Teenaged shapeshifters are being slaughtered by a sadistic serial killer who rips their still-beating hearts from their paralyzed bodies. A task force forms to halt the madness, including the vampiric Aeternus Antoinette Petrescu, as well as Kitt Jordan and Raven Matokwe, members of enemy Animalian tribes . . . and forbidden lovers.
A centuries-old blood feud has divided their shapeshifting peoples, and if their passion is discovered it will doom them both. But past hostilities must be put aside, for the killer they seek is but the first sign of the all-consuming nightmare of The Dark Brethren.
Death’s Sweet Embrace was not what I was expecting it to be, but this maybe my own fault for diving head long into a book that I didn’t do any research on including reading the back cover. I liked Night’s Cold Kiss so much that I really didn’t think there was any need, but I’m here to let you know now that they’re almost as different as night and day.
First thing I was ready for was another foray into the cold, harsh streets of New York with Antoinette and while she is in Death’s Sweet Embrace, she’s no longer our main heroine. That tittle has been given over to a snow-leapard, Katheryn “Kitt” Jordon, and former ME of the Department’s OCPME. After her brother’s death in Night’s Cold Kiss she’s resigned from her position, and takes a new job at the NYAPS provided by fellow Bestiabeo (Animalians) and brother-from-another-mother, Oberon DuPrie.
Oberon has an ulterior motive for getting Kitt the job at the Academy. He wants her to be apart of his team and lures her in with a sadistic serial killer who gets his kicks by going after teenage parahumans. His ritualistic murders are heinous and he takes them by immobilizing them, carving ancient runes into their skin and then ends it by cutting out their hearts. This cuts at Kitt deep because it bares a remarkable resemblance to her late husbands’ death.
Several plots are happening at one time in Death’s Sweet Embrace, but the main one is the romantic struggle between Kitt and her former were-wolf lover, Raven Matokwe, the very man who’s been accused of murdering her late husband. Kitt knows Raven isn’t to blame, but that doesn’t stop her Pride from taking out a hit on his life and exhiling her.
Kitt’s a mess. Her life is torn asunder, her emotions are a whirlwind, and frankly I just couldn’t understand her. The way she relates to her family, to Raven and to life in general. She’s of another species and their rules have a “do not apply” sign written in red ink for me, but I need to relate in some way to a character. Raven was another matter entirely and poorly used. His background story is unbearably intrigueing with so much potential but we aren’t intruduced into his phsychy until much later and then he’s presented as a somewhat mental devoted lover.
When I said Night’s Cold Kiss is almost night to Death’s Sweet Embrace‘s day was because where one was paced the other dragged. When the former was about romance the latter was about family. Where Antoinette was kick-ass heroine, Kitt was timid and unsure. However (this is where the ‘almost’ kicks in) Death’s Sweet Embrace‘s side plots were what I was expecting Dark Brethren two to be. Antoinette and Co. are on their A-game. And the Villains would creep out the most hardened urban fantasy readers. I think if you liked Night’s Cold Kiss you may like this one too. I certainly will be reading the next in the series for another visit to this rich, bold world.
Night’s Cold Kiss-September 1, 2009
Death’s Sweet Embrace-January 25, 2011