Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Dark Goddess (Devil's Kiss Series #2)

Dark Goddess - Sarwat Chadda Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Three months after the events of Devil's Kiss, Billi has thrown herself into the life of a Knight Templar. Her latest mission involves the protection of a nine-year-old girl named Vasilisa, the target of a group of werewolves called the Polenitsy. She is an Oracle, an avatar, and what the Polenitsy call a Spring Child, a child to be sacrificed to their goddess Baba Yaga to keep her alive. The Knights Templar follow the wolves to Russia to save Vasilisa and must enlist the help of the Bogatyrs, and Billi grows closer to their future leader Ivan Romanov. As the time of sacrifice grows closer, can Billi save Vasilisa or will the child end up in trapped within Baba Yaga?Dark Goddess starts out slowly, with the inciting event of Vasilisa's kidnapping happening around the 100 page mark, but once the novel gets going, it doesn't slow down until the last page is turned. Billi, still a mess after Kay's death, is a wonderfully complex character and her relationship with her dad is still one of my favorite qualities of the book, though it got more spotlight in the first book than in the second one. Concerning Kay, it's great she moved on from her "soul mate's" death; on the other hand, it felt a little quick for how much he was supposed to mean to her. But who am I to judge another on such a thing until I've been through it? For that, I let it slide.You know, it's been about two years since I read Devil's Kiss. It didn't make much of an impression on me when I first read it, but Dark Goddess made me appreciate just how good it was in many regards and rethink my feelings on it, which is just what a good sequel should do. There were many bits I've forgotten over those two years, but Dark Goddess helpfully reminds me without infodumping or being overwhelming. Though Baba Yaga is the uncontested antagonist and in the wrong for what she plans to do, the reader can understand why she feels that way. If you were connected to the earth itself and felt pain when humans dumped waste into the waterways and cut down trees until almost nothing was left, you might be angry at humans too and want to start over by wiping them all out with Fimbulwinter. The pain she has gone through over the centuries by human hands almost makes her pitiable. Almost.My main issue with the book was its tendency to switch from past-tense narration to present-tense for flashbacks, dreams, even dramatic moments such as the killing blow during the climactic scene. I like consistency in my narrative and the switching between where the past is told in present and the "present" is told in past was confusing. I can't deny its intended stylistic effect, but it did not have the effect it was supposed to on me.Readers hungry for a warrior heroine with depth and complexity need look no further than Billi SanGreal's series, starting with Devil's Kiss and continuing with Dark Goddess. Chadda stated on his blog back in August 2010 he had plans for a third Billi book, but there were no plans to publish it at that time and it all depended on sales of the series. I hope sales pick up because I would love to see more of Billi, especially after reading the little idea teasers the author offered. Please buy the books. Please? (Want details? Here you go.)