The Goodnight Kiss by Jennifer L. Hart
(The Unseelie Court #1)
Published: May 1, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated in this review are my own.
A teenage serial killer with a mysterious past.
The deadly hunter sworn to protect her.
Secrets, lies and a shot at redemption.
It all begins with a kiss.When 16-year-old Nic Rutherford heads out for a night on the town, she brings a full arsenal. Her best weapon? A deadly kiss that can take down the biggest game around—humans. Two-legged predators don’t stand a chance once she makes lip to skin contact. But her blessing is also a curse, one that Nic fears will inadvertently harm anyone who gets too close—her aunts, her best friend, or the mysterious new boy who possesses strange abilities of his own.Aiden Jager has the one thing Nic can’t resist—information. With his help Nic unearths answers about her own murky past along with the key to a hidden world where magic thrives and the impossible becomes reality if one is willing to pay the ultimate price. Beware, for once the door is open, there’s no turning back.
WARNING MATURE CONTENT: While this story is loosely based off the story of Sleeping Beauty, it is the dark folk tale version of the story. Themes include sex, rape, violence, vigilante justice and cold blooded murder. Explicit language is an added bonus.
I requested this book from Netgalley because I’m kinda delving back into the world of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and this seemed like a prime example. Though the “deadly kiss” thing is a premise I’ve seen before, it’s still one I find interesting, as well as the teenage serial killer. What can I say? I have a penchant for the dark and brutal.
It’s been a few weeks since I read this novel and there’s a lot I’ve forgotten about it, which is a sign in and of itself, but I will say there was a lot of interesting mythology woven throughout this story. We have fey and the Fates and giants…the worldbuilding was a lot of fun! Especially in the first half. I loved learning more about the world and adventuring alongside these characters.
I think my main complaint with this novel is that there’s just a lot going on. It felt like too much at times, and the tone of the novel was not always cohesive. I feel like I read three different books in one. I also had issues connecting to the protagonist. She was very unfeeling, nearly robotic, which was intentional but didn’t really work for me. I struggled to understand some of the decisions she made and one of her primary sources of internal conflict just…didn’t make sense to me. However, she did grow a TON by the end of the novel.
While the novel built up to what I’m sure is going to be an intense sequel, I just don’t see myself reading it, and I can’t even really explain why. There were plenty of exciting and interesting things happening in this book, but it just didn’t engage me the way I wanted it to. I think if the plot and the pace had been a bit tighter, this book could be something fascinating. It is certainly unique, and I think it will appeal to those interested in a dark, complex urban fantasy.
I will say, I have some concerns about the asexual rep in this book, but I’m really in no position to make any decisions about it, so I’ll leave that to someone else. Just know that there may be some questionable ace rep present in this book (but also, maybe not. Maybe it’s good rep.)