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{January 9, 2014}   {Review} Destiny’s Kiss by Misti Wolanski (Destiny Walker #1)

Destiny's KissFrom Goodreads: Destiny Walker is an exceptional student despite her youth, sullenness, and the werewolf baby she left on a stranger’s doorstep. Across the Atlantic, Kismet Baros was a rare mutt of a Magik—essentially immune to magic but nonetheless able to magically modify scents and heal herself—who was under the protection of the vampire court. Only Destiny and the judge who emancipated her know why Kismet no longer exists.

When powerful Magiks from Kismet’s past come into town to celebrate a classmate’s coming of age, Destiny must face her demons. She must decide what she is—person or property—and if she’ll sacrifice the few friends she has to save the many. If she doesn’t, she’ll be the next face to launch a thousand ships.

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Destiny is a magik running from a very dark past; a past her own parents sold her into in order to protect themselves. Finally free, yet living in constant fear, it seems that Des’ luck is about to run out as her past begins to rear its ugly head, sending her life spiraling out of control once more. This entire plot line really sparked my interest, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Destiny.  She’s a strong character and I can’t image all she’s gone through in order to get to where she is today. Thankfully, it’s not graphic, but readers do learn fairly early on that slavery is an accepted practice among magiks and that the trade of young women is rampant in some circles. While it’s sickening to think about, Wolanski does an amazing job setting up the scene, showcasing the truths of human trafficking and slavery.  But like I said, graphics are not involved, making it a little easier to read, but it’s still harrowing.

Wolinski intertwines her story with both the present and past experiences of Destiny, focusing mainly on the present, but giving glimpses into her past and her choice to run when the coast finally cleared. I liked the back and forth narrative, though it was a bit jarring the first time it happened because of the name change, but it was still obvious who the story was about.

There are many magiks within this novel, from vampires and werewolves to gnomes and druids, the list is extensive.  Perhaps the most interesting but also jarring addition to this novel is that they all co-exist with humans–humans bending to magiks’ policies and customs, having special branches within their forces, such as the police, to deal with magiks, and to also honor their laws.  The fact that the humans just seem to roll over whenever a magik showed itself made me a little queasy, but at the same time, it makes sense.  If you can’t fight it, and you can’t beat it, the next best thing is to befriend it, right?  Even if you disagree with their values and practices?  Well, maybe not.

The one aspect of this novel I really struggle with, though, it was it was all a little too fast paced for me.  I actually feel weird saying that because I usually love fast-paced books, but in this case, it just was too much too fast.  So many characters are introduced to us right off the bat, and I never felt like I was able to wrap my head around it all.  Each group has its own powers, customs, laws, and traditions, and once politics came on the scene, I found myself quite lost.  The story itself made sense for the most part as it focused on Destiny, but whenever the politics came into play, I personally had a hard time following along.  I think a little less information overload would have helped me follow the storyline a little better, but overall, it was a good read. Three stars.

3 starsI was given this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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