Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss
(Nightwatchers #1)

Michelle Rowen
Published May 29, 2012
Harlequin Teen
348 pp.
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
I don't do dangerous. 
 Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me....

Review: I admit, I read this book because I fell in love with the cover. Which is funny, because I read it as an e-book, but I still chose it because of that cover. I just love the monotone blue, the font of the title, and Bishop is exactly how I'd picture him. Sometimes I think it's a risk to put a picture of someone on the cover, but this works. Unfortunately, I didn't like the book quite as much as the cover, but that really only applies to the first 200 pages or so.
      Although sliding right into the overdone paranormal teen romance genre, Rowen's concept is a bit different. It's pre-apocalyptic - if Sam's visions are true anyway - a large black hole-like void is going to swallow up her town and everything in it, including her. A small group of angels and demons have been assembled to try to stop that. But first, they have to find each other and then get along while doing it. This is where Sam comes in - apparently this strange kiss that was way more than a kiss she received from her high school crush, gave her strange abilities (among doing other things) - She is the only one who can help the angel Bishop think clearly enough to finish out his mission.
     I had a bit of trouble getting into it at first. I didn't really connect with the heroine Sam, and actually found her decision making process to be extremely frustrating to read (maybe that's just me, but I feel like I think that a lot about teenage heroines). It took about 2/3 of the book for her to actually make some GOOD choices (and stop being so freakin' gullible) and that's when I feel like the book came into it's own. It didn't help that I really didn't care about what happened to her best friend, who plays a pretty important role in the book - I think I even hoped she died at some point which shows how annoying she was to me. The saving grace (literally?) of this book is the men, specifically the angel Bishop, whose background we don't know, but I'm really interested in finding it out. I also found myself liking his demon counterpart Kraven more and more as the story went on too. Once things started picking up and moving, the book was quite engrossing -- I only hope that book 2 picks up that way and doesn't start out like this one did or I might not make it through it.

Dark Kiss: 3/5 stars. (first two-thirds: 2/5, last third 4/5)
Cover: 5/5 stars.


  1. I too love the cover, and added this book to my Goodreads wishlist just because of it:) Also I'm into angels recently, so that's another reason I'd like to read dark Kiss.

    1. It's worth it if you can get through the so-so start. I can't wait to see what book 2's cover looks like!

  2. I read this and liked it a little more than you did, but that isn't to say that I didn't have issues with it. Some of the resolutions were really convenient and too easy, and Sam got on my nerves. I liked Bishop, though. But I thought the cover looked kind of hokey. I can't figure out who the dude looks like - sort of a Pattinson thing going on there, no?

    1. Now that you mention it, I definitely see the Pattinson thing. I wonder if that was intentional. Sam (and her best friend and the aunt) got on my nerves too...I hope that happens less in book 2.

  3. I LOVE this cover!!! Thanks for the review! This is one that has been on my wishlist since I saw it was releasing. I sometimes have a hard time with books that have slow parts, but I tend to find if I give it a go and push through, I end up liking it :)

  4. I like the cover too, that's the first thing that attracted me as well! I'm still on the fence about this book but am probably thinking of giving it pass... Thanks for the honest, lovely review :)