First impressions: We open on Kali hunting hellhounds, in an alternate history where Darwin discovered supernatural creatures and the modern day public is aware of their existence as a result. That premise alone hooked me from the start, aided by Kali’s sparkling personality and exciting action.
Lasting impressions: This was a terrific idea executed well, but also aggravatingly confusing.
Conflicting impressions: Nothing is spelled out for you here. The world’s history is never fully explained and the rules aren’t articulated, which often leaves the reader in the dark.
Overall impressions: Kali is one heck of a cool protagonist. Every other day she transforms from an ordinary human into a super powered demon hunting machine. She tracks and kills all different varieties of other worldly creatures, and does so fearlessly as she can’t feel pain and her body rapidly repairs itself. At dawn, she makes the switch back to human for the next 24 hours. And so on and so forth.
The story quickly kicks into high gear when Kali notices a classmate has been infected with a blood-sucking chupacabra. Her life is ruled by an instinct to protect humanity, and guessing that come morning when she transforms to her killer self she can annihilate the beast, she convinces Bethany to let her absorb the chupacabra instead. The plan doesn’t quite pan out the way she thought, and Kali, Bethany, and new friend Skyler are pulled into a fight for their lives when it turns out the chupacabra was placed as part of an experiment.
The action is fast paced, so much so that at times I wasn’t quite sure I was keeping up with the story. Kali gets enmeshed in the shadowy dealings of the corporation researching the chupacabra, which has ties to her dad and Bethany’s dad. The more she learns about what’s going on, the more questions are raised, until things rocket along to the final battle and what seemed like 100 new pieces of information were thrown at us in just a few pages. The whole thing really made my head spin.
An exciting and unique tale, to be sure, but due to my confusion it’s not likely to be one I’ll remember in the long run.
Rating: 3/5 stars
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