Review: Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

Dark Descendant (Descendants #1) by Jenna Black
How did I get it: Gallery & Pocket Books SciFi/Fantasy Blog Tour Group on Book Blogs. Thank you, Simon & Schuster!

Why did I get it: I’ve been wanting to read this book since January. I love the idea of a series about descendants of various gods from all kinds of pantheons. (This title will also count towards my Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge for 2011.)

How I would rate it: 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die.

Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods. Nikki’s new “friends” include a descendant of Eros, who uses sex as a weapon; a descendant of Loki, whose tricks are no laughing matter; and a half-mad descendant of Kali who thinks she’s a spy.

But most powerful of all are the Olympians, a rival clan of immortals seeking to destroy all Descendants who refuse to bow down to them. In the eternal battle of good god/bad god, Nikki would make a divine weapon. But if they think she’ll surrender without a fight, the gods must be crazy. . . .

Review: After giving up on a lot of books, it was great to finally get one that was hard to put down. Dark Descendant has a lot going for it. The world and the setting seemed considerably different from a lot of the Urban Fantasy I’ve been reading since it was free of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal creatures. To be honest, I found that really refreshing.  As an avid reader of anything myth-related, a book about the relatives of gods and goddesses from all over the place was a perfect pick for me. I can’t wait to see who else they find or fight against as the series move forward. Or to learn where the actual gods and goddesses are.

Happily, the world building wasn’t the only aspect of this book that I enjoyed. I was thrilled to read about a main character capable of taking on mortals and immortals alike without a lot of help from anyone and without being a heinous, sarcastic jerk about it. Her characterization was very solid and believable. The speed at which events took place was also really great. Nothing was dragged out and Nikki seemed to handle things in a much better way than other fictional characters in my recent reading past have. She struggled to accept new revelations and to find a way to deal with the new groups she’s forced to interact with, but I liked the way she came to terms with who she was and the relationships she was beginning to develop. None of them were romantic, but I prefer to have that sort of thing build over time and sometimes it is nice to meet a character who has a lot more to worry about than finding a boyfriend.

The only real complaints I have is that I wish the book had been longer because I was really enjoying it and I didn’t particularly like Nikki’s sister, Steph, although I understood the point of her being in the book. Nikki had to have someone around that loved her, after all so I’m glad it was a sibling. 

In conclusion,  Dark Descendant was a really good book that I think will appeal to Urban Fantasy fans. And possibly older fans of the Percy Jackson series who want an edgier, grittier, and much darker look at gods from a wide variety of places and their messed-up relations.

About April

I'm a librarian, reader, and writer whose main goal in life is to be able to swim in books the way Scrooge McDuck swims in money. Although my reading choices will always be wildly eclectic and I never plan on leaving any genre unexplored, my favorite reads tend to be Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Gay Romance, or Historical Fiction. You can e-mail me at inspector[dot]librarian[at]gmail[dot]com.
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12 Responses to Review: Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

  1. Bookish Hobbit says:

    Artemis? I wonder how that works. This sounds like a fun book to read. I liked the mythology books that Rick Riordan writes so it sounds like I might enjoy this too. Thanks for the review!

    • She has the ability to track things down and to shoot well, for the most part. And definitely it’s similar to Riordan, but darker since it’s primarily for an adult audience. I hope you enjoy it when you read it! 🙂

  2. I did like Steph. I’m so tired of the I’m beautiful and popular so I have to be stuck up type. So glad she was tough in her own way. Plus, as the series goes… looks like she will have more of a part. Maybe she will grow on you then. 🙂

    I really enjoyed this one too. My review is up tomorrow.

    • True. I think I just sort of felt like she was only there to get into trouble to get Nikki to hang out with Anderson and the others. But the book definitely needed Nikki to do that so I’m sure Steph will grow on me eventually.

      Very cool! 🙂

  3. Oooo, so glad you liked this one! 🙂 I have it on my want list as I loved the way it sounded. Thank you for the great review!

  4. Samantha says:

    I really enjoyed this book as well. The mythology aspects were some of my favorite parts and I am really looking forward to seeing where the author goes next with this series. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well!

  5. Scarlet Kira says:

    I haven’t read this one yet. But I really love the cover of it, it sold me on it. I’m glad that it focused on Greek gods and goddess instead of vampires. As much as I love vampires, I’m getting a little tired of them.

    • Very cool. I hope you enjoy it when you get it! 🙂

      Same here. It’s definitely great to get a bit of a break from vampires. Especially if it’s for gods instead. I think that was the best part of this book and another book I read recently – Hounded by Kevin Hearne.

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