Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Nightwatchers, Book 1

Synopsis: 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…

Review: It was with a great anticipation that I was waiting to read the latest novel by Michelle Rowen! I must admit that I only knew this author through her Immortality Bites series, a UF/Chick-lit series I really enjoyed. So it was with a great curiosity that I immersed myself in this book. Dark Kiss is the first volume of her new YA series entitled Nightwatchers and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Samantha (or Sam) is an ordinary teenager who lives in a small town called Trinity. One night Sam goes to the Crave – the local nightclub – with her best friend Carly. Once there, she meets the gaze of Stephen Keyes, the sexiest boy in Trinity and she has a crush on him! He kisses her and suddenly everything changes after that… she passes out then wakes up strangely different. Something has changed inside her, but she can’t pinpoint it.
Although it’s just another novel about angels, I found that Dark Kiss was quite original compared to some other books in many ways. But the main originality of this book is certainly the collaboration between angels and demons. Indeed, they are both forced to work together to fight against a threat that could disturb the universal Balance they’re supposed to maintain. I really liked this collaboration. They come to look beyond their differences and their mutual aversion to face a common enemy. Of course, there are often some disputes but they form a close-knit group anyway.
Here, the lines between good and evil are blurred and Sam, our heroine is quite confused, she doesn’t know whom to trust, because everyone is lying to her or keeps things from her. She asks lots of questions about herself, her new condition, her parents, etc. Some are answered slowly but there’s still so much to discover. Then there’s the Hollow, this strange and dark dimension where they send all the undesirables of Heaven and Hell and that threaten to engulf them all. There are many twists, turns and revelations in this first volume. Sam discovers gradually this world she’s now confronted with.
I really liked Sam and her strength: she never gives up and always keeps hope. She’s a girl who despite a difficult adolescence has remained strong. Her wish to stay on the good side, despite everything that has happened to her, is quite admirable but it’s a hard work: she has some difficulties to control her pulsions, she knows it would open the door to all this darkness inside her. We can only wish her to get what she wants. However I was less convinced by Bishop, I haven’t managed to attach myself to him even if I found him very intriguing. Anyway he’s a young man with a troubled and very mysterious past and I hope that eventually we’ll know more about him and that he’ll reveal himself a little more. Kraven, the demon, however, is in my opinion the most interesting character. He brings humor to the story. He can be very annoying but he can also be touching. Is he really a bad guy? Humm good question. By his nature, it’s tempting to answer by the affirmative but some of his actions are quite ambiguous. Apparently it’s related to the past he has in common with Bishop. How did they become what they are? The two boys seem to be bound by a long painful history and terrible secrets, and we only want one thing, to learn more. Then there’s Zach, Roth, Connor and Carly, who are very interesting too but not developed enough.
To conclude this first volume sets the scene for a series that looks very exciting. The author’s style is fluid and relatively easy to read. It was a nice read and I look forward for the sequel!