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Deadly Descendant [Mass Market Paperback]

Jenna Black

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Book Description

April 24 2012 Descendant
An ancient evil is unleashed in the modern world— unless one fearless P.I. can hunt it down. . . . Nikki Glass, Immortal Huntress, returns in this new novel in the acclaimed series by Jenna Black.

As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the Descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington, D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are really jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backward may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (April 24 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145160680X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451606805
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.3 x 16.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #264,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jenna Black is a typical writer, which means she’s an “experience junkie.” She created the popular Morgan Kingsley urban fantasy series and The Guardians of the Night paranormal romance series. She lives in North Carolina.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

ONE

Early January is not the best time to enjoy the outdoors in Arlington, but Anderson and his bitchy wife, Emma, were having a screaming argument in the house, and outside seemed the best place to be to avoid hearing it. I closed the front door behind me, and the shouting voices were muffled down to a low buzz. The winter air bit at my cheeks, and I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my jacket to keep them warm. Definitely not my favorite kind of weather, but the silence was sweet and soothing.

Figuring that I could handle the cold for a while, I sat on the picturesque porch swing and tried to pretend my life was my own. The illusion was hard to uphold when I lived in the mansion and spent my days working for Anderson, examining the covers he had built for the Liberi he had hidden.

He’d actually done a surprisingly good job, in large part thanks to Leo, our resident descendant of Hermes, who had become a computer genius in order to better keep his finger on the pulse of the financial world. I hadn’t found too many blatant holes in the covers so far, though I’d patched many small ones and still had a long way to go before I was finished.

My feet had gone numb, and I was beginning to think it was time to go in, when I noticed an unfamiliar car navigating the long driveway. I shivered in the freezing air as I watched the car approach, wondering who it could be. We didn’t exactly get a lot of visitors at the mansion. That was sort of the point of the place. Whoever this was, someone was expecting them, since they had to be buzzed through the front gate.

I heard the door open behind me and turned to find Anderson stepping out to join me on the porch.

“Back inside, Nikki,” he said, jerking his thumb at the house. “We’re meeting in the formal living room.”

I swallowed to contain my instinctive retort. I wasn’t fond of being ordered around. A few weeks ago, when I’d thought Anderson was “just” a Liberi, I probably would have told him so. I wasn’t a timid person, but I found I couldn’t look at Anderson anymore without picturing him as the pillar of white fire he had turned into when he’d shed his disguise, and that image was more than enough to discourage my smart mouth.

I stifled my urge to protest and ducked back inside the mansion as Anderson waited on the porch for our mysterious visitors. The warm air flushed my cheeks, and they were probably red enough to look sunburned. Guess I’d been outside longer than I’d realized.

I made my way to the formal living room. I think the last time I’d set foot in there had been when Maggie gave me the grand tour of the house the night I’d moved in. It really was a formal living room, and Anderson’s Liberi were a decidedly informal bunch.

The sofa and many of the chairs were already filled with other members of Anderson’s household, with the notable exception of Emma. I guessed that meant her fight with Anderson was over—or at least on temporary hiatus. It was well nigh impossible to win a fight with Anderson, and Emma didn’t take well to losing. Often, she flounced off in a huff afterward; other times, she’d go completely nonresponsive, staring off into space. She’d been Konstantin’s prisoner for about a decade, until I’d found her and rescued her (with Anderson’s help). When we’d first brought her back to the mansion, she’d been the next best thing to catatonic, and sometimes I harbored the guilty thought that I’d liked her better that way.

The woman was disturbed, no doubt about it, and there was only so much slack I was willing to cut her for the trauma she’d been through. I couldn’t help wondering if some—if not all—of her “episodes” were faked, meant to guilt Anderson into being more agreeable. Sometimes it seemed to work. Other times, not so much.

I sat on a chair that, judging by the hardness of its seat and the carved knobs that dug into my back, was meant to be more ornamental than functional and leaned over toward Maggie. She was the closest thing I had to a friend among the Liberi.

“Any idea what’s up?” I asked her.

She shrugged. “We have visitors, and I’m guessing it’s Olympians, because Anderson gave us his ‘my house, my rules’ speech.”

I made what I was sure was an ugly face. Anderson trotted out that phrase whenever he made an unpopular decision—like, for instance, when he invited me to live in the mansion. I was pretty sure that if it came down to a vote, I would be out on my ear. They were a close-knit bunch, Anderson’s Liberi, and I was very much on the outside looking in.

“Sorry I missed it,” I muttered, and Maggie laughed. She was a descendant of Zeus through Heracles, and she had the super strength to prove it. She was also by far the nicest of any of the Liberi I’d met. “Why would an Olympian be coming here?” I asked. I wouldn’t quite say we were at war with the Olympians, but it was close. I suspected I knew what Anderson and Emma had been fighting about—her hatred for Konstantin and the Olympians was truly epic.

“I’m guessing we’re about to find out,” she said, jerking her chin toward the front, where Anderson was leading three people—two men flanking one woman—into the living room.

The woman was petite and fine-boned, like me, but that was where the resemblance ended. Her ash-blond hair was cut in a stylish bob, and though she wasn’t classically beautiful, she was striking. I’d guess her age at around thirty—if she weren’t Liberi, which meant she could be a thousand years old for all I knew. Her posture was regally straight, with an aristocratic tilt to her chin that said she thought she was better than everyone around her. But then, she was an Olympian, and feeling superior to all non-Olympians was one of the membership requirements. The navy-blue skirt suit she wore looked like it cost about as much as your average compact car.

Beside the woman was a guy, maybe early twenties, with coarse-looking black curls and olive skin. He wasn’t movie-star handsome, but he was roguishly cute, with a hint of dimples. He didn’t have the woman’s haughty demeanor, and he was dressed casually in jeans, a button-down shirt, and a slightly weathered sportcoat.

The other man had the look of hired muscle. Broad-shouldered, with buzz-cut hair and a square face, he was obviously wary of everyone in the room. The iridescent glyph on the side of his neck proclaimed him to be more than strictly human, but if I had to guess, I’d say he was a mortal Descendant, not a Liberi himself. At least, not yet.

Anderson invited the woman to sit in an armchair. When she crossed her legs, she made sure to flash the red soles of her Louboutins. Apparently, she wanted everyone to know that she was rich, because acting superior wasn’t obnoxious enough. There weren’t enough chairs for everyone, so our other two guests stood, the Liberi beside the woman’s chair, the Descendant behind, looking menacing. As a Descendant, he could do what no one else could: kill a Liberi, thereby stealing his or her immortality and becoming Liberi himself. Well, no one else but Anderson, but that was far from common knowledge. His eyes suggested he was sizing us all up.

Across from me, Blake leaned forward and glared at the woman. He was a descendant of Eros and had once been a reluctant Olympian himself, until Anderson had offered him an alternative.

“You wouldn’t be here if Anderson hadn’t given you safe passage,” he said. “Bringing your goon with you is an insult.”

There was a glimmer of amusement in the woman’s eyes. I doubted the insult had been unintentional, and Blake was giving her exactly the reaction she wanted. The goon didn’t seem to mind being talked about that way, and the other guy deepened his dimples by smiling.

“How do you know the goon isn’t mine?” he asked. His voice was pleasantly deep and mellow. “You could be taking Phoebe to task for something that is entirely my fault.”

Blake looked back and forth between the two men and shook his head. “He’s not your type, Cyrus.” There was noticeably less hostility in his voice when he addressed Cyrus.

Cyrus laughed, looking over his shoulder and giving the goon a visual once-over. “Too true,” he said, turning back to Blake. He leaned a hip against Phoebe’s chair and propped his elbow on the top of it, his casual demeanor a striking contrast to the goon’s menace and Phoebe’s stiffness.

“This is supposed to be a peaceful meeting, Blake,” Anderson chided. “Don’t start a fight.” He gave Blake a quelling look. Blake crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his seat.

Anderson turned his attention back to the two Liberi. “I believe you know everyone here except Nikki,” he said, gesturing to me. “Nikki, this is Cyrus, Konstantin’s son.”

I might have blinked a bit in surprise, though now that I knew he was Konstantin’s son, I could see the faint resemblance. Cyrus was much better-looking and didn’t immediately set my nerves on edge as Konstantin had the one time I’d met him. His smile looked genuinely friendly, but looks can be deceiving.

“And this is Phoebe,” Anderson continued.

“Also known as the Oracle,” Blake said, and my eyes widened.

Blake had told me about the Oracle once before. She was a descendant of Apollo, and she had visions of the future. According ...

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first! June 19 2012
By BookFever - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I rated Dark Descendant, book 1 of the Nikki Glass series, five stars, and I couldn't wait for the second installment to come out. Maybe my expectations were too high, but Deadly Descendant didn't quite bring to the table what I had hoped.
Nikki Glass is still living in Anderson's mansion along with the other Liberi introduced to us in the first book. This time around, we also get to know Emma, Anderson's wife, and I was a little surprised at how Jenna Black decided to portray her character. It wasn't what I expected, and it made for some interesting tension.
Aside from interactions with Emma, Nikki mainly engages with Jamaal, who still struggles to control his death magic.
When a rogue Liberi starts killing humans, Nikki and Jamaal team up to find the perpetrator and the reason behind the killings.
A lot of the scenes felt rushed, and I wish Jenna Black would have spent a few more pages setting the mood and using the scenes to their full potential. In addition, Nikki came across as a little wimpy and nothing like the heroine portrayed on the cover of the book. She's unsure of her actions, and spends way too much time contemplating the consequences of her decisions, which weren't that big of an issue to begin with.
The plot surrounding the murders was so-so, and it honestly didn't hold my interest.
I haven't given up on the series, and I hope the third installment will be better, but I can only rate Deadly Descendant roughly 3.4 stars.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Descendant, Right on Target April 24 2012
By Allison Hammond - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been WAITING for this book for months and as I close on the last page, I can happily say it was worth the wait.
*** SMALL SPOILERS FROM BOOK 1 and 2 IN THIS REVIEW ***

In Deadly Descendant, we return to the Liberi and Nikki Glass shortly after the events of book 1, and to say she is feeling a little lost is an understatement. Her new reality as a descendant of Artemis/reluctant member of Andersons group hasnt been an easy transition for her. It's not like she has a manual that can explain how to "operate" her powers, and the trial and error method is frustrating to say the least. Then there is the secret she has been keeping for Anderson about his true identity as a Death God, and it's one that could mean her end if she cant keep it. Her sister is still recovering from her torture at the hands of Konstantin and his Olympians, and to keep her safe, Nikki has set aside her old life as a private detective to live with Anderson's Liberi. Oh, and lets not forget EMMA, Anderson's "slightly" unhinged wife. Her psychotic episodes of anger are fueled by her need for revenge against Konstantin, and until she gets what she wants... well Nikki seems like a good target. So PISSED OFF doesnt quite seem to cover how Nikki is feeling about life in general at the moment. Black doesn't give her much time to brood though; there has been a string of murders, all involving gruesoms ends, and sightings of giant black dogs seem to be the common theme. When the Olympians reach out to the Liberi for help, Nikki suddenly finds herself on the hunt for a descendant of the Death God Anubis, and if she cannot stop him, then the immortals and all their secrets could be exposed to the world. But hey! That should be easy for a descendant of Artemis....right?

THE LOWDOWN: If I had to pick one word to describe this book it would be SOLID. It was an overall entertaining read, one that Black should be proud of. My biggest problems with this book were the occasional feeling of simplicity and lack of information in the conflicts. The premise of this book was a was an interesting idea, death god descendant looking for revenge against the Olympians, but it didnt go as far as it could have. I enjoyed how Black handeled his introduction, and the near-miss Nikki has after being attacked was well done,but I really wish he has more interactions with our heroes, we could have gotten alot more of his backstory. I was left feeling a little underwhelmed, He could have been a much larger pressence in the book! And where was Konstantin?! After all that happens in book one, I was waiting for him to make an apperance, but we barely hear about him until the very end, and without giving too much away I was again surprised how abrupt and sudden that turn of events was. All I can say is I hope it isn't the last we hear from him. Nikki is a great heroine, and I think she deserves a great villain... and Konstantin is a great villain.

Other than all that, I really did like this book. In terms of character developement, I gobbled up every new piece of information about Nikki and the other Liberi. They are such great characters and that for me more than anything else is what has drawn me into these books. We get introduced to some new faces, as well as learn about some minor characters from book 1: Jack, a member of Andersons group and the resident trickster and descendant of Loki. Cyrus, the son of Konstantin, who seems to have a past with Blake, and an up and coming power in the Olympians group. and Emma...sweet Emma, Anderson's wife, returned after her years of torture, but not exactly sane. I loved to dislike her and this book just gave me fuel for the fire. Again I wish this book was longer so Black could have explored these characters more, so i can only hope that in book 3 we get that.....Did I mention how much I LOVE JAMAAL?! The insight into his past, the way he is slowly opening up to Nikki, and Vice Versa had me hanging on every word. They are so alike, and oddly enough they seem so good for eachother, I HOPE (please please please) that book 3 proves to give us even more of their relationship developing, but for now im content. In this area I had no complaints, I loved their interactions with one another and cannot wait for the next installment in this series. I'll just end this by saying that Nikki is a solidly well written character, any time she acted cranky, or sad, or afraid, you could only feel sympathy for what she was going through, and cheer her on when she stumbled her way through her powers and new life as an immortal. An overall enjoyable bit of writing by Jenna Black! It might have been a little thin for my tastes at times, but I was still engaged, and can only hope that these novels get better and better. For anyone who read book 1, I hope you buy this because you wont be dissapointed.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Characters May 3 2012
By Pacey1927 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The second Nikki Glass story picks up near where the first installment left off. Nikki is living life in Anderson home with the other Leberi. She is struggling with the shocking revelation about Anderson. It's a secret she must keep for her own safety. She is also dealing with the fallout from the first book. Nikki is dealing constantly with Anderson's crazy, jealous, and paranoid wife. She was rescued from the Olympians but the torture at their hands has left her seriously unbalanced.
The Olympians and Anderson's group are certainly enemies so imagine their surprise when the Olympian's Oracle comes to them and asks for their help in catching a killer who takes the form of a pack of jackels. This seems to be the work of Death god. Since they want to stop the murders the Leberi agree to try to capture the killer.

Nikki is a strong and compassionate heroine. I like that she feels sickened when she sees grisly murders. She doesn't quite understand her powers yet but is trying to figure them out. She speaks up when she thinks she needs to. I adore the secondary characters in this series. I want to more about each of them. I really thought Anderson would divorce and end up with Nikki and I was pleasantly surprised to find there is another romantic interest for Nikki whom I like a lot better. Jamal is the type of hero all the female book readers swoon over. He is hot and tortured a soul who could benefit from a loving woman. While things are far from uncomplicated, I hope that the two continue to grow closer in the next installments.

The action in the book really almost takes a backseat to the characters and their interplay and back-stories. It was entertaining but I felt like it was missing some tension and maybe a more detailed resolution. Jenna Black is a standout author and I am sure that this series will get tighter as it progresses. Again I'd just like to see more detailed and forward moving plotlines and more interaction with all the other characters. These are fantastic creations and Black needs to allow each their time to shine.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! What an amazing follow up to the first book! Love it! June 4 2012
By Michelle's Paranormal Vault - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I was anxiously waiting for this 2nd book in the new series by Jenna Black. I was on the edge of my seat when reading the first book Dark Descendant, and it was no different in this book.

Overall, all of the fast-paced excitement, danger, suspense, and mystery are back along with a bit of romance and emotional drama that made this impossible to put down.

This book has solid characters, action, adventure, magic, and plenty of humor make this a must read for any fan of the genre.

For anyone who read book 1, I hope you buy this because you won't be disappointed. If you have NOT read book one, go get it, read it, then you will WANT to pick this one up to find out what happens next!

***Mild spoilers for both books below this warning. I have a more in-depth review of the book and series in general.****
******************************************************************

In Deadly Descendant, we return to the Liberi and Nikki Glass shortly after the events of book 1, and she is feeling pretty lost after all the events that took place. We learned in Book one that Nikki Glass is a descendant of the goddess Artemis the Huntress. She is also a private investigator - which makes her quite good at finding things.

Nikki is still trying to adjust to her new life, her immortality, and the power she doesn't really know how to use yet. It's not like it comes with a user manual. This is a thrilling sequel; there is a serial killer out and about killing innocent people, who just may be more than a human.

In this book, we get introduced to some new faces, as well as learn about some minor characters from book one: Jack a descendent of Loki is the trickster of the group. Cyrus (he's an Olympian), the son of Konstantin, who seems to have a past with Blake, and an up and coming power in the Olympians group, and Emma, well, her psychotic episodes of anger are fueled by her need for revenge against Konstantin, and until she gets what she wants... well Nikki seems like a good target, so plenty of stress here for Nikki, and Emma's unreasonable jealousy toward Nikki is certainly undeserved. Emma is a dangerous enemy to have. That's all Nikki needs, another enemy!

Nikki and Jamaal, wow is one word to describe them. Both Jamaal and Nikki have had a bad past which I loved learning about and hopefully more will be revealed in future books. We had some pretty steamy scenes between these two. The insight into his past, the way he is slowly opening up to Nikki, and vice versa had me hanging on every word. They are so alike, and oddly enough they seem so good for each other. I really do hope this relationship will grow in the next book. To me it seems they NEED each other.
Overall, very exciting.

Note: I recieved a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have many favorite authors and serries. J. Black is one of them. May 10 2012
By Kimber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was thrilled to find te second book to this serries. I truly enjoyed it; From begining to end. I only hope that there's lots more to come in this serries and soon. this serries is as good or better (and runs along the same lines) even as such serries written by Adams, Caine, Estep, Feehan, Hamilton, Harrison, Kenyon, Lui, M. Rice, Thurman, Ward, and ect. ect.. There's so many (too many) to name; that i love and consider favorites of mine. My point being that J. Black is definately amoung them. I'm truly looking forward to the next book in this serries! Thanks, Kimber in Clovis, CA.

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