Published: July 29th 2014 by HachetteAU
Format: Paperback, 150 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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He was laughing with her as he spread his wings and lifted her from the ground, twirling her around. Nyx gasped and clutched his neck. Kalona tightened his arms around her. 'Trust me, Goddess. I would never let you fall.'
From the Sun and from the Moon, two winged brothers are born: golden Erebus, playmate and friend, and mysterious Kalona, Warrior and lover, companions of the Goddess Nyx.
From the first, Nyx loves them both deeply, but differently. With Erebus, she can talk and laugh and dance, and take joy in the games he plays among the humans of the Earth. With Kalona, the fire in her body burns bright, and she can rest in the solace of his strength and protection. But for Kalona, Nyx's nights are not enough. Every second he is not with her he is filled with doubt and longing, and every time he fails to please her, he cannot forgive himself. Ruled by anger and jealousy of his brother, and consumed by his love for his Goddess, Kalona seeks the power to prove his worth, and to claim once and for all that Nyx eternally belongs to him.
And at the edges of the Earth, a Darkness is stirring, waiting for its chance, for the doorway in through a heart that it knows will welcome it...
Disclaimer: I haven’t read the House of Night series. I’ve never been inclined to pick it up, but I was sent this novella for review, and I thought it would be the perfect way for me to see if this world and its characters are something I’d be interested reading about. I want to make this clear: I went into this novella wanting to love it.
P.C Cast and Kristin Cast have been writing full length novels since 2007 (I did a Goodreads search), so there is really no excuse for how poorly written this novella is. The dialogue is artificial, the storytelling confused, and the novella comes across as laboured.
I gather that Kalona’s some kind of dream hunk in the main series? Maybe he’s a potential love interest for someone? Anyway, from the moment he is conceived, Kalona is irrationally jealous and possessive of Nyx. There was nothing in this character that made me like him – he had no reason to be jealous, especially since Nyx had only ever been with him. Erebus, however, was always sweet and understanding, and although I get that Nyx wasn’t sexually attracted to him, I still thought she would be much happier with him than with Kalona. Not that Nyx was much more likeable than her chosen lover: vain, naïve to the point of stupidity and blind to the feelings of others, she probably made a better match for Kalona than Erebus.
But it wasn’t the characters that had me screaming in frustration when I was reading this – it was the poor story-telling. The authors were going for a grand, mythic kind of storytelling similar to Greek epics. They were unable to deliver, in my opinion, and the result is a story that includes awkward dialogue and needless repetition of certain phrases (there were only so many times I could read ‘Warrior and lover, playmate and friend‘ or variations of it). Lengthy descriptions of every form that the goddess Nyx could take were tiring and the relationship between Nyx and Mother earth can generously be described as irksome.
The real story of why Kalona was kicked out of the Otherworld is interesting, but completely and utterly predictable. I liked the idea of the three tests and how they brought out different aspects of the brother’s personalities. The world-building was lush and the descriptions of the Otherworld and a much younger Earth were wonderful.
My favourite part about the book (indeed, the only reason I kept reading it after the first few chapters) are the illustrations. They are absolutely gorgeous! This paperback edition has 11 black and white illustrations placed at the beginning of each chapter, showing a scene from that chapter. They are wonderful, and I think that it’s worth getting the novella in print just for the illustrations.
Having started the novella with the intent of scoping out the main series, I have to say I am disappointed in the quality of the writing and will not be pursuing the House of Night novels. However, fans of the series, who probably like this writing style, will enjoy the chance of getting to know all about Kalona’s creation and his time in the Otherworld.