
Review originally posted at RabidReads.com.
The Nikki Glass series has quickly become a favorite of mine. It is such a unique world that Jenna Black has created with the descendants of gods that are nearly immortal known as Liberi. Nikki has joined this world when one of the Liberi jumps in front of her car committing suicide giving Nikki his immortality. Now, Nikki is thrust into this world which she knows nothing about. By book three, she is coming to terms with her new life, but is still hoping that one day, she can go back to her life as she knew it. She has yet to give up her office or her condo, though she has closed her office doors and is living with Anderson and his Liberi in their mansion.
The book starts off with a series of arsons, all of which are connected to Nikki. It starts with an accidental fire at her office, then her adopted parents’ house, then her condo, where people died. The former leader of the Olympians, Konstantin, sends an email claiming to be the culprit, but there are questions about that. Anderson’s ex-wife, Emma, also looks really suspicious. She has it out for Nikki, who she is convinced is trying to steal her husband. Nikki on the other hand is trying desperately to make things work with Jamaal.
Jamaal is a descendant of Kali and the death magic that he has is hard for him to contain. He learned in the previous book that he could channel some of the death magic into a phantom tiger, Kali’s animal, just like the descendant of Anubis did with jackals. However, his tiger, SIta, is very jealous of anyone who takes any attention away from her, so Nikki is on her hate list. Jamaal has a hard time controlling her when Nikki is around. This really puts the breaks on their relationship just when things were starting to move forward.
There is some action as Nikki is kidnapped twice and some romance between Jamaal and Nikki. We get to see a lot more of Cyrus, Konstantin’s son and the current leader of the Olympians. He has a lot more up his sleeve than he lets on. The overall story arc doesn’t progress as much as I would like and there is a cliffhanger at the end. I’m really glad that Ms. Black pushed to finish this series, even if it took a little longer than expected. I’m real excited to get to the next and final book in the series that comes out later this month.
Sophie Eastlake continues to do a great job with the narration. There is nothing overly complicated about this narration, no accents or anything, but the different voices are all clearly defined. I do listen at an increased speed, but that is pretty much a standard thing for me. She does good with male and female voices. I do know that the final book will be put on audio. So far, I haven’t heard anything about audio.
|The Nikki Glass Series|