>> Tuesday, October 09, 2012
TITLE: Hearts of Darkness
AUTHOR: Kira Brady
SETTING: Alternate version of contemporary Seattle, US.
TYPE: Paranormal romance
SERIES: Starts the Deadglass series
Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister's murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies...and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He'll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what's left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.Nurse Kayla Friday is in Seattle to identify her sister's body. This is not Seattle as we know it. The Gate to the other side is broken, and dark spirits are moving in the wrong direction. As a result, electricity is failing, and the city is disintegrating. Kayla, like most humans, has no idea what's going on. Within minutes of arriving at the morgue, however, Kayla finds herself in the middle of a war between two mythologies she never knew existed.
I read about half of this, mostly because I liked the idea of the world building. It's like nothing I've ever read, pitching creatures inspired in Ancient Babylonian and norse mythology (the Drekar) against Native American bird shifters (the Kivati), and incorporating the idea of wraiths, dark spirits that can possess humans and feed off them.
The plot is that Kayla's sister got her hands on a very special necklace belonging to the Drekar, and Kayla must find it and give it to the Kivati. She immediately latches on the hero, Hart, as he seems to be the only person willing to help her navigate this weird new world (albeit grudgingly). Problem is, Hart has made some sort of blood oath to return the necklace to the Drekar. Meanwhile, we discover that, in the wrong hands, the necklace could bring about the end of the world.
So, the world and the story had the potential to be great. Unfortunately, they never really gelled for me. The world was actually rather boring, complicated rather than complex. And I'm fine with gradual revelations, but even after reading half the book, I didn't really understand who hated whom and why, and why someone would want to bring on Armaggeddon. Worse, I didn't care.
The romance didn't help. Kayla is boring in this first half, as she's perpetually out of her depth and doing stupid things. She's improbably a virgin, too, of course, the kind whose attraction towards a man every sensible person would be scared shitless of makes her go silly in the most dangerous circumstances. She's the naive nurterer type, who decides to trust someone for no reason, just because he makes her go gooey inside. As for Hart, who's a renegade shifter of a lower status than the birds and working for their enemies, he's a generic tortured hero with absolutely nothing to distinguish him.
MY GRADE: It was a DNF.