Saturday, February 1, 2014

[ARC Review] Black Dog

Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.

But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.

In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.

Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.

But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.


This was a very unique book that had a lot of thought put into the plot and supernatural aspects. The pack dynamics were interesting and the black dogs easily stand apart in my mind from other canine snifters or half snifters. It was a very easy book to be drawn into, although a bit strange at times.  

 I loved the Hispanic characters mixed with the Americans and I thoroughly enjoyed the incorporation on the Spanish language and heritage mixed with the black dog heritage. I did have a few problems here and there. There are a million names that are terribly hard to keep up with, but I did my best and soldiered through. That was not a great issue, however. The thing I had the most problems with was the age of the protagonist and the love interest. Yes, I understand that in the black dog culture, she is special and mates that are able to give birth to others like her are hard to come by. And yes, I understand that they want to get her popping out babies as soon as possible and it is great that she had an okay-ish guy interested. Ezekiel is not all bad. In the beginning, I just frowning because I felt like he didn't like her and just wanted her for her calming essence. He grew on be, but it was still very hard for me to accept. I want to like him bit when you are 21 flirting with a 14 year old, it just makes me squirm- and not in a good way. But I will concede that just because 14 is young by today's standards for popping out babies, it is not completely unheard of in some cultures, so I could file it away under making me uncomfortable, but relevant to the feel and plot of the novel. I just wish she was older. Other than that, like I stated previously, very intriguing dynamic and some very entertaining characters. I was shocked to learn the book was told from the alternating views of Nat and her brother, but I enjoyed both of their stories. I loved the brothers, especially little old human Miguel. The ending will probably leave a lot of readers shocked and eager to get a hold of the next book. 


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