By Sarwat Chadda
Publication date: January 25, 2011 (US)
In this sequel to Devil's Kiss, Billi travels with the Templars to Russia in order to save a young girl from a terrible fate. Vasilisa's powers as an Oracle have brought her to the attention of the evil and ancient goddess Baba Yaga, who plans to use her to destroy the earth. Billi faces danger from werewolves, gangsters, and traitors but she also finds help from unlikely places.
Dark Goddess is a suspenseful and fast paced read filled with action, terrifying creatures, and a little bit of romance.In Devil's Kiss, Billi suffered some very painful losses and had to make hard decisions. Now she is dealing with the aftermath of her choice. At the same time she has even more challenges as the depleted Templars fight a new threat in the form of werewolves and the powerful Baba Yaga. This makes for another dark story as the title implies.
Billi is a strong yet flawed character. It is hard to believe that she is only fifteen and while reading I tended to think of her as a much older teen.When Billi isn't busy swordfighting, dodging bullets and werewolf bites, she still seems too old for her years except when she is with Ivan Romanov, her love interest. He was raised to be a warrior just as she was only in a much more opulent lifestyle. Ivan is a member of the Bogatyrs, Russian knights similar to the Templars. (He also happens to be a descendant of the late Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II.) Their chemistry isn't very believable but I still liked Ivan as a character and hope to see more of him in future books.
I liked that this book takes place in Russia and incorporates Russian mythology. With the frenetic pacing, we don't really get to enjoy the setting very much and the developing romance also quickly takes a back seat to the action. Though there is plenty of action there are also thoughtful and more philosophical moments where Billi considers her path in life and the beliefs of the Templars. Something else I liked was a twist involving the werewolves that I was not quite expecting.
Overall I thought this was a grim but entertaining book. It does have quite a bit of violence so it is not for everyone. However for those who are sick of sparkling vampires and paranormal love, this series might be just the thing you need. I would suggest this to fans of Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels.
Readalikes: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow, Crusade by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, Slayed by Amanda Marrone, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Note: I read and reviewed an ARC of this title as part of an ARC tour courtesy of Star Book Tours