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Twice Dead by Kalayna Price

December 2, 2010

February 12, 2010

Publishers: Belle Bridge Books

Publication Date: February 12, 2010

Format: Review Galley

Status: Second in Price’s Haven Series, which feature heroine Kita Nekai, her vampire sire, Nathaniel, Gil, the mage and Bobby, her shifter ex.

Source: Received review copy from the publisher.

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy

Other Info: Book two, Twice Dead will be reviewed later this week. Book three, Third Blood will be published in February 2011. (Swoons tragically.) February is three months AWAY!  Ahem. In case you didn’t know.

Description: (From Goodreads):

Newly undead shifter-turned-vampire Kita Nekai is coming to grips with the reality that her cat has not awakened since her change.

What she needs is a little time to adjust to her new liquid diet and the increasingly complex attraction to her sire, Nathanial. What she gets is a headless harlequin. With the body count rising, Kita is dragged into a dangerous game of vampire politics. Her involvement draws the attention of an ancient vampire known as the Collector who has a penchant for acquiring the unusual – like a pureblood shifter-turned vampire.

Kita still has unfinished business of her own and finds herself deeper in magical debt.

It’s a bad time to be a kitten who can’t slip her skin.

I warn you now: this review has spoilers for Once Bitten. Don’t read on if you don’t wish to get spoiled.

 

 

I am already suffering withdrawals. I think I actually liked Twice Dead better than Once Bitten. It had all of the good stuff from the first book and less of the bad. Like, we don’t see much of Bobby. Yea! And there’s a lot less of Kita being contrary for the sake of being contrary. In a way, I guess we had to go through all that stuff in the first book in order for the absence is believable in the second one.

Twice Dead continues Kita’s story, picking up about two weeks after the end of Once Bitten. In the last book, Nathaniel (Kita’s sire) agreed to become part of head vampire Tatius’ council in exchange for being allowed to keep Kita as his own. As the story opens, we learn that Bobby’s still in town and Kita’s been feeding on animals in order to survive. She has two reasons for doing so: One, she’s still squeamish about the whole blood-drinking thing. Two, there’s the risk that every time she bites a person they could become “tagged”, or get turned into a shifter. Which would be bad because Kita’s gotten in trouble for that already. It’s only her special status as a rare vampire/shifter that saved her life.

Kita learns pretty darn fast that Nathaniel’s been urging her to drink from him for pretty compelling reasons. With her usual knack for trouble, Kita discovers the decapitated body of a visiting vampire’s servant. This, of course, brings Kita and Nathaniel to the attention of all the VIVs, as Kita calls them: Very Important Vampires. And when Tatius discovers Kita’s malnourished condition–well, let’s just say the consequences are severe. Even worse, Kita soon becomes implicated the death of the servant. To add insult to injury, Gil, the mage, pops up every so often to get Kita’s help, taking her away at inconvenient moments. Things are also complicated by Kita’s very uniqueness. Other people have tried to change shifters before–but their attempts weren’t as successful. That Kita survived the transformation brings her to the attention of The Collector, a vampire who got her name for surrounding herself with objects as rare as Kita.

I feel like if I go too much further into the plot, I’m going to give too much away. What I can tell you is that Kita, as usual, has a lot on her plate. Of course, I’m a romance addict, so the part that thrilled me the most was the further development of Kita and Nathaniel’s relationship. Things are really, really complicated between them. Things are complicated by Tatius’ interest in Kita, too. With the events of Once Bitten under her belt, Kita is more accepting of the fact that she and Nathaniel have a strong connection. What comes into question in Twice Dead is how much of their connection is vampire magic and how much is just the two of them. It’s a question that they’re not going to get away from anytime soon. No matter the origin of their attraction, they’re hot together. There’re also sweet together. And they have the kind of tactile relationship that you usually get in books about shifters. Touch is comfort. Nathaniel is still a big mystery. We learn a major piece of the Nathaniel puzzle–but it only brings up more questions about him.

On the subject of Nathaniel, I want to give Price props for creating a hero that is strong but not omnipotent. I’ve admitting to liking alpha heroes and part of my reason for liking them is that they’re strong. However, writers often over the top with this and heroes become so untouchable as to become unbelievable. And when there are two contenders for a heroine’s heart, all too often she takes a moment to reflect that, in a fight between the two men, she doesn’t know who would win. Nathaniel knows his limits. In particular, he knows that Tatius is more powerful than him. What’s so delicious about Nathaniel is that he doesn’t let that fact prevent him from trying to protect Kita in whatever way he can, even at the risk of his own life. His desire to protect her remains unwavering throughout the book. How can I not love him?

I can’t wait to read Third Blood. It’s going to take us into the Firth. We’ll get to meet Kita’s dad and hopefully learn more about her decision to run away. I’m creating a new point category for this book. It gets five and half points: I would have this book’s babies.

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