May 11, 2011

Review: Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

Dark DescendantDark Descendant (Descendants, book 1) by Jenna Black

Genre: Urban Fantasy

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. . . .


Jenna Black is the reining queen of gray morals.  Whether she's dealing with a possessed exorcist or a teenage girl who can bring fairy magic into the human world or technology into the fairy world.  Moral grounds are never black and white in her tales, and Dark Descendant is no exception.  In Black's latest world descendants of gods walk among the general populace, never really knowing they are descendants other then a few heightened abilities.  The first children of the gods where given immortality, but all of there other descendants were not.  What the gods didn't anticipate was that if an immortal is killed by another mortal descendant they loose there immortality to the murderer.

The good guys are only good guys because they have a few higher moral fibers then the Olympians, who believe that they are the ultimate power as descendants of Greek Gods.  They kill humans with out shame or guilt, then hunt other descendants so that they can't steal there immortality—even though the murdered descendants have no idea what they are.  They kill all descendants that aren't from the Greek Gods and any young children are then brain washed so that they can be weapons against other immortals who are not part of the Olympians.

Maggie is tricked into killing a immortal who is part of the "good guys" faction.  Unfortunately, the other immortals don't see it that way and believe she's working for the Olympians.  After getting gravely injured, she's then brutally battered, strangled, and hurt again and again.  Only once is she actually injured by the Olympians. 

As many of the descendants are from savage time periods and see society today as being soft.  Getting your head chopped off, being hanged, and burned at the stake to repent wrongs to your leader is nothing to them.  They can go from stabbing someone's eye out, to having a nice cop of coffee in the next scene.  Like I said, Black is the queen of gray morals.

This book is too fast paced for a romance and Nikki is a strong female lead who doesn't have the stupidity to look for a boyfriend while she needs to protect her loved ones.  She's strong and can cope with a crises while still holding on to her moral basis. Even though there's no romance for the main character there is a possibility of two very different guys that give me chills.  Not only are they hot, they're right on that moral gray line of being bad boys to evil psychopaths.  Much like Chloe Neill's Chicagoland vampires, there is a side character romance going on that just makes me go "ahhhh."  The better part about this side story romance is the two aren't just jumping into bed like the aforementioned book.  This is one that is going to grow, and I like a good romance with foundation.

Jenna Black has clearly created a fantastic new world for her fans.  Greek myth is something I've always loved.  The best part is that this feels like a combination of Highlander meets modern day Xena.  Children of Zeus are walking around throwing bolts, picking up heavy suitcases, and our leading lady Nikki just happens to be a descendant of my favorite goddess Artemis.  The good guys aren't easy to spot, the power plays are surely going to be something to keep readers guessing.  Still, the plot manages to be too predictable to be called anything but average.  Black has clearly created a fantastic new world for her fans to fantasize about.  Sadly this book is just an average introduction. 

Sexual Content:  A child of Eros who uses sex a weapon, rape, and hints of sexual abuse.  Dirty talk and humor.

Rating-3/5 Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

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Amazon: Dark Descendant

Goodreads: Dark Descendant

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