Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #1
Published: 25 May 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
Length: 306 pages
Warnings: Profanity, gore, kissing
Other info: Reviewing today because the sequel, Invincible, is out tomorrow (22 Mar 2011). Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series has also been made into a manga (review coming one day).
Summary from Goodreads: At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends. . .until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.
But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.
As if starting high school isn't hard enough. . .now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?
Review: The book starts with a speech from Nick Gautier, discussing free will: an interesting opening that sort of sets the tone. It then switches to an account of Nick's teenage years. He's the guy from a poor background who the bullies pick on eternally and is decidedly average. We are introduced to Nick's sarcastic nature within a few pages which, while not for everyone, certainly made me laugh.
Nick is saved after his friends desert him, by Kyrian, a tall blond man with comebacks as sharp as Nick’s: who is looking for an employee. Nick takes the job: running around, doing odd jobs, for a thousand dollars a week. Nice pay. Nick is then sucked further into the world of the dark hunters, demons and was hunters. Plus, there’s a load of zombies to fight. Anyone else think this makes for good reading? I did. The Chronicles of Nick was designed as a spin off to Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, and those of you familiar with it will recognise a lot of familiar faces. If you haven't read it, no worries. The Chronicles of Nick works perfectly as a stand-alone series too. The action was fast paced; something always seemed to be happening, from an attempted mugging to a zombie attack to chasing down said zombies.
We meet a lot of Dark hunter characters: a young Tabitha, into vampire slaying even then, Acheron, the all-powerful Atlantean god, and Simi, his Goth demon who will eat anything with a good serving of barbecue sauce. There's also original characters, my favourite being Bubba, the techie with a fair amount of guns and also services weapons.
You will probably find this shelved alongside paranormal romance. This is wrong. Although there is a little romance in it, to me it seems to have been added in as an afterthought, not dominating the story. That’s left to the action, sarcasm and humour, the latter two being highlights for me. One of my favourite scenes in the whole book is when Nick wakes up, on the street after a fight. Simi, being extremely sweet and funny, asks "excuse me, Mr Human. Are you homeless? Can I eat you?" cue a lot of laughing, no matter your taste in humour.
Overall: I give this strength 5 tea because it’s a quick, funny easy read that won’t take too long to read but will leave you talking about it forever. It won’t suit everyone though.