pub: Jan 2010
After the death of a dear loved one, Billi SanGreal has thrown herself into the brutal regime of Templar duties with utter abandon. There is no room for feelings any more – her life is now about hunting down the Unholy. But when Billi and another Knight Templar are caught at the heart of a savage werewolf attack, only Billi survives – except for a young girl at the scene who Billi unthinkingly drags away with her as they escape. But Vasalisa is no ordinary girl. She is an avatar with an uncontrollable power – and it’s not only the werewolves who want her. Billi has to flee to the frosty climes of Russia, with a human timebomb who, it seems, could destroy the world . . .
I really liked Devil's Kiss but DARK GODDESS is even better. Not quite as gritty, nor does it have the violent, heartbreaking ending, but still delights with daring intrigue and high adventure
One of my favorite things about Chadda's writing is the breakneck pace he delivers from page one...nay, sentence one. The story yanks you in and gives you no choice but to hang on for the ride. And it's not just action-packed. You get great character development, interesting folklore, a complex storyline and rich setting.
Billi is a fantastic kick-butt heroine. Tough, sassy, smart and her character develops well. The romance is spicy with Ivan as the hunky Russian prince, a descendant of the Romanov family. I thought the romance a bit weak in the first book but this one nails it - equal parts hot and sweet, with nothing too racy or inappropriate for younger teens.
The other Knights Templar are lovable and lethal. I liked her dad more in this one - he's still tough as tacks but seems more loving and paternal with Billi.
Werewolves are the enemy of choice - at least the obvious ones - but Chadda gives them plenty of depth. They aren't just mindless bad guys and the story ricochets with plenty of twists and turns providing delicious surprises that keep you guessing. The ending played out different than expected but satisfying. The writing is evocative, gritty at times and leans toward the dark side while always providing a lush setting.
BOTTOMLINE: Fantastic action-adventure drama, seamless plot, dynamic characters, excellent folklore, exotic setting, flirtatious romance. More dark than humorous but an overall fun time!