Lynn Viehl launched the newest series (ironically the last effort) in her uncontrollably Darkyn string, Stay the Night. That is entirely realistic to Viehlís innovative style Ė she sowed the seeds of a continuous string of this title and lends a mock-up chapter from the introductory fable of her new Kyndred series, Shadowlight Ė that is aimed to merely stimulate the mind and interest.
The notion of a continuous string attracted me, exclusively since I couldnít help yet realize I was left grilling a little after reading Stay the Night. Her new take on the vampire mythos through the Darkyn string was entirely amazing and exceedingly multifaceted.
Franking speaking, the entire string exhibit Viehlís knack with the pen and fable structure, which in turn set my probabilities high for Shadowlight that pressed me to contact Viehl directly for a galley to study. She genially consented and off I went to innovate this latest, yet known realm she discovered.
Primarily, The Kyndred string focuses on a small population of orphaned kids were hereditarily increased with the same bug that caused the Darkyn to ascend from the expired stronger than any fatal, extreme longevity, and some special powers rate to the individual.
For few motives, as these kids (dubbed the Kyndred) got bigger semi-normally, only there is no option except to die,
For some reason, though, these children (dubbed the Kyndred) grew up semi-normally, only to die and reawaken with these new powers and no explanation as to why they live.
Jessa Bellamy is our heroine in Shadowlight and has no clue that there is anything amiss with her, other than she canít touch anyone without knowing the worst things that have happened to them or have done. However, just because she doesnít know sheís Kyndred doesnít mean others donít.
Genaro, the owner of GenHance, a multi-billion-dollar biotech company that is a front for its masterís development of the same agent that turned innocent children into Kyndred, has identified Jessa as his latest target. He plans to grab, dissect, and dispose of her to further his research. Of course, like any good master villain, he sends his underlings to do his dirty work.
Then thereís Gaven Matthias, who is intent on stopping Genaro from getting anywhere near Jessa Ė by kidnapping her first. Heís cagey, mysterious, and definitely hot, but has a mission to identify and save as many Kyndred as possible Ė especially since it appears he was the first (just one of many question marks left open by the end of the book).
Like Viehlís previous books, the plot here is intricate and induces page turning Ė an attribute I greatly admire in her work. Unfortunately, for a first book in a new series, it is almost too complex, with a whole cast of characters being introduced and jumps in time that leave you wondering what the heck is going on at times.
It also gets off to a slow start as the foundation of back-story (which you wonít understand until later on in the book) is laid. I also noted that there was not as much of a pull between her male and female lead throughout the story as I would expect from her characters. Sure, there is some attraction going on throughout the story, and, of course, they inevitably get together, but I wasnít really feeling like it was natural or climactic when it finally happens.
That said, I think Viehl introduced a very interesting mix of personalities, motivations, and powers in her new characters. She also brings in old favorite characters from the Darkyn series. For example, Sam and Lucan (heroine and hero of Dark Need) provide an interesting subplot and create a link between the Kyndred (which Sam was, but doesnít even know about now) and Darkyn. I think Viehl holds a special place in her heart for these two characters, since itís the third story sheís written where they play a significant role.
Viehl also takes us down a historical path that pre-dates the Darkyn, which according to her lore manifested shortly after the Crusades. Shadowlight goes back to ancient Rome and hints that there is much, much more to learn about the Darkyn/Kyndred phenomenon than even the most engrossed reader could imagine.
I also like the more modern and less ďcurseĒ focused storylines that are at play here. The Darkyn series blended modern attitudes from the ďnewĒ characters with the old beliefs of medieval men and women. Shadowlight heralds in a new age of history, logic, and science.
I hate to say it, but Iíd give Shadowlight between a C and C+, with the caveat that any fan of the Darkyn series should read it in order to continue their obsession with Viehlís universe. Those new to her work may find themselves confused, to which I urge them to go read all of the Darkyn books and then give Shadowlight another chance.
I have no doubt that all will be revealed in time and that the second installment in this series will be less extreme in its complexity. I believe that like any good writer, sheíll learn from what works and what doesnít in her work and use those lessons in future work.
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