Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy—and maybe her downfall—in this start to a romantic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Nine Lives of Chloe King. Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar? Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.
I had a really hard time getting behind Vivi's character. She just kept choosing to continually blindly deny her heritage. It didn't matter what happened, nor how great her new found family was, she just stayed stubborn for no reason. Honestly, I just didn't get it. Maybe I just have an inaccurate view of a typical eighteen year old, but I just didn't buy the rebellion as it made her seem much younger. I guess I just prefer my characters to have a whole lot stronger of an inner core than she did.
While it may seem like a cop out, I can overcome most flaws in a book as long as the romance is great. Unfortunately this was another place where DARKEST FEAR was mostly a let down for me. While there was a fierce attraction, and the few interactions were steamy hot, it just didn't make any sense. In fact with each time they two were around each other, I only grew more and more confused. There was a whole lot of "I want you, but I can't" going on, but the "can't" was never explained. Sure, there were speculations, but they were just that. I'm pretty sure it's an over-arcing plot, but I just wasn't feeling it. I think even just a little more information would have gone a very long way, and would have made this book work a whole lot better in the long run.
DARKEST FEAR had an interesting premise, therefore giving it a lot of potential. Unfortunately that potential never seemed to go past that initial stage of interest as I kept waiting for things to take off. As I said, Vivi was so stuck on denying her heritage, that nothing seemed to move forward. Because of this, the book almost felt like it was split into two different things, the paranormal aspects and normal humdrum life, and they weren't quite jiving with one another. When you add it into the extremely rushed and strange ending, I just can't help but be left scratching my head about how I felt about this book. On one hand, it did keep my attention enough to finish it, but most of that time reading was spent frustrated. That being said, I may still give the second book a chance, as this could have been just a rocky start and more answers will be coming.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)