Title: Dark Kiss
Author: Michelle Rowen
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Nightwatchers (Book 1)
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373210477 (Harlequin Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0373210473 (Harlequin Teen)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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….
Quick & Dirty: Intriguing take on angels and demons with snappy dialogue but stilted first person perspective distracts from the story at times.
Opening Sentence: “This is going to be an amazing night, Sam!” Carly shouted over the music blasting all around us.
Samantha just wants to be a typical teenager with a loving family and for the most part she is a typical teenager. She is smart and does her best to get good grades because she wants to get into a good college and get out of Trinity but she has made some unwise decisions lately including getting caught shoplifting and running away from home. Sam has been acting out towards her oblivious parents who have kind of just left her to her own devices.
Sam likes to hang out at a dance club, Crave, with her best friend Carly. On a fateful Friday night, Sam is approached by her longtime crush. He behaves oddly but when he asks to kiss Samantha she can’t turn him down. It’s a dream come true. Unfortunately she isn’t warned about the side effects of his kiss. She is left with an insatiable hunger and it is not for food. Soon after she meets a boy that she thought was homeless and she wants to help him but then she realizes he is much more than he seems. Bishop is an angel and he has been sent on a mission and he is not alone, angels and demons have teamed up together to stop those like what she has become, a gray. Grays are led by the mysterious Natalie, an evil demon.
Samantha is special (it was almost ridiculous how many times she was called special). She has developed some extra abilities that are physic in nature that allow her to help the angels and demons. It is the only reason they give her for keeping her alive, even though Bishop has some sort of attraction towards her and possibly Kraven, Bishop’s brother. It is reminiscent of The Vampire Dairies brother love triangle but only early on when Samantha (Elena) only has eyes for Bishop (Stefan) but Kraven (Damon) says something that makes her believe that he may romantic intentions towards her.
The first person point of view from Samantha was a little stilted at times, either I just got used to it after a while or the writing got better. It didn’t really flow with the dialogue but the interactions of the characters are what make the story. I like the moments with the angels and the demons, although I thought Natalie wasn’t as devious as she should have been and Samantha really needed to have a talk with her best friend Carly instead of always leaving her behind.
The overall plot to Dark Kiss is dark and enchanting although I didn’t agree with some of the events that happened as the story progressed. Some plot threads are left open for the next books in the series but in the end Samantha cannot go back to being the naïve teenager she used to be. Samantha realizes she is being played by both sides but the decisions she makes aren’t always the smartest move.
Dark Kiss sets up a world where a kiss can steal your soul and what horrible evil would cause angels and demons to team up together to stop it. Even with the messy writing style, I would still check out the next book in the series, I want to know what is next for Samantha, Bishop, Kraven and the crew.
I exhaled shakily. “Why me? Why did you ask Stephen to kiss me on Friday night?”
She didn’t shift her attention away from me for a moment. “Because you’re special, Samantha.”
I made a sound then that sounded like half hiccup, half hysterical snort. “So I’ve been told this week. I don’t feel that special.”
“But you are.”
“Why? What makes me so special that I got tagged to become a gray?”
She looked at me with a sliver of amusement in her brown eyes. “A gray? Is that what they’ve termed it? How…dull. Literally.”
I shut my mouth. I didn’t want to say anything that might turn attention toward Bishop. “I don’t know.”
“You can’t feel how special you are? You can’t feel that you have something inside you that no one else here has? I knew it from the moment I first saw you here on Friday night. It’s what makes you stronger than all the others.”
I looked at her with shock. “Wait a minute. You saw me on Friday? Have you been watching me?”
“Take it as a compliment, Samantha, not something nefarious. I had to know for sure you were the right one. And you are.”
My head began to spin. More double-talk. “I just want my soul back. I don’t care about anything else.”
“You’d be wise to accept this and make the most of it. You have no idea how incredible this opportunity is for you.”
The Nightwatchers Series:
1. Dark Kiss
2. Wicked Kiss
FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Dark Kiss. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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