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.