Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan

Birthright, Book 1

Synopsis: Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy—and maybe her downfall—in this start to a romantic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Nine Lives of Chloe King.

Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?

Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.

Review: I was really curious to read this novel! It must be said that the synopsis and the cover have attracted me immediately. The mention of Chloe King also intrigued me. I watched the episodes of the TV show and I really liked them. I also bought the novels (although I have not read them yet I confess). In addition, I know the author by her other novels and I heard a lot of good things about them. Only good things would you ask? Alas, before starting reading this one, I saw two rather mixed reviews, setting in motion my belief… Yet despite this, I was determined to see by myself how the novel would be, being convinced that I could greatly enjoy it. However, it did not work as well as I thought …

Vivi is a young girl who does not accept her nature. She has the possibility since her youth to turn into a jaguar, and while each child of her age is always amazed, this is far from the case for her and she considers herself as a monster and totally repudiates her inheritance to live a normal life. Besides, it worked quite well for years, at least until her parents are murdered in a very strange manner and she finds herself alone. And when she tries to organize things at home, she discovers a photo of her mother with a sister whom she does not know the existence. Not knowing what to do with her life at this present moment, Vivi decides to go see this woman she does not know anything about, and that’s how she meets her cousin Matheo whose parents died in the same way that hers. As she moves in with him, she begins to start a new life little by little, and like that she meets Rafael, a mysterious boy who attracts her a lot.

I think it is a little difficult to explain my feeling about this novel because it is the only one that left me as dubious. You will quickly understand my problem… First of all I must say that the story itself is quite interesting and intriguing and I was really curious to know the cause of the murders and the identity of the attackers. So I agree that the base was perfect, but I think I had more worries for the rest. First, the story … although it probably poses the thread of the plot, we don’t have a lot of events and nothing really happens… And it’s true that I was quite surprised. Vivi does not ask enough questions, she isn’t really looking for the answers to her questions and she is quite passive in the end. She tries it but then of course when she initiates things, she never develops them in the end and remains at the same level as at the beginning of the novel. Then there’s the romance between Rafael and the woman and once again it was quite strange. I found that the author was successful in creating a nice tension between them, but Rafael refuses to go out with her, but is still willing to sleep with her. Of course, this is completely out of the question for Vivi, and as he does not want to explain the reason, no progress either. She makes many assumptions all along the chapters and while she has the means to know the truth, she doesn’t really try to do it… After these two points, there is the end … or rather the lack of end. I was quite surprised, I do not usually read novels that stop in the middle of a story. And I must say that it is quite frustrating, much like a three-part movie that stops saying “to be continued”.

You understand that all left me with quite a mixed feeling. As I said it nothing happens in the story and I think it’s a shame to have an entire novel for a story which rather gives me the impression of a first part of a book or an introduction. Now I’m not saying it was not good, because I still loved what I read and I’ll read with great pleasure the rest of the story precisely because I expect to have my answers and because I want something to happen. I’m just a little questioning in relation to this first volume…



12 thoughts on “Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan

  1. I have read quite a few of her books but I have the same reaction as you. I can’t quite figure out how to feel about them. She’s written so many, for sure. I guess you won’t be continuing on with this series, then?

    Great review, Melliane.

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