Review: The Dark Ones by Rachel Van Dyken (The Dark Ones #1)
Note: This ARC was provided by InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
She's been thought to be ready for this all her life, but when Genesis's number is called, all her training doesn't prepare her for her first encounter with immortals led by Cassius, the acknowledged king. He has plans for her, but a vampire elder named Ethan intervenes and asks for her in return for something Cassius owes him. For the quarter century she's been alive, Genesis has always been taught she was nothing, not worthy to be looked upon, acknowledged, or regarded, but Ethan can tell how extraordinary she actually is. She could be the one the immortals have been waiting for, the one the prophecy has spoken of, but to find out, Ethan will have to do the one thing he swore never to do again: bond with a human and make her his mate. Doing so could mean salvation for all immortals or it could spell the end for Genesis.
The Dark Ones is the first in the new paranormal romance saga of the same title from bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken and what a way to start a series! There's a lot of secrecy and intrigue that goes on from the very beginning of the story and the excitement is amped up as soon as Genesis is called before the five immortals--Cassius (half-angel, half-human), Ethan (vampire), Mason (werewolf), and Alex and Stephanie (siren siblings). All the training and teachings that Genesis had to undergo prove to be for naught when the immortals open her eyes to the potential she has and how significant she may prove to be to their cause. When Ethan makes Genesis his mate, things don't go the way you would expect them to when it comes to this point in paranormal romance novels, thanks to the author's refreshingly creative take on the genre.
I loved how a lot of the characters straddle the line between good and bad, as they give you reasons to dislike them but then there's that feeling of empathy that is stirred when they act in an unexpected manner and the tide turns somewhat. Genesis and Ethan were the couple that needed to be together but due to their pasts, there were times they didn't want to be in the position they were forced into. That may make you question if they would ever have genuine feelings for one another, and that's why I really liked the mating process that Rachel Van Dyken introduced in this story because the choice was never taken away and it had to be one that was consciously made. There were moments that I wondered who Genesis would end up with because while Ethan may have been her mate, there was more to Cassius than meets the eye.
This series starter did an exemplary job introducing the recurring cast of characters, piquing your interest enough that you want to know what lies ahead for them as the series continues. The epilogue already has me counting down the months before the second book, which will be about Cassius and Stephanie, is released in the middle of next year. Yes, it'll be a long wait and after having read this first book, my expectations are high, but I'm confident that the wait will be worth it and that my expectations will be met. The author, who has two new adult (NA) series, Ruin and Consequence, that are among my favorites, put her own spin on the usual human-immortal trope found in this genre and has made me excited for what else she has in store for fans of The Dark Ones saga. The Dark Ones is a 2015 favorite and gets five stars. ♥
Release Date: 20 September 2015
Date Read: 20 September 2015
Learn more about Rachel Van Dyken here.