Monday, November 4, 2013

Kira Brady - Hearts of Darkness

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.

Comment: I first knew about this book in Hilcia's blog
Her opinion was positive and it seemed something I'd like to read, even more so when I realized the main male protagonist could turn into a wolf, I love shape shifter stories!

This is the story of Kayla Friday, she's a nurse and she arrives in Seattle to identify her sister's body. She is still in shock but while at the morgue, she is helped by Hart, a mercenary looking for a clue for his boss. While trying to reach a solution to their problems, the two of them start to develop a relationship of sorts and their own feelings at the same time...

This story has quite the complex issues. I've read Hilcia's review so in a way her words are still pretty fresh in my mind...but I'll try to put her words aside for a while.
This story, in my opinion, had a lot to work out. It's an interesting premise, a new set of characters and myths - gods from Babylon and from the Native American lore, While the latter aren't news to me as I've read about them in other books, the former were an interesting addition.
Still, I think it was a bit too confusing. I don't usually mind the mixing of pantheons but in this case I thought only one would have been enough.

About the characters...I liked them, yes. Hart was a kind of anti hero but that in the end we always root for and expect to realize he is worthy of whatever he might want, including a romance. But here Hart needed more confidence in his worth as a person, as someone who made choices and took a path he isn't proud of but his redemption is still possible because he has a good heart. I thought his personality was to the point and the author portrayed in him a good example of how a hero can look aloof and uninterested but ending up being a solid one in the end. Also interesting was the fact Hart had all the qualities to be an alpha character type but he wasn't like that. It was an interesting twist.
Kayla was a good opposition to him, but I felt that we didn't knew her as well. I wonder if it was due to the more apparent strength of Hart's character or it's just simply the way she was "built". Anyway, for me, she wasn't as explicit as Hart in terms of personality, but I liked her, it's always good to have a female character who knows she has her positive points and trusts her actions and loves the guy.
The romance was good, I thought it could have been better, more intense and I'd have liked to see more of their thoughts about the other and the two of them together.

As for the storyline, I liked it overall. I thought it was too focused on the negative parts. I mean, I know this is more urban fantasy directed, but the book, especially at the beginning felt more gritty than it had to. I don't now, but some authors write the UF genre with a solid romance as well and make things look more approachable, I don't now how to explain. I just felt like things were bad in a somewhat obvious reason and I wasn't impressed. OK, it's the way the author wrote and chose to place her story, but personally I would have liked a more quiet opposition at some point, in terms of action zones, like perhaps the good guys could have a more positive place while the fighting was bad, I don't now. The book is what it is and I ended up liking it, but it does stay in the back of my mind what I would change a bit.

Hilcia mentioned the fact everything looks grey, that nothing is all black or white, no one is only good or bad. I see her point and the author's purpose with that. I don't mind but she also said women weren't exactly well treated in this world and part of my wishing more positive scenes could have happened is exactly about was a bit disturbing some things about their treatment and it would have been good to watch more happy scenes apart from the romance and plot-related ones.

In the end, though, I had some good time reading this, I am curious about the next ones, but I admit I don't mind waiting a few months before getting to them.
All in all, a good enough effort, good elements but for me, also things that could have been improved or changed.
Grade: 6/10


  1. Hey Sonia, I'm glad you gave this series a chance. I see you didn't enjoy the gritty UF "feel" Brady infuses into her paranormal romance read. You will probably like the second book better, it wasn't as gritty (although that UF atmosphere, that fusion of both genres, is still there). I agree with you that there are a bit too many mythologies going on in this first book that may confuse a reader, but I think by the second book it also gets a bit easier to follow. The great news is that our worries about the treatment of women doesn't continue... and I liked that!

    1. I thought that the mixing genres wasn't the most appealing to me... like I said some authors I've read did it better and it's hard not to imagine what I would change.
      I'll try the second one...eventually lol