Sunday, February 9, 2014
Silent Screams (The Dragon Queen Series Book I) by Yvonne Nicolas
attention? I only discovered it because of a Twitter "tweet" announcing that it had won a "Book of the Year" award somewhere. Flash forward a couple of days and I happened to come across a post by the author on GoodReads and naturally I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I'm so freakin' happy that I did!!
Silent Screams is about the offspring of a battle angel mother and a demon father. Her mother, one of the most powerful battle angels, sends her into hiding on earth when she is just an infant. She's stayed hidden for most of her life unaware of who or what she is. Demons have been hunting for her because of the power of her blood, but her scent is scattered and they don't know exactly where she is. She was also promised to a very evil entity by her father and this evil wants her found. Once she reaches full maturity she'll become the dragon queen, choose her king and the fate of the world will be in her hands. If she makes the wrong choice, namely the evil that thinks she belongs to him, the world is in a whole lotta trouble as she'll go evil. But she's unconsciously chosen someone else. A vampire demon named Demetri that preys only on people who do evil and, by doing so, helps to keep the balance. Needless to say there are factions who want to keep her on the straight path and have her make the right choices for the fate of humanity. There are also factions that are determined to steer her towards darkness as well. There's a war coming and at the center of it is the Dragon Queen.
Author Yvonne Nicolas has written a very dark paranormal book that starts off with a whole lotta action and never lets up. This book didn't have a dull moment and to say I was captivated is a complete understatement. This might not be everyone's cuppa so be forewarned. There are angels, demons, priestesses, and werewolves. There's sex and some of it just ain't pretty. There are heroes who are a bit on the dark side and heroines who are destined to teeter on the fence between good and evil. It is violent and it is graphic. No it isn't sparkly vampires, and I'm so glad that it isn't. In essence this is about a battle between good and evil and it is deliciously gritty. I loved it!
This is exactly what a first novel of a series should be. It sets up the story for future books to come, but it does it in a way that pulls you in and keeps you engaged. Where some firsts in a series may drag as the author spells out what's happening, that wasn't the case with this book. By the time you reach the final chapter you know who the major players are, what's at stake, and you are thoroughly invested. In fact, you'll hate that there isn't more to read. There are also plenty of things to love in this book. For me, having a multi-ethnic cast of characters is like a dream come true and Silent Screams is firmly headed in the right direction. If you've ever read the Vampire Huntress Legend by the late L.A. Banks you get a great example of diversity in books. In a lot of ways this book reminds me of that. Lots of diversity and I hope it only gets better on that front. Of course there is the action. I never felt like the book dragged or that it could have been better if a part was shorter or cut out all together. Lest I forget, there are some truly sexy men in this story: Demetri, his brother Maurisio, Sota (just keep reading and you'll see...), and more! So, if you love reading about deadly and delicious man candy your sweet tooth will be satisfied.
If I have any real complaints it's Rayna. Rayna is the Dragon Queen, but in this book she doesn't know who she is. She's a twenty year old superstar singer who's having visions of gruesome murders. I'll cut her a little slack for being young, but the girl is kind of ...hood. This is an internal debate for me and may not be a problem for some. A part of me questions why she has to fall into the stereotype of black folks being hood. Another part of me thinks this gives her more character and that we don't need cookie cutter heroines in all of our books. She isn't over the top and she isn't a character that I as a reader couldn't stomach. It's just some of the things that she said and the way that she said them made me cringe. I'm hoping that this is just immaturity and that as Rayne grows into her powers and fully becomes the Dragon Queen that her mannerisms and personality will balance out, but, I'm thinking maybe it shouldn't go away completely. Like I said - an internal conflict on my part, but it affected how I saw the book so... Another complaint is that I want to see the women in the book step into their own. With the exception of the women in the special ops team (oh they are badass!), the women didn't stand out as much to me as the male characters.
Overall I loved this book. I mean, I really, really adored this book. It's a great start to what I hope will be a successful series. It has plenty of action and a well developed story-line that begins from the moment that you start on page one. I look forward to seeing the characters continual growth, especially that of the female characters. I highly recommend Silent Screams and give it 4.5 awesome stars!
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Originally Published: Sept. 2010