A young woman wakes up on a beach. A man lies dead next to her. She knows his name, knows he's dear to her - but has little memory of anything else. She has no idea what she's doing there or who killed her friend; she doesn't even remember her name. Details swirl at the edge of her memory, and every now and then something slips through - but nothing seems to make any sense. She knows that she is in danger, and she knows that she has to keep moving.
The next few days see Destiny (as she will discover her name to be) on the run and desperate - no money, no shoes, no idea where to go. In a risky maneuver she manages to get a car to stop on the road for her, although the driver nearly runs her over. It turns out the man behind the wheel, the very handsome Trae Wilson, has a connection to the dead man on the beach. Unfortunately, while she finds herself most attracted to him, he seems less than trustworthy. As her memories begin to return, she learns that she is not the normal human that she thought - and neither is Trae. And even with the additional strength and powers that she realizes she has, she is still nearly powerless against the group of people who held her captive for the past ten years - who still hold her mother, not to mention a group of children who have become very dear to her. Somehow, though, with Trae's help or without, Destiny must return to save them.
I listened to this book as a download from my library's catalog (I love the downloadable audiobooks!). I've never read anything by this author, and I'd heard good things about her books, so I thought this would be a good introduction. I knew nothing about the story or its supernatural elements, and I enjoyed the fresh take on shapechangers. While the plot held my attention, I found the experience to be a bit frustrating at times, as many questions were raised that were never addressed in a way that was satisfying to me, and some things simply didn't make sense. For example, Destiny's father is very ill, probably dying, somewhere in Maine. She's in Oregon. Her concern is somehow to get to her father before he dies. But does she pick up a telephone and give him a call? No. Does she call his best friend, the one she immediately suspects must know where he is when she can't immediately find him when she gets to Maine? No, not till she gets to Maine. Why does she not ask his friend - or the doctor - for help with her mission when it becomes clear that he is aware of - and probably part of - her special situation? The answer seemed to be because it would have been inconvenient to the plot, and that was not satisfying to me. It seemed unrealistic that, after being captured the first time, she would approach the scientists who had imprisoned her without more of a plan, and without backup. What about the parents of the children who are being held there? The point was never even raised. Could she at least have gone in to rescue them with a weapon of some sort?
There is a lot of backstory that comes out during the course of the book that I thought would have made for a good story, if told in real time. Since we have never met Destiny's mother or the kids that she wants to save, it's hard to feel that there's much at stake. There is a lot of time spent on the romance between Destiny and Trae, but often that time is smack in the middle of a tense situation - when the bad guys are about to plow the door down and get them, it's hard to be patient as Destiny ruminates about her feelings for Trae, or about how great he looks in his jeans.
The premise for this series is interesting, but I found I just didn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked. Destiny seemed to do a lot of reacting, she is impetuous and rash, and she counts on Trae to save her over and over again. This may not be an issue for some readers - but I tend to prefer a heroine who, if not strong to begin with, changes and learns from her mistakes, and who, in the end, manages to save herself.
Books in the Myth and Magic series:
1. Destiny Kills
2. Mercy Burns
Destiny Kills (#1 in the Myth and Magic series) by Keri Arthur; narrated by Cassandra Campbell (Tantor Media, 2009)
Also reviewed at:
The Good, the Bad and the Unread: "Because of the lack of connection, I didn’t identify or sympathize with anyone or with the predicament. I can’t really tell you why that was, except I didn’t – it all seemed so impassionate."
SciFiGuy.ca: "The authors’ depiction of the air and sea dragons is fresh and evocative and a welcome change from the usual shape shifters."
Sidhe Vicious Reviews: "Mystery, non-stop action and danger, romance, and wonderful world building all rolled into a wicked, sexy ride!"