Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dark Descendant (Descendant #1) by Jenna Black

Dark Descendant (Descendants, #1)Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

(Synopsis from Goodreads)
From the acclaimed author of the Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist books comes the gripping first novel in a new series about a private eye who discovers, to her surprise, that she’s an immortal huntress.

Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . .

Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy.

But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

Sigh. Jenna Black's Dark Descendant left me feeling...disappointed. I wanted to love this book. I was ready to love this book! But instead I'm left thinking it's more like a 3 star book with the possibility that the rest of the series will get better. Let me explain.

First of all, someone should give a serious tongue lashing to whoever designed the book cover. While the picture is gorgeous and I love the colors, it is completely misleading. The picture and little comment would lead one to believe that this is a typical urban fantasy with a badass shoot-first-ask-later heroine. However Nikki isn't really...that. She is a private investigator who is just beginning her journey into..er...badass-ness. Nikki gets dragged into the world of descendants of gods, only to discover that she herself is a descendant as well. This means that she is immortal, fast healing, and has some supernatural powers (although, to be perfectly honest, her powers are slightly confusing). And she accepts this pretty comfortably. Sure, in her head she keeps talking to herself about how odd it is, but, really, she adapts quite quickly.

I also took issue with all the contradictions in this book. I think that may have been my biggest problem. Nikki has supposedly always had this gift to find people as part of her ancestry, but, even though she is apparently a really good P.I., she isn't exactly famous or anything. If she had hunting powers that powerful, why isn't she even better at her job? Perhaps it would have been nice to see the story opening with Nikki solving the heck out of a tough case. Then maybe we could have seen her at work and believed she was awesome. There is also a lot of back and forth about Nikki's sister's personality. Is she tougher than she looks and people always underestimate her? Or is she just too kind and sensitive? Make up your mind! Finally, I felt like my emotions were being tugged in all directions. Black makes us hate...no, loathe certain characters and then expects us to do a 180 toward the end of the book and decide to love them. I just had trouble making the change so quickly.

So, I did give Dark Descendant 3 stars, so I must have liked something, right? Well I did really like the idea behind this story. I have always liked mythology, and this story is all about descendants of the gods (Greek, Roman, Norse, etc.) so I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed learning about the descendants and the Olympians (also descendants of gods, but the Olympians are the 'bad guys'). I also liked Nikki, our heroine. I just wanted more out of her, that's all.

All in all, I will read the next in this series to see how the story and the characters grow. I'm hoping this book just suffered a little bit from "first book in a series" syndrome, and the rest will make up for it. Let's hope I'm right!


  1. hmm I have been wanting to read this book. I still might but I hate when we hate a character all through the book then are suppose to love them at then end. I still hate Snape from Harry Potter.lol. I just can't get over hating him for 6 books to like him. Thanks for the review.

  2. Aww shame that this fell flat. I also got the same picture with the cover. I love my badass heroines. I think I'll pass on this one though.

    Xpresso Reads

  3. Awwwww...So Sorry you didn't love this one that much, Christen. I LOVED IT! I think it could swing both ways though b/c there were quite a few that LOVED IT and also a lot with similar thoughts as you did. I hope more happens throughout the series though, b/c the book left room for lots of potential for possibly an awesome ass series!

    @Amber/Giselle: Still do try! You may like it like I did and many others!

  4. I think I will wait a little to read this book now. I've read her other series so I'm still curious to know how this one is. Thanks for the review


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