Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)

  Title: Dark Kiss
  Author: Michelle Rowen
  Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  Publication Date: May 29th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 3 stars
  Reviewed by: Rachel

Dark Kiss is one of the latest in the string of angel books we see hitting the YA category. While I was hoping for a little more, this was a quick, easy and fairly enjoyable story to read. 

As the story opens up we are introduced to Sam and her best friend Carly as they are going to the town's popular teenage club. Right away Sam's long-time crush, Stephen, singles Sam out and kisses her. This kiss is different than any she's experienced, drastically changing her and opening up a new world and new powers. This change comes with a huge drawback, a hunger that can't be satisfied with food. Soon she learns that she is part of a bigger world, one of angels, demons and others and now she's on their radar. She finds out there are angels and demons working together to stem the tide of "grays," growing in number fast. Grays pose a threat to humans because they can suck the souls out of them. Bishop is an angel in charge of this mission but ever since he's been back on earth he has had trouble finding and gathering his team and focusing at all. His mental status is hovering around crazy. Sam, seeing Bishop and mistaking him for a homeless, vulnerable teen in need of help, stops to assist him and touches him, clearing his mental fog. Not only is she able to do that, but she is also able to see where the other team members are and leads Bishop to them. No one knows why she's able to do this but she has just become an unwelcome member to this team. Most of the members are not too pleased.   

I enjoyed the author's original take on the whole angel and demon lore and her vivid descriptions and imagery made the scenes come alive. Unfortunately, for me the story felt a little lacking in depth. Bishop was a main character yet I didn't feel we got much on his back story to help us understand his motivations. I admired Sam's loyalty to her best friend and her desire to help ones in need however, her actions and reasoning had me shaking my head in disbelief. Her naïve trusting of other characters, even with little information or answers, made want to pull my hair. Her ping-pong feelings towards Bishop were also an irritation for me. The romance felt a bit forced and while it wasn't technically an insta-love, it certainly had some of the identifying marks of one. 

This story took a positive turn for me though, in the last twenty-five percent. Sam seemed to smarten up and finally got her feelings sorted out and the story pace picked up considerably. Another plus for me was the fact that this didn't leave off on a cliffhanger. The story wraps up nicely while leaving you wanting more. I will be picking up the sequel to find out what happens next. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for allowing me to read this story.


Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

It's a shame this was a little lacking in depth but I'm glad to hear you thought the take on angel lore was original enough. I'm reading an angel book at the moment - it's good but not great, which seems to be the case for me for lots of angel books, and I think Dark Kiss might fall under that category. Anyway, great review, Rachel! I'm glad to hear the book wrapped up well and has you looking forward to the sequel. :)

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Rachel, again I am so glad you are here! I have this book coming up to review. I wish I was more excited but almost every review I have read is kind of lackluster. Sounds like you thougth overall it was a decent read even though one of the characters lacked depth. At least there is no cliffhanger, obviously that earns extra points, right?

Anonymous said...

I think because it was angels, I started this one with more trepidation than it warranted. Rowen is a fairly fun writer and that's why I completed the novel but they use the word "soul mate" at the end. !!! I hate that word. A lot. Haha. Anyway, great review.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

The beginning of this sounds pretty formulaic, but I get what you saying about the original take on angels and demons, and I want to meet Bishop so badly it hurts. Too bad that the romance felt forced to you and that it wasn't convincing enough. You're the expert after all.
BUT, despite my initial reluctance, my friends (you included, obviously), have finally convinced me to read this, just to satisfy my curiosity.

Mimi Valentine said...

Same here, Rachel! I really liked this book, but sometimes I wished that we could get more out of the characters too -- by the end, I ended up being the girl who completely fell in love with Kraven even though he wasn't even a love interest LOL x) But oh my gosh, as much as I adored this book the first time around, I just got to chat with Bishop and Kraven for the blog tour for Friday and they made me laugh so much that I promise a lot more character fleshing out will probably be in the second book!! :D

Thanks so much for the awesome honest review, Rachel! The last bit of the book WAS the best, wasn't it? I wanted to give it hugs! x) <3

Rachel said...

I love stores with no cliffhangers! So glad to hear that this one doesn't end in one!
On the other hand, I really like real romance that is not forced.
Still, this sounds like a fun book!
Wonderful critical review Rachel! :)

Suzanne (Parabooklover) said...

I totally agree with what you say here Rachel. There could have been a lot more depth to this story, and I really didn't enjoy the romance at all. I would probably read the next instalment aswell though, just out of morbid curiosity lol. Awesome review

Preet said...

I finished this recently too! I agree with what you said, there could've definitely been more development. However, I think it was a pretty good book to set things up for future books.

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this, Rach! The beginning sounded a lot like Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments to me and I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of angel-themed books as I haven't enjoyed any of the ones that I've read, yet!

But seeing as you're willing to read the sequel, I might give this a go!

Unknown said...

I agree, this book has a great ending! The story wraps up nicely and the main character, Sam, becomes much more likable toward the end. She annoyed me sometimes, but I'm glad that she becomes more mature throughout the story. I actually found Dark Angel very romantic LOL! x)

Amazing and honest review, Rachel! <3

Leanna Elle said...

This one sounds like an okay read - not one that I'd rush out and buy, but one I will definitely try to get to before my Netgalley copy expires!

Rachel said...

Mandee, if you're looking for an amazing angel story, you might want to try the Unearthy series or Angelfall. Those are wonderful! :)

Anonymous said...

I read Dark Kiss some time back and I didn't enjoy it too much either.
I agree about the main character being too trusting at times. I also felt that the romance was flat too. :/
Great review, Rachel. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...