Release Date: April 26, 2011
More Info: Amazon
Series: #1 in the Descendant Series
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. . . .
I love mythology, always have. I grew up reading the Greek myths (among others) so the synopsis for this book immediately grabbed me. So did the book. I read it in 2 sittings and stayed up late to finish it.
It's action packed, with hardly a breath for Nikki or the reader. Nikki is a pretty standard UF lead female - something of a loner and an outsider, independent, resourceful, impulsive. She's not as kick-ass as some but over the course of the book that changes. To the best of her knowledge she's just your garden variety human being, and she, like most humans, never knew that the ancient gods were real or that there were living descendants. When she discovers that she is an immortal, descended from Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting, the wilderness and animals, she has trouble accepting it. Gradually she accepts the knowledge, and in a desperate bid to protect both herself and her adoptive sister from newfound enemies, she learns how to fight and to fight dirty.
There's quite a lot of dirty tactics in this book in fact, and some moderately graphic violence, including torture. Nikki has to adapt and learn to cope with how both sets of immortals behave. It's a dark book, but if you are familiar with the original Greek myths, or pretty much any mythology, you know that is standard. It's the rare mythological deity who plays nicely, says please, and never hits someone. It's a dark book but there's also hope, humor and some likable characters. It's a largish cast and a few were short-changed in terms of development but maybe Black will rectify that in future books.
Most of the characters are varying shades of gray when it comes to morality, especially the "good guys", the Liberi Deorum, whom Nikki ends up working with. They are violent, willing to torture, quick to distrust and slow to forgive. The leader, Anderson, comes off as manic depressive or maybe schizoid. He ends up being neither; he's not quite what he seems though he readily admits to being tyrannical.
So, what about the bad guys, the Olympians? They are less well developed, more clearly the bad guys, the black hats if you will. Again, I'm hoping that in future books Black will develop them more and explore the individual characters.
I enjoyed this book and I am definitely looking forward to reading more in the series. It's a solid urban fantasy story with enjoyable, interesting characters, a backdrop of different world mythologies, lots of action and decent character development.
This paperback was received from the publisher for review.