Review: Hearts of DarknessHearts in Darkness by Kira Brady
Series: Deadglass #1
Published by Kensington, Zebra on August 7, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, PNR, Steampunk
Pages: 328
Format: eBook
Source: Personal copy, Purchased

In the first of a dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…

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.

I loved the prequel to this book, in fact I loved it so much that I bought this before I’d even finished! (Read review here) But I think that this full-length novel suffers from FITS (First in the Series). It’s got a great plot, fabulous world-building, and a bad guy who relishes being his villainous self…

But the romance lacked.

The Seattle that Kayla Friday goes to is not the Seattle we know. There was a huge battle between the Kivati (shifters who are native to the lands) and the Drakar (Dragons-soulless creatures who eat souls to live), and this battle causes one of the Gates to the underworld to fail. So for several hundred years the Kivati and Drekar have been fighting. In the meantime, Seattle has no electricity and a huge ghost problem. These wraiths can possess a body too, and yet most humans are clueless. Seriously.

Kayla is one of the clueless. She comes to Seattle to identify the body of her dead sister, and even though she witnesses Kivati Thunderbird shifters and crows etc, she still tries to rationalize it. At one point her sister’s wraith tries to take over her body and it’s very frustrating because that scene is never talked about again. She doesn’t realize what’s happening, and then it just passes on as if it never happened. This was my biggest complaint with the story. There was a lot going on. I mean a lot. We’ve got the  her trying to figure out what happened to her sister, why her sister was pregnant but didn’t tell her, who the father is, where her sister hid a certain necklace, a dragon lord trying to control a god, a kivati lord trying to get married and hold his people together, a crazy cool dystopian Seattle, a bit of Steampunk tossed in there, and on the backburner a romance and a hero who is a blood slave to the villain.


See what I mean? And truly there is more. And I’d say that the world-building took priority and it was awesome, but it made Kayla into a Mary Sue. Speaking of, I don’t get why she was a virgin, other than to further the plot. It seemed out of place, even for practical Kayla. The hero Hart is Kivani, but he was “moonmarked” and therefore shunned. So he is basically a mercenary who just wants to get out of his debt to Sven Norgard, the Dragon Regent.

Sven’s ending came out of nowhere.

The plot twist with the Gate and necklace came out of nowhere.

This whole thing took place in about 3 or 4 days, and while I’m a big fan of insta-lust, or love at first sight tropes, I didn’t get that vibe here.It felt forced.

I think this book sets up the series, and I hope that the promise of an awesome series holds up, because I’m starting the next book.