Title: Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1)
Author: Michelle Rowen
Genre: Paranormal, Angels, Demons
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
I don’t do dangerous. Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing-and I don’t know if I can get it back.
Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me….
Nightwatchers: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising…
Sam never expected Stephen to notice her. Nor did she think when she went to a local club with her best friend, Carly, that Stephen would kiss her. And suck out her soul.
Soulless Sam then finds herself being drawn into a world where Angels and Demons work together to irradiate the Earth from soul sucking creatures which she is now one of.
Bishop, the leader of the Angel/Demon team who has been sent to Earth to send the Source back into the Hallow so it can no longer reek havoc on the humans, is in a bad way. The only thing keeping him from losing his mind is Sam. Too bad that Sam is a “grey” and as such she’s a threat to him, his team and the rest of the world. But he can’t bring himself to stay away from her and the way she makes him feel.
In a battle of good vs. evil, Sam needs to choose a side for she may be the deciding factor.
I wanted so much to enjoy this novel. I’ve read some of Michelle Rowen’s more adult novels and had a lot of fun reading them. And I thought that the creatures she’s created in this novel were fantastic – very much like a cross between a zombie and a succubus. But there was something about this story that I just didn’t connect with.
I found Sam to be a little too naive about the world. There are some facts about her brought up in the first few chapters (her “criminal” actions; her days as a homeless person) that I’m still trying to work out why they were mentioned. I understand that it was her compassion based on her experiences on the street that lead to her talking to Bishop for the first time but I found Sam to be a little too naive in the ways of the world to really believe that she spent any time on the street – even just a few days.
I also found her a little too easily lead. When it came time to pick a side, she seemed to believe the thing she was told very quickly. And her romance with Bishop? It was a little under explored for my liking. There was not enough build up. It just sort of happened. But that said – I’m always fond of kissing scenes and the ones in this book were written well.
In terms of character development, I’m not sure that the characters grew for me from the time the novel started until the last page. They were at times rather simplistic and well… soulless (pun intended). And I feel like this was a huge reason why I didn’t connect very well with either of the leads. I wanted them to wow me but they didn’t and they were both somewhat forgettable.
I did enjoy the Source. She was deliciously evil and a master manipulator. And I also found myself loving the other members of Bishop’s team – especially Kraven. I loved Kraven. His banter, his insults, his flirting with Sam? He’s such a funny character and a very entertaining one at that.
The plot seemed to move really slowly for me. I spent quite a bit of the first 75% of the novel being somewhat confused or disinterested but then everything picked up and I thought the ending was fantastic! It was action packed with deceit, romance and heroism all packed in.
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book but it was rather hard going.
Purchase the novel from: