Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) Featured
Didn't Do It For Me
The premise of DARK KISS is very interesting to me--a new form of evil that requires Heaven and Hell to work together to defeat it? Sounds intriguing. Unfortunately, this book didn't quite grab my attention the way the premise did. Part of what held me back was the fact that much of the important stuff that happens (or is supposed to happen) in the book is kept very vague for the reader. For example, it took over 100 pages before Bishop (the love interest) finally reveals his mission even though he's been dancing around the topic for a while. And he isn't dancing around the topic because they are in constant danger or conflict either. It seems to be simply to drag out the revelation as a pacing device, and it made me impatient with the story because I can't care about what I don't know about. And near the climax, Samantha comes up with a grand, heroic plan to save the day ... but she never tells us her plan. So when it starts to go awry, we really have no idea that's the case because we didn't know the plan in the first place. I found it hard to connect with the plot when things felt vague or thrown together at the last minute.
I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. Part of this was because while we are giving a constant stream of backstory details for the main character, we get very little about the others. The revelations are a long time coming, the gaps are still huge, and I found it hard to care as deeply as I wanted to.
Much of the writing style involves telling the reader something and then either repeating it or explaining it again in greater detail. I felt like this slowed the book down. I wanted more action and drama, more supernatural beings in conflict, and less repetitive introspection. Most of the exciting stuff happens either off page (like the angels and demons hunting down the new threat) or before the book starts (like the origin of the threat). I really wanted to be able to experience the exciting stuff for myself, not just be told about it after the fact.
I also felt the worldbuilding was a bit too vague. The author has a new theology built for how angels and demons are created and what their purpose is etc, but only some of it is given to us. That left me with questions and with comparisons against the more familiar Heaven vs. Hell theology, and I had a hard time really buying into the world as a result.
All of that being said, I think the new threat the author created is fascinating. I think what happens at the end of the book sets up a ton of very interesting conflict to be dealt with in future books. I'm hoping that the author gives us more excitment, more action, and a deeper look at the characters in the sequel.
Dark Kiss Disappointment
I wanted to love this, I really did, but I just couldn't get into it. The cover caught my eye and the summary sounded interesting - good vs. evil having to work together to save the world? I'm down. A dangerous kiss? Sign me up! I got about two chapters in and completely lost interest. There were too many similarities to other books for me, City of Bones, Twilight, and Hush Hush but it just fizzled. I did finish it hoping maybe I would be wowed but I wasn't. This just wasn't the book for me. *ducks tomatoes*
Background: Samantha is just an ordinary girl, except that she craves attention everyone once in a while, otherwise she is perfectly normal. That is until she is kissed by her long time crush Stephen, only it isn't what she expected it to be. Samantha realizes that the kiss has changed her and finds a very strange guy with bright shiny eyes on the street who tells her that she must help him. Thrown into a world of angels and demons, this ordinary girl must figure out who can be trusted.
Review: I am happy to say that I could not put this book down. First off, the cover is what pulled me in, very dark and alluring. Then I started reading and at first was very confused. Samantha is a fairly likable protagonist, but she was a little underdeveloped for my liking, thus 4.5 not 5 stars. Rowen wrote Sam's character in a way that thrusts us right into the story but doesn't really build her up until much later.
What I loved was the suspense and action. There was constantly something happening, and because the character development in the beginning was a little lacking in the beginning, this was possible. Right off we are with Sam as she has her life thrown upside down by Stephen's kiss and then immediately after that she meets Bishop and the others.
This was a very quick read because of the swift plot-line, I think it is a great alternative to many of the other angel books already written in the young-adult genre. It was a little more macabre and not as... angsty (not saying it wasn't angsty but lesser than most).
Great YA paranormal read.
(I was given a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley.)
He spoke softly into my ear. “I should warn you, it’s a very dangerous kiss. It’ll change your life forever, so you have to want it.”
If I wasn’t feeling so flustered, I might have thought he was being cocky. I mean, please. A kiss that could change my life forever?
17-year-old Sam can’t believe what’s happening when a crush from her past turns up at her local club – Crave, and starts to show an interest in her! Sam isn’t the prettiest girl ever, in fact she thinks she’s rather ordinary looking with her brown eyes and long brown hair, and she doesn’t usually attract a lot of attention. But Stephen’s kiss does something strange to her, and now she’s constantly hungry, and boys are suddenly looking at her in a new light.
Coming across a despondent looking boy on the streets she stops to see if she can help, and finds herself mixed up in something weird. She thought he was just a kid living on the streets, but when he pulls a shiny gold blade and stabs another kid who is rooting around in the garbage, she screams and runs.
Sam’s world has been turned upside down though – she eats and eats but never feels full, she’s sure she saw the kid who got stabbed, alive and lurking outside her school, and she’s strangely drawn to the boy with the golden blade who called her a ‘gray’.
What did Stephen’s kiss do to her? Who or what is the boy with the golden dagger? And what in heaven or hell is a ‘gray’?
I really enjoyed this book. Right from the beginning I was totally sucked in to Sam’s life and the difficult position she was put in, and didn’t want to put this down!
Sam is still reeling from her parent’s divorce, and the fact that she got caught shoplifting recently. The shoplifting was just something she did because she wanted to feel in control of something, and it was really out of character for her. Generally Sam keeps to herself, and spends time with her best friend Carly. Meeting Stephen at the club and him being interested in her was too good to be true really, which she soon realises. As much as Stephen thinks that what he has done to her will help her, she’s sure she knows better.
Meeting Bishop – the guy with the gold dagger, was possibly coincidence, possibly something more, but Sam knows that she should help him. Only when she’s touched him does she realise that he’s something more than a regular kid, and that she is possibly more than just a regular kid too.
The romance between Sam and Bishop was sweet and forbidden, and there was the constant tension of whether or not they would give into their temptations and kiss, even when they didn’t know the consequences of their actions.
There are also lots of fun secondary characters – both good and evil, and plenty of twists in the tale that I really didn’t see coming!
Overall; this was a great, YA, paranormal read, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
8 out of 10.
Guess I'm the minority, but I liked it
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
ARC received by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Release Date: 5-22-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Daunting, Delightful, and Delicious!
Samantha is not the only one struck with an insatiable hunger! Read Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen, and I am sure you will find yourself hungering for more! Dark Kiss is delectable—so tasty, I devoured it in one sitting!
Yes, this is another book in the angel/demon category, but, even with the aspects that resembled other books, I still really enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me is the very déjà vu feeling I got because much of the plot line resembled the old WB drama, Charmed. (I mean there’s a Source (of evil) and the Hollow (which sucks good and evil inside it)—both of which are very similar to the television show).
I know quite a few people are burned out on the whole angels and demon scenes; so, I’m going to try to convince you WHY you should read this book.
1.) You don’t have to spend half the book watching the main characters try to figure out who and what they truly are—that’s the biggest thing that bugs me with some paranormal books. It’s so obvious to us as the reader that at times you just want to rear back and slug someone while screaming, “Seriously? They have wings….must be an angel or demon!” It’s not like this with Dark Kiss…right from the start, Samantha figures out who Bishop (we’ll call him Cutie #1) is and who Kraven is (we’ll call him Cutie #2).
2.) There is plenty of action! There wasn’t any down time where the characters were moping in self-pity because “woe is me….the world is ending and I don’t know what to do.” Instead, the characters are straight forward with what needs to be done, and they don’t sit around—they get straight to work. There was never a dull moment!
3.) The hottie guys! Bishop, angel, has been sent to, quite literally, save the world. However, when he falls from Heaven into our world, something goes wrong and he ends up a little disjointed. Enter Samantha who’s touch can open Bishop’s mind and make him sane again. Not only that, but they have an intense pull towards each other. This pull is what creates the romance in the book. Now, I do wish there was more romance because I’m a sucker for it, but I’m hoping that we will see more of that in the second book.
4.) Then we have Kraven, demon, who has also been sent to save the world. He’s dark, sarcastic, and all to willing to kill whatever gets in his way. Let’s say Bishop’s the light that Sam is drawn to, but who can resist Kraven, the dark? I really enjoyed him, and I have a feeling we are going to see quite a bit more from him in the second book. Can we predict love triangle?
5.) The ending is satisfying. While there is plenty still up in the air and much to still be resolved in future books, the ending does not leave you screaming and pulling your hair out. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t enjoy cliffhanger endings. It frustrates me that I have to wait a year in some cases to find out if someone lives or dies. I like when things are wrapped up (somewhat), so I can have some closure but still look forward to the next book.
So…don’t be put off by the fact that it’s another angel book. It’s refreshing in its own way, and the guys are swoon-worthy. I think you’ll find Dark Kiss to be a tasty read, so get sucked into Michelle’s world—you never know what you’ll find!
The Main Idiot
First of all, I just want to congratulate myself on actually finishing this book. I haven’t read many Angel books but I still found myself rolling my eyes, slamming the book shut, and repeating,“You’re the biggest idiot I have ever met. Why are you so stupid?”At least ten times each chapter
Even Kraven and all his smart ass remarks were not enough to keep me from throwing down the white flag and metaphorically shutting this e-ARC. What’s worse, I had such high hopes, such is the way with all brand new paranormal romance releases.
I wasn't impressed, wasn’t moved or stimulated. It’s not as if Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen is a bad book, completely poorly-written. Because that isn’t true. It’s just so been there, done that that I couldn’t bear to keep wading through the predictability.
Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 6/7/12
For some reason, when I think of Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen and its setting, I visualize cities like Chicago as the backdrop. Kind of dark, edgy, and, for some reason, rainy as well. It feels very atmospheric, sort of consuming your focus with wandering imaginings of what this place might actually look like. But dark, urban settings totally rock for these equally dark paranormal stories. It gives the story that much more of an edge, and so much playing room.
I know it’s so cliché of me, but there’s a reason why I liked Luc Caine from Lisa Desrocher’s Personal Demons so much. The bad boy with the clever, snarky quips and dangerous, intimidating demeanor always wins out over the (relatively) nice guy. Kraven is a demon and one of the two who make up the team of four supernatural beings responsible for this divine mission to restore balance and blah blah blah. The point is this guy knows how to burst a moment, anger, deflate, put down, fight—I can’t say I love the guy, but he is certainly an improvement to the rest of the cast. He has a presence in the story where the others do not, and I found myself forming a quick attachment to his character.
Just Your Typical Paranormal Romance
Dark Kiss was a disappointment. This is the kind of book that turns people away from all the angel/demon books out there. Scratch that, this is the kind of book that turns people away from the whole paranormal romance genre. This is the kind of book, though, that, while some people dislike it, others will love it and gush about it. Which is why this was one of those books that I kept reading, despite disliking it a few chapters in, due to all the gushing and the recommendations I was getting from friends and fellow bloggers. This is also the kind of book that earns a facepalm, a wince, and a new home.
We have Samantha, a girl portrayed as a perfect goody-two-shoes – no one special, but after some hot guy she’s been drooling over for years Kisses her, all the guys start panting after her. Soon after that, – who would’ve guessed? – she meets this other hot bad boy who she feels this undeniable, dangerous attraction to, and he appears to return her feelings. And then she finds out that she’s special. One-of-a-kind. Fight-worthy not only because of how beautiful she appears to have become after being Kissed and turning into a soul-less Gray. Best of all, Bishop needs her to complete his mission. When she touches him, the whole world becomes crystal freaking clear and okay again. Her touch is magical. Bishop needs her touch. And thus begins the fading of what seemed to be a promising – though albeit unoriginal – plot, and the beginning of another insta-love, star-crossed lovers story.
Frankly, it’s impossible to fall in love with someone at first sight. You can fall in lust. You can be attracted to them. But loving someone means you like them, their personality, the way they are, and accept all their little flaws. Unfortunately, you can’t figure one’s personality or flaws out upon first glance. Not even after the first conversation. I’m a firm believer in the fact that love – no matter how sigh-worthy or glorious – takes time. But it was instant for Bishop and Samantha. They didn’t even really carry on a proper conversation. Everything they talked about was either an argument, about the angel/demon mission, or about the Source. Samantha knows Bishop’s an angel, dangerously sexy, dangerously dangerous… and that’s about it, though her hand has gotten quite acquainted with his.
Hun, that’s pitiful.
Kraven. I liked Kraven, and the way he lightened up the feigned intense, somewhat ridiculous ‘steamy’ stare-downs that’ll go between Samantha and Bishop every time their gazes met. He seemed genuine, had depth, and was realistic enough. I get that his sarcasm and cheerfulness hides a bad past, and his character makes sense. He does stuff that makes sense. Kraven makes sense. And that’s more than I can say for Samantha and Bishop.
The plot was lacking. The romance over-done. There was so much that we could’ve seen more about – Heaven and Hell, the other angels and demons in the group, Samantha’s family (everyone), the Source, and the man outside the store, just to name a few. But we didn’t. We saw too much of Bishop and Samantha making eyes at each other. We saw too much of Bishop not telling certain things to Samantha, and then Samantha would flip out and run away, only to return a few hours later. We saw too much of Bishop and Samantha in love; fighting; holding hands, and not nearly enough about the other stuff. There was too much romance, and not nearly enough action.
The beginning was pretty good – a great introduction, and what seemed like a promising start to a great paranormal romance. The middle dragged. Occasionally, the author would throw in a witty remark from Kraven, or the characters would find another angel/demon, just to keep people reading. Other than that, most of the book was Samantha and Bishop lovey-dovey-ness. The ending came on too quickly, then ended just as quickly and abruptly. Slap a different cover, change up the characters’ names, give it a new title, and voila! You’ve got yourself another angel/demon story. Congratulations.
Dark Kiss gets it’s own little place in my heart along with books like Fallen, Hush, Hush, Ascend, and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.