Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

8562565Rating: 4 stars

Series: Nikki Glass #1

I am rereading this series since the final book has been released, which for a long time didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered it to be, but I still liked it. Even though I’ve read a lot of UF over the years, it stands out from other series because all of the supernatural people are descendants of Greek and Norse gods. A select few of their descendants are immortals called Liberi. Many of the them are power hungry bastards.

Nikki is a heroine I genuinely like which is a rarity in UF. She’s actually smart. After being thrust into the world of the Liberi, she’s cautious. Everyone either wants to use her or kill her, but she doesn’t blindly trust them. I love it that she stays level headed in tough situations. It’s refreshing to read about a heroine who doesn’t fly off the handle constantly and put herself in unnecessary danger. Her biggest fault is forgiving too easily, which definitely isn’t the worst fault to have.

The side characters needed more development. More was revealed about Anderson than any of the other side characters. He is interesting. Jamaal was a raging asshole. IDK why anyone treated him kindly. I really hate him. Maggie was nice, but beyond that nothing was known about her. Blake was an ass, but his actions were forgivable. The rest of the characters weren’t notable. The lack of character development wasn’t too aggravating because this was the introduction to this world and page time needed to be spent on other things.

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Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

17340103Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #3

The conclusion to this trilogy was satisfying, but I have mixed feelings about it. The plot was so good. It took some unexpected twists and turns, but the love triangle ruined parts of it. The world building in this series was awesome. It was an original world, and it blended religion, Greek and Norse mythologies, and common and uncommon supernatural races without it feeling disjointed.

Daisy was a rare kind of supernatural, but it made her life more difficult. She was tough, strong, and worked hard to overcome the obstacles that came with being what she was. I liked her because she was flawed. Sometimes she hesitated instead of taking action or would be confused or conflicted about what to do. It made her seem real, so there was no special snowflake here. But when it came to her love life she did not make the best decisions. She knew who she loved. When she couldn’t be with him, she settled for anyone else. I think it bothered me so much because I’m not like that. Her love life was a great source of frustration for me.

I love Cody. He would have been perfect if it weren’t for his indecision about whether or not he wanted to be with Daisy. Werewolves were expected to mate within their own clan, and since Daisy wasn’t a werewolf, he wasn’t supposed to be with her. He was incredibly aggravating because it was so obvious he loved Daisy but kept rambling on about loyalty to his clan.

Stefan was a worthless asshole. I loathe him. I desperately wanted Daisy to take her dagger and plunge it through his heart. She would have been doing the world a favor. He may have been better than the average ghoul but was still capable of killing people. Nonetheless he was not a good guy which he proved throughout the book. Daisy’s response to him made no sense. She was extremely leery of him but thought he was hot. So she threw caution to the wind and explored a relationship with him anyway.

The development with the lawyer did not play out like I thought it would. It was a surprise to find out who his boss was, and that person was capable of causing lots of damage. One small problem snowballed into a much larger one, and most people in the town did not understand the ramifications of their situation. Everything lead up to a big showdown. The end was satisfying but how it got there was not. All of the problems were resolved in an odd, unexpected way. It shouldn’t have been as easy to resolve all of those problems.

I’m glad a I read this trilogy. It was a fun buddy read with the Machalos and gave us lots to discuss. I loved the world and the characters. I really wish more books would be written in this world even if it focused on different characters.

Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey

17340100Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #2

How did this series go so wrong so fast? Dark Currents was awesome, but the things I liked about it weren’t in this. The romance played a big role, and lots of drama ensued. None of which was remotely interesting. I hate love triangles, but I would have been soooo much happier if this had been a love triangle. But no, this was a love quadrangle. Yeah that’s right; there were three love interests. I only really like one of them. I might have been okay with the relationship drama if it were in the background like in Dark Currents, but Daisy’s constant confusion and indecision about the three men consumed her thoughts.

I was really disappointed in Daisy. She had been independent. Roughly one to two months elapsed between this book and the last. How did Daisy go from being a character I admired to one who was pathetic? She was desperate to have a relationship, and apparently it overrode her rational thought. Her dad was a demon, so she was highly susceptible to the 7 deadly sins, one of them being lust. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she were just lusting after the men, but she convinced herself that she had actual feelings for all of them.

Sinclair was the obnoxious douchebag who showed up at the end of the last book. He and Daisy started dating in between books. It was weird because Daisy was all about Cody and Stefan in the last one. I would have expected her to be with one of them instead of throwing in a random relationship with some relatively unknown character. Sinclair appealed to Daisy because he was human, which equated to normal in her mind. But he wasn’t normal. He could see auras and came from a long line of witchy voodoo people. He wasn’t technically otherworldly, but he may as well have been. At least it didn’t take Daisy long to see the error of her ways.

Stefan the ghoul was still around and trying to siphon off of Daisy’s emotions whenever he could. He is a useful ally to have since he is knowledgeable about supernatural creatures and is powerful. Something is off about him. He’s the nicest creeper ever! I’d probably like him if he didn’t withhold vital info from Daisy. I find it damn creepy that he can constantly be in tune with Daisy’s emotions. It’s even weirder how he has to check on her every time there is a spike in them. Daisy’s main interest in him seems to be his ability to take away her emotional spikes. It’s not a good reason to be with him.

Cody is the guy I ship. He is a werewolf, but he acts more normal than any of the other guys. He’s a good guy and doesn’t hide important shit from Daisy. They get along well too. They have a better personal relationship than Daisy has with the other two. It’s complicated because they are different species, and he needs to be with one of his own.

There wasn’t a major plot for the book. Instead there were a several minor ones. Most of them were boring. The issue with the satyr was amusing. The subplot with Bethany wasn’t believable. Jojo was fun. I loved her mouthy antiquated slurs. I just didn’t care about Sinclair’s family drama. Although I didn’t like this book, I’m still finishing out the trilogy. I still think the series can be redeemed.

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

13507967Rating: 4 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #1

This was one of the best UF books I’ve read in a long time. It was engaging and original. For once it didn’t feel like I was reading about the same old regurgitated tropes. Best of all it didn’t have a special snowflake, and it easily could have gone in that direction since Daisy is half human and half demon.

The world was unique. Random places around the world had pockets of hell that overlap with Earth. Supernatural creatures gathered in those places because their magic didn’t last long outside of them. Humans still lived in those places although many of them didn’t approve of the supernatural. The regular supernatural creatures were in this, but it had a host of less common supes like ghouls, nymphs, mermaids, and the Norse goddess Hel. The attention was divided fairly equally amongst the various creatures. This story took place in a small town in Michigan. A college kid died and some things about his death weren’t adding up. Supes were involved somehow, but humans were not happy with the investigation.

I really liked the characters. Daisy was tough and didn’t back down from a fight. Being Hel’s liaison and half demon made her fairly unique, but she wasn’t all powerful because of it. She constantly struggled with overcoming her dark nature. For a werewolf Cody was really nice and didn’t have a strong alpha feel to him. Surprisingly I liked him a lot. Lurine and Stefan were both interesting, but their origins were mysterious. Jen was annoying at first because she acted childish, but she got better at the story went along.

It had somewhat of a love triangle vibe since Daisy was interested in Cody and Stefan. Actually she had the hots for several people including a woman, so her interest in the two men didn’t necessarily indicate a love triangle will occur. Her dad was an incubus, so falling prey to lust may have been second nature to her. The romantic angle was not front and center, so it didn’t get on my nerves too much.

I had been hesitant to read this because I read Jaqueline Carey’s book Kushiel’s Dart and hated it. I was deeply afraid this was going to be another epic fail much like that was. Dark Currents excelled in all of the ways her other book didn’t. Then again that was fantasy and this was UF, and I don’t like fantasy anywhere near as much as UF. Anyway just read this. It’s damn good.