When you’ve got a book that’s a borderline novella, with so little page time the pressure is on to make an impact. I felt like Origins accomplished that. This one? Not so much.
Ashlyn is settling into her role as an FBI agent, and a new case has fallen into her lap. She has to protect the State of California’s new and very first vampire governor. Though many hope this fosters better relations between humans and vampires, others are out for his blood. But they’ll get it over Ashlyn’s dead demon body…with a sprinkle of vampire thrown in. That might not be too far off as her naivety puts her in deeper water than ever.
Attempts to be edgy sort of diminished the value of the series for me. I really enjoyed the first Origins book, but Deceptions felt like a completely different series, and Ashlyn a completely different character. I guess she’s growing up. She now has to learn the ways of the vampire world. I would have preferred more of that and less focus on her honeymooning with a new certain someone. I won’t say more to spoil anything, but I feel like that character could have contributed more to the story than to make Ashlyn hot in her pants. That, and it came off as fleeting. I wasn’t convinced that it would be for the long haul, so I didn’t find myself very interested in it.
Elves are introduced in the prior novel, but they barely receive a mention in this one which was a let down. Demon development was also few and far in between. I was really looking forward to learning about Ashlyn’s heritage. We get a glimpse into her power but it just wasn’t enough. It all led to an ending that I predicted a little too early, enough so that the book started to drag for me towards the end, but it wasn’t too unbearable.
While I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first, there is still potential there, so I will give book 3 a try. The books are short, they’re free (on Amazon Prime), and there’s a chance the plot could pick up and grab me as well as the first book did.
Okay, so I’m currently reading through a bunch of books that have coincidentally been set in the Washington, DC Metro area (my hometown if you didn’t know)! I totally had no idea of this going in, aside from one book. It makes me curious about this area’s growing popularity. I’ve read countless stories set in New York and LA, but not really here. It also makes me wonder, has anyone else ever read a series set in their own hometown? How did you feel about it? I think it’s sort of cool at times because I can easily visualize the landmarks a lot more.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Sean Hayden’s novel, but Origins (Demonkin #1) ended up being the perfect read for me over the weekend. The main character is Ashlyn Thorn. Right off the bat we learn that this is a world filled with vampires, elves, and werewolves, but she’s a special case. She’s a predator of the predators, finding sustenance on in supernatural blood. This gave me a Trinity Blood vibes a bit quite honestly.
After being sheltered all of her life, her aunt passes away which forces her out into the real world where her uniqueness doesn’t stay a secret for long. She becomes a target for an underworld vampire boss and is forced to grow up really fast, discovering her deeper powers in the process. It’s up to Ashlyn to use her gifts for good or evil.
Origins drew me in immediately. I like that her character has visible differences from normal humans, particularly her cat-like talons that are non-retractable. It was pretty cool imagining how she adapts to having them (on her fingers AND toes). The character herself is really relatable. Even though she’s a vampire/demon, she has very human emotions which makes her sympathetic in many instances. It’s fun to watch her grow up. She’s 17-18 years old and her hormones get crazier and crazier as the book progresses. She’s also going down a path of unchartered territory as a new vampire breed. This prompted a number of Mary Sue-ish moments, but she will be humbled so I’m not worried about this.
The vampires get the most focus in this book, followed by the werewolves. She teams up with them and fights against them in a number of scenes. There is not a lot of back story there, but I hope to see it in the sequel. I also really want to see more development for the elves which we only get a taste of in this book.
I do commend Sean Hayden for doing a fairly good job of writing from the perspective of a female. A growing number of series will have a husband and wife team as co-authors, working to strengthen the presence of their respective genders, offering a more natural point of view.
I’m a stickler for covers and this one leaves much to be desired, but there is a quality story in there. Origins is a short read, but very engaging, bringing a fresh perspective to the Urban Fantasy genre and I definitely look forward to its sequel.