Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda

Series: Devil's Kiss, Book Two
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
Published1st July 2010
Number of Pages: 384
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Action Adventure, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Swearing, Loads of Violence... and Death... and Suspense... and Werewolves... Some Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Blog:

Billi SanGreal is a Knight Templar and has thrown herself utterly into their brutal regime, shutting herself off from everyone and everything.
But when Billi finds herself at the heart of a savage werewolf attack, she knows their target – a young girl – must be rescued at all costs.
For this is no ordinary girl.  Vasilisa is an avatar with an uncontrollable force within – and it’s not just the werewolves who want her.  The Dark Goddess wants to sacrifice Vasilisa and use her powers to unleash unimaginable catastrophes and devastation.
Can Billi protect Vasilisa from the ancient goddess – and at the same time stop her from destroying the world?

When a book starts with a dead body, you know you're in for a freaking awesome and terrifying adrenaline ride.  I should've expected it anyway.  Those who have read Devil's Kiss will get how good Chadda is at writing horror, deaths, sadness, betrayal, and badass teenager Templar Knights.  Sarwat, you are officially one of my favourite people ever…
The one person Billi SanGreal cared about most is gone.  Her way of coping?  To throw herself into her duties as a member of the Knight Templar.  Fighting the Unholy, saving lives and getting all battered up is a pretty usual night for her.
And then everything goes south.  Because Billi gets caught up in a werewolf attack.  Something unlike anything she's seen before.  
The target?  A little girl named Vasilisa. 
The motive?  Who knows!  
Ok ok, I know.  So does Billi.  And the Knights Templar.  
The girl is... special.  Really special.  Special enough for a secret Unholy organisation with a deadly mission to spring up, intent on stealing her.  
Can Billi keep the girl safe, even when she's totally out of her depth and in a country she doesn't even know?  When she's up against enemies stronger than anything she's ever faced before?
When she's forced to ask a question that could either save or destroy the world...?
And when she starts to fall in love again?
This is Billi Sangreal and she is here to save the world.  Hopefully...
Sarwat Chadda, I officially love you.  Not only have you managed to bring Billi SanGreal back with a bang, but you've brought her back in a story that is somehow even better than Devil's Kiss, in a story that is fast-paced, action-packed, emotional, and at times slightly terrifying.  And how I love every single minute!  
Billi: oh, I love you too!  She's just so funny, so tough, so reluctantly caring, so stubborn and so totally kickass!  I also really love that she just feels so real.  She's flawed but in a totally believable way.  She's tough but also relatable.  She's mature but in a way that's completely truthful to her personality and lifestyle.  She's just the perfect heroine.    And I am just... I don't want to let her go.  I want more of her.  So please, please, please people at Penguin.  Publish the third Billi book!  I will buy a million copies if you'll just PUBLISH it so I can just READ it!!  And damn you, Sarwat, for giving me those first few chapters!  Now I’m even more desperate!
I'm sounding slightly crazy right now so I'll move onto Ivan.  Now, Ivan...  I may have started thinking you were a stuck up Tsarevich, but I love you now and see you for the broken, beautiful, caring, noble guy you are!  I didn't think I'd be able to love someone as much as Kay, but I loved Ivan just as much!  Maybe... maybe even more...  
The rest of the cast was brilliant – and all very varied.  And I'm pleased to say that Sarwat didn't let me down and killed off loads of them!  That sounds really twisted but c'mon!  They're freaking Templar Knights!  I'm sorry, but some of 'em are gonna die.  It's just the way life works, people.  You know, in books about demon hunters anyway...  But still, Sarwat!  Did you have to scare the hell out of me so many times?  I'm not sure how many more of these close shaves and horrible, terrifying fears my nerves and heart can take! 
Right now, in so, so many YA books, it's all about the romance.  Sure, there's like demons or ghosts or whatever, but much of the plot is about the romance.  Dark Goddess is such a refreshing change to that trend!  It's all about the world, the suspense, the horror, the action, the evil and the people.  The romance?  Just the sprinkling on the cake that is this killer of a book.  It doesn't overwhelm the hard, violent story but also adds a nice break – a sweet dash of sugar in this action-packed thriller.  And I loved that.  I really loved it.  And it means that this book, this wonderful wonderful book, is perfect for boys and girls.
I also loved the history of the Bogatyrs: like the Templars, only Russian and led by long-lost descendants of Tsar Nikolas.  Russian history is one of my favourites.  I love Tsarist Russia and absolutely adored all the elements of it in Dark Goddess.  Especially the one where there's a secret organisation led by a secret Romanov.  That's awesome.  And of Baba Yaga.  She is freaking terrifying...  But also just the tour of Russia as it is today.  Ever since Markus Sedgewick's Blood Red, Snow White and Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy, I've wanted to visit Moscow and St Petersburg.  And after reading Dark Goddess I want to go even more!  It all just felt so real – like I was actually there!
One of my favourite things about Sarwat's books is that nothing is sugar coated.  People die.  Like, a lot of people.  There are sacrifices, there are losses and it's not all happily-ever-afters either.  It just completely sets him and his books aside.  Well, that and the plot.  Have I mentioned the plot?  Not really?  Well, it was kickass.  Like seriously.  I never saw the twists coming, I never guessed what would happen next, I never knew who was – and who wasn't – going to die, I never even knew how the book would end – as in, with a fave character's death, more heartache, happy-ever-after or with no world left...  Yup.  That bad.  That good.  Man, I want another book...
Towards the end of the book, I found it really hard to read.  Not because it was a let-down or anticlimactic or anything.  Oh no.  Completely the opposite.  It was just so good I didn't want it to end!  Ever.  Which, if you ask me, is the sign of an amazing book.  And Dark Goddess really truly was an amazing book.  Even better than Devil's Kiss, something I didn't even think Sarwat would be able to manage.  I adored every single moment of this book and just could not put it down, even when I really didn't want it to end...  It didn't make sense to me, either.  But seriously.  If you haven't checked this series out, you absolutely have to.  I don't care if you're thirteen or one hundred, a boy or a girl: you will love this book and you will see it for the unique brilliance that it is.  Trust me.
Dark Goddess started with a dead body and ended with dead bodies – and one hell of a bang.  Now it's time for me to pray, hope and beg for the release of a Billi SanGreal Book Three.  Would it help if I put in a gif of someone begging?  No?  Oh well.  You're getting one anyways, people at Penguin.  This is how serious and desperate I am.  
Because when a series is this good, it should be illegal to stop it.  A death penalty offence.  Which is saying something, since I like in the UK where there is no death sentence, and when I'm against it anyway.  But now do you get how desperate I am?!  I need more Billi, more Ivan, more Templars and more of everything this book is about.  As soon as possible.  Please...

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
The Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading



Anonymous said...

Sounds action packed with great characters. The cover is stunning too.

Fawad Umair said...

best book i ever read

english books

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Emma: It's brilliant! And I adore the cover soo much!