Samantha (Sam) is a character who has shunned all forms of romance -movies, books, real life. She would rather watch an awful zombie movie than watch a good romance story. So imagine her surprise when Stephen Keyes, the boy she has a serious crush on, kisses her. Not only kisses her, but steals her soul away and turns Sam into what is being called the gray, or a human soul stealer. Grays are controlled by their insatiable hunger and appetites for human souls. Some have compared it to being a succubus in that regards which isn’t that far off since they both live off souls.
We learn that Stephen “kissed” Sam on orders from “Her” who we learn has escaped from the Hollow and come to Trinity to recruit more soldiers for her war on Heaven and Hell. Rowen does introduce readers to HER and also her connection with Sam. There are plenty of questions remaining in regards to that relationship which I’ll presume will be answered over the next book or two.
Enter Bishop, the brooding angel who has a mission of his own; rid the city of Trinity of the Gray and stop “Her” from turning more humans into abominations. Bishop, however, has a serious problem. He has been betrayed by a gatekeeper and is now a Fallen Angel with little hope of returning to Heaven or helping Sam with her problem. His memory is jumbled up like an egg in a blender. He needs serious help from Sam in order to just exist. Of course, they seem to have an immediate connection as if they were soul mates. Gee, didn’t see that coming!
For those who love and enjoy the dark nefarious characters, you will enjoy Kraven. I actually loved Kraven’s character more than Bishop. While Bishop is a serious mission driven character who just happens to fall for Sam, Kraven is dangerous, playful, and more interesting. Sam and Kraven’s relationship, or lack thereof, was more entertaining than watching Sam with Bishop. There is also an interesting storyline between Bishop and Kraven that was profound in its revelation.
Naturally, this is the first novel in the series so the world building and character introduction kind of dragged on for a time. Rowen needed to build her so called Demon/Angel dream team that is made up of Bishop, Kraven, Roth, Zach, and Connor.
There’s the best friend, Carly Kessler, who goes to the dark side and doesn’t really care what Sam thinks about her choices. However, Carly does redeem herself in a huge way, which I shalt not spoil!
As for my thoughts on Sam’s character, I was pleasantly surprised that she didn’t mope around or cry about her loss of soul. She took it personally and went after the cause of her pain and suffering. She stands up to Kraven and the other demons who want to kill her because she’s a gray, and yet, they need her because she has special abilities no one else does. As a female teenager, you expect some sort of angst while trying to maintain good grades and a friendship with Carly. The angst was, surprising, not prevalent throughout the story.
My one complaint, yet again, is the lack of a parental unit in regards to guiding and developing Sam. Once again, we find that Sam’s parents have divorced, and the one remaining parent spends more time at work and with so called clients, that with her own daughter. No wonder she lashed out by shoplifting.
Overall, while the story itself is interesting enough, I can’t help thinking back to other demon angel series like Fallen as a starting point when comparing YA series. Wicked Kiss will be releasing at a later date and I’ll most likely find time to read that story as well.
ARC Received via Netgalley for Harlequin Teen. Releases May 29th 2012.
Author: Michelle Rowen
Title: Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers # 1)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Releases: May 29, 2012