Series: The Otherkin, Book 1
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Length: 384 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle
Sinning Never Felt So Good
Roxy Tam was nineteen...and a half...when she saw him for the first time. She was bruised, cut, and tied up, tossed onto a moldy mattress in a rank room that had seen the worst of humanity and was going to see more. She had been taken by a monster. But there are those who hunt the hunters, not for the righteousness of it, but to harvest the blackest souls to feed their voracious master. Or in Dagan Krayl's case, his voracious father.
He is a soul reaper. Eldest son of Sutekh. A hunter. A killer. But tonight is not Roxy Tam's night to die.
For the eleven years since he freed her and left her, she's loathed him, burned for him, dreamed of him. She is now a Daughter of Aset, enemy of his kind, and she's on a mission cloaked in secrecy following the rumored death of one of Sutekh's sons. Roxy only hoped - silently - that it wasn't Dagan. She knew it was possible her sisters had something to do with it, and that could mean war. She needed answers to tough questions and she needed them fast. If the path to those questions leads her to death's door, so be it. She had a bone or two to pick with him, anyway.
He'd let her go and given her money all those years ago so she would have a better life, a more normal life than what he'd sensed she was destined for before she was almost a victim of a rapist and murderer. In the interim, she haunted his dreams - dreams his kind weren't supposed to have. He thought of her when he allowed himself to do so, and yearned for her when he couldn't help himself. When the trail to his brother's killer points to a serial killer wearing the necklace he remembered around Roxy's neck, Dagan realizes his wishes for her may have been in vain. Finding out if Roxy is even alive becomes just as important to him as finding his brother's murderer.
And he knows how wrong that is.
They aren't friends, they've never been lovers, and their respective kinds are mortal enemies, yet if Dagan and Roxy can't find common ground and stop a killer, the Underworld will descend into war and the human race will be nothing but fodder.
Have you ever picked up a book that everyone in the world seems to love, or a book you've been anxiously waiting to be released, and when you're done reading it you're disappointed - not so much because the story wasn't good, but because you expected to be wowed and wasn't? I hate that. Unmet expectation is a bitch.
But there's a flip side.
Sometimes you pick up a book and start reading with no strong expectations at all. There aren't any preconceptions, no anticipation of greatness - heck, you may not even know how well it's rated by other readers. You just sit back to read, unburdened by the weight of obligation to feel favorably about it, and find yourself swept away by pure reading enjoyment.
Maybe part of the impact of the story is the very lack of expectation. That's fair, I suppose. Doesn't alter the pleasure in the read. And Eve Silver's Sins of the Heart gave me tons of reading pleasure.
On a critical level, it wasn't a perfect read for me. The introduction of the series arc was odd, especially as the groundwork was being laid at the beginning, with some abrupt and disjointed leaps that made the timeline choppy. There was also a lot of repetition in the narrative, most notably in the first half of the book, and points that were mentioned again and again as if Silver doubted readers could keep details in their heads for more than a few pages at a time. And by the end of the book there were still a lot of questions that remained unanswered - to the point that this book almost failed to be completely self-contained or feel finished.
Fans more fond of romance arcs than the external conflicts found in urban fantasy or epic fantasy may be disappointed in the romance in this book, though readers disenfranchised by the formulaic nature of the genre might love it. I did. In my opinion, Silver had two characters defined by a less-is-more lifestyle and philosophy and that's exactly how their romance developed.
There were, in fact, so many aspects of the story that satisfied me that even with the critical issues, I liked this book very much. Roxy and Dagan were great lead characters. They had amazing chemistry together and were likable, though the series setup and world defining hampered character development and limited their depth as individuals. The world building and created mythos were unique, original, and fresh. I loved the concept of the soul reapers, the Egyptian mythology (I'm so tired of the Greek pantheon I could scream), and the way the Underworld was defined. All those building blocks fit really well together to form the foundation for a plot that really impressed me.
The mystery elements were handled with aplomb, clues and shadowy connections uncovered at a deliciously slow and steady pace. I loved the plot twists. Silver seems to have an inherent ability to divulge information in such a way as it answers some questions and asks more, teasing readers, keeping them guessing and on the edge of their seat to find out what happens next. I was so wrapped up in the pieces of the puzzle, so invested in the characters' struggle with their own issues and the complications of a relationship that what criticisms I had hardly made a dent.
All in all, the lack of a more traditional romantic plotline, one that left a lot of questions unanswered, worked for me - but only because it fit with these two characters. The series plot arc has me hooked. I enjoyed the world and the mythos. Sure, it's possible I enjoyed this book so much because I hadn't been expecting a lot from it, but regardless, I had a great time with this one and look forward to seeing where the series goes next.