Book Review: Jenna Black’s Deadly Descendant

Posted June 20, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jenna Black’s Deadly Descendant

Deadly Descendant


Jenna Black

mythic fantasy, urban fantasy that was published by Pocket Books on April 24, 2012 and has 355 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Chicks Kick Butt, Dark Descendant, Rogue Descendant, Nightstruck

Second in the Nikki Glass urban fantasy series set in Washington D.C. and revolving around Nikki, a modern-day descendant of Artemis.

My Take

While I enjoyed the story, I was disappointed as well, for this installment didn’t have the verve of the first in this series, Dark Descendant. Still, Black has an interesting premise, and she certainly put a twist on this particular story. I like her characters as well. While the Olympians we met in the the first story are just so incredibly nasty, Black is giving the new ones a bit more depth — not that I’m gonna trust ’em or anything!

I did love Blake and Jack’s snarky comments when Phoebe came to visit. Such a deserved response to her rudeness.

I’m discovering I have a nasty streak myself, and I do wish we could have enjoyed the tables being turned on some of the bad guys more. Instead Black briefly mentions an event or more and that’s it. I wanted to wallow in it! I do suspect that Cyrus is going to cause us to do some completely different wallowing what with the events at the end of the story. I hate that I’m going to have to wait! Then there’s those adoption papers Steph drops off. The ones that Nikki is ignoring…right along with that developing relationship. I didn’t see that one coming.

I’m rather suspicious of Emma’s jealous rages. I think she’s setting her husband up. Dogboy’s excuses about the people his jackals kill don’t work for me. If he’s so full of rage at one person or one group of people, why is he wasting it on regular people?

Well, that’s certainly one way to find out what power Dogboy and his “dogs” have. Not very nice at all.

Huh, who’d’a thunk that Nikki and Jamaal had a past in common? And such a past he has. Makes you glad slavery has been outlawed at least in America.

The whole threat thing was good tension, but it was too hokey and just pissed me off. I wish Black had worked this a bit more. Brought in a bit more finesse. Sure, she’s got supernatural aim, but why would anyone go out to hunt with only six bullets? Nor do Emma’s threats make any sense. She’s so all over the place that it almost makes me want to forget the whole series.

The Story

Nikki’s between a rock and a hard place. If she wants to keep her adopted family safe, she must live in Anderson’s mansion. A deal that she hates for she wants nothing to do with either side. This new lifestyle is also cutting into her available time to work as a private detective, and the stress of paying rent on both her condo — her refuge — and her office along with the new car payments is not helping. So, there’s nothing like an idiot accidentally setting fire to her office building to really make Nikki’s day.

It’s that stress that tips Anderson off, and he offers Nikki a job. No, it’s a real job. It seems that Kane’s Liberi rescues “other Liberi and their families who are trying to escape the Olympians” and Kane wants Nikki to check their covers for holes.

Another rock. Another hard place. Dip into the trust fund she swore never to touch or help Kane? There is another consideration involved. Emma is just not coping well with her rescue. To be blunt, she’s being a bitch to everyone, but especially with Nikki.

Then there’s the issue that brings Phoebe to their doorstep. It seems that wild dogs are attacking and murdering people. The Olympians are concerned that it could be a supernatural problem, and that if it continues, the police and more may be called in thereby threatening the exposure of the Liberi.

Hey, they’re Olympians. You can’t trust a single word they say, and just a bit of research on Nikki’s part proves it.

The Characters

It’s only been a few weeks, but Nikki Glass (Artemis) is settling into Anderson’s home along with all the other godly descendants. Supposedly, her “inheritance” is the ability to hunt anything and to hit whatever she aims at. Her foster, oops, adoptive, family is still touring in Europe while their daughter Steph is still seeing Blake Porter (Eros) who uses his abilities to “drown” his victims in desire and lust — he has promised Nikki that he’ll behave with Steph.

Anderson’s group is…
…a mixed bag of gods from various pantheons, and they believe they should use their powers to make the world a better place. Anderson Kane is actually a minor god descended from Thanatos and Alecto (Death and Vengeance), and he heads up this “cult” of the descendants of gods. The other members of his household believe that he is like them — Liberi Deorum. Children of the gods. He’s a reasonable man until anger heats him up and his Hand of Doom comes out. Only Nikki and Konstantin know the truth and Anderson is quite vehement that she will keep this secret.

Other members of the household include Maggie (Zeus through Hercules); Jamaal (Kali) cannot control his rage long enough to use logic, no lock can keep him out, and he hates Nikki for killing Emmitt; Logan Fields (Tyr); Jack Gillespie (Loki), who tricks everyone; Leo (Hermes), is a recluse and the financial wizard for the group; and, Emma Poindexter, who is Kane’s insanely jealous bitch of a wife and was recently rescued by Nikki and Anderson. Erin is a healer and a descendant of Apollo. She’s also an example of Anderson’s keeping track of everyone he puts into the godly witness protection program. Never know what or who you’ll need.

The Olympians…
…believe that the world exists to make a better place for them. That includes “slaughtering whole families of Descendants”, anyone who isn’t one of them.Their leader is Konstantin. Cyrus is Konstantin’s son, but it’s not the sinecure you might think. It does seem as though he and Blake may have had a fling in the past. Phoebe is the Oracle (Apollo). For the Olympians.

Justin Kerner is a descendant of Anubis and suffered as the guinea pig in a bad seed experiment.

The Cover and Title

The cover is black and white with a burgundy for the title and author’s name. It’s Nikki in a very low v-necked, fitted top and black leather pants with black, high-heeled boots, a gun in her right hand pointed at the ground, hair blowing in the breeze as she steps through a brilliantly lit cemetery and the buildings of Washington D.C. lit up in the nighttime background.

The title could apply to the protagonist or the antagonist as both are a Deadly Descendant.