Published: March 1st 2013 by HarlequinTeen
Format: Paperback, 440 pages
Goodreads ● The Book Depository ● Booktopia ● Bookworld
My kiss can kill.
I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't ... I hurt myself.
Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop—or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy ...
I am impressed at how seamlessly Rowen tells this story, especially considering that it has been so long since I read Dark Kiss. I didn’t really remember any characters except for Samantha, Bishop and Kraven, and I only recalled the barest details of the plot. The author skillfully re-oriented me in her world and I don’t remember being confused about anything. I think it’s a skill more authors need, especially since a lot of YA SFF is being told in series these days.
The other aspects of the plot are just as surprising. Wicked Kiss is action-packed and engaging, and overall, more enjoyable than Dark Kiss. There are a few sluggish sections, where Samantha stops everything to wallow in her sadness or guilt, but otherwise I think the plot progressed well. I really like that Samantha doesn’t put herself in dangerous situations just because she didn’t think her actions though: she does end up in trouble, but it’s usually from a totally unforeseeable event. I also liked that Rowen kept me guessing, and the plot would always twist every time I thought I’d grasped it. I saw a few things coming, like the reason for the suicides, but some of the developments took me by surprise, which is always awesome.
I think the tightness of the plot is because Roweb elected (rightly, in my opinion) to tell this story in two books rather than three. There’s just enough material here for two YA length novels, and I would have hated for Wicked Kiss to be a filler book of some kind until a third volume was out. I think it’s a great decision, and more authors should try it – it makes for far better books!
There’s a new female character in Wicked Kiss, an angel who kicks some serious butt and is altogether awesome (in my opinion). Samantha likes the new addition to the crew when she’s still human, but as soon as Cassandra’s angelic powers surface and it turns out she’s not so helpless after all, Samantha quickly turns around and decides she hates her. There’s a lot of negativity from Samantha regarding pretty girls – she’s got an inferiority complex and tears down girls who are pretty. Sam even calls a stranger “slutty” just because she’s out at a club and flirting with a strange guy. I took Samantha a long time to change her mind about pretty being synonymous with bad, and I feel like her character was held back because of this shallowness. This is probably the only thing I didn’t like in this book.
I like the romance between Bishop and Samantha, and thank all my stars that it didn’t turn into a love triangle starring two brothers (although it did hover on that precipice for a while). Their electric attraction is vividly painted, and I found myself looking forward to the times when the book turned to the romantic sub-plot. I didn’t like the role that Kraven played (seems really wrong to me, one brother kissing the other’s girl), but I did like the direction that aspect of the plot took (especially since it staved off the aforementioned love triangle).
With the world-building and other clumsy things out of the way, Wicked Kiss concludes the story that began in Dark Kiss well. This series will be enjoyed by fans of paranormal romance who like their books with a heavy romantic plot.