Title: Kiss of Darkness
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: January 24, 2011
File Size: 395KB
My Copy: ARC from NetGalley
Winter, a hybrid, has spent her life at war. A group of humans who are part demon, the hybrids, along with the lupines and nightwalkers, have dedicated their lives to defeating demons and protecting humanity. Yet, despite their united cause, the three groups share an uneasy alliance.
When hybrid military compounds come under attack from demon insurgents, Winter has no choice but to turn to the lupines and nightwalkers for assistance. It’s a partnership based on necessity and she has no intention of letting down her guard with either group.
Marcus, the nightwalker Lord, has other plans. The immediate attraction between him and Winter promises a passion he can’t ignore. To claim her as his own, he’ll not only have to fight the demons who seem hell-bent on destroying her, but her own misconceptions about him and the nightwalker race. It’s a battle he refuses to lose.
Kiss of Darkness is a unique read that really stands out in today’s plethora of vampire fiction. An end-of-the-world type feel was prominent throughout this novel but it also contains just the right amount of romance and supernatural lore. Winter, the main character, is strong, independent and someone you’d definitely want at your back. The male characters are a different story. None of them really stood out and they had similar personality traits that made them all sorta blend together.
The story line gives the book a real sense of urgency from beginning to end. There was never a doubt in my mind that the furture depends on their success. A select number of humans have accepted to bond themselves with demons in order to increase their strength and gain new abilities. These hybrids are able to control their demon halves for about 60 years. At which point, they need to bond with a mate or else their demon halves take over. I’m not a big reader of war literature but I really enjoyed the way that Loribelle Hunt incorporated elements like attack strategies, briefings and chains of command into the plot. It was well done and matched the tone of the novel.
I adored Winter as the main character. There are two very distinct sides to her personality. One being the hard-ass army commander and the second, her intense struggle with love and loss. Her number one priority is her job but she also wants to be happy. She’s reluctant to accept just anyone as a mate even if not choosing one means that her demon half will eventually take control. Winter would rather choose death over eternity with someone whom she doesn’t love unconditionally. Definitely not an easy choice but she knows what she wants and sticks to her guns. I admire her.
The main members of Winter’s Team: Gia and Dupree, are great characters as well. They’re similar to Winter in many ways but they also have their own unique internal battles. Which brings me to the men and my main negative feedback on this book. Marcus is a nightwalker (a.k.a. vampire) who also turns out to be Winter’s “destined mate”. If you can get past his overly possessive nature he’s probably a decent guy but I couldn’t. His need to control her in every way was just so overwhelming. I felt nothing for Marcus. No sympathy, no attraction; I didn’t really care what happened to him in the end. He wasn’t the only male to possess this distasteful trait, all of the males with mates acted similarly. The feminist in me hated all of the male characters in this novel. That’s not to say that I’m a huge advocate of women’s rights but these guys really pushed my buttons (and not in a good way!).
Once I got past the chauvinistic men, I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t come across humans merging with demons in a novel before and thought it was a great twist. Loribelle Hunt’s world building skills are phenomenal. I found myself feeling edgy in between attacks and worried about the outcome of the battles. Kiss of Darkness is a good read for fans of end-of-the-world type scenarios but if you’re looking for heart warming romance or a new fictional man to fantasize about you should look elsewhere. I definitely recommend that you meet Winter though, she rocks.
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This book counts towards my goals in Book Chick City’s Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge.
About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada