I have been lucky enough to be graced with a an ARC of Lynn Viehl’s latest work, Shadowlight, first book in her new series about the Kyndred and sequel of sorts to her successful Darkyn series, and I’d like to share my experience here.
For those who haven’t read the Darkyn novels, there is enough information here to make the story totally understandable without having to read the Darkyn books. Personally, I’d recommend to do it, especially for the vampire genere fans, because they are great, but I’m sure that once you have finished Shadowlight, you won’t need further goading and you’ll make that trip to the bookshop to find them.
From the Darkyn books, we have a couple of well loved characters: fomer Kyn hitman, Lucan and his life companion Samantha Brown, a detective in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Their interactions are always fun to read, as much as the small appearance of Dr. Alex Keller, another well loved character of the Kyn fans.
Then, we have a set of whole new characters. I must admit that I wasn’t exactly hooked with Jessa, I suppose I identified her with Jema Shaw, a character from the previous series that didn’t do it for me either. Matthias, on the other hand, presents a lot of interesting possibilities, and I’d love him meeting Dr. Keller, for example. I liked Rowan a lot, but despite the little he is seen on the book, it's Drew whose story I’d like to see in future Kyndred books.
Many questions that arose in the last books of the Kyn series are left unanswered in this first book, and considering that this is a whole new series, it’s understandable. However, since they share the same universe, and the Kyndred are the result of a botched experiment carried out by the Kyn archenemies, the Brethren, I expect that the some of these questions are tied up in the upcoming books.
There is a new villain in this book (and presumably, in the new series), a corporation who seems hell bent in exploiting the genetic improvements that resulted of the experiments of the Brethren. We don’t know yet if they are aware of these experiments, if they were part of them, or if they stumbled upon the Brethren experiments by chance. There are tantalizing hints of a new twist in this universe, with the mysterious link to Matthias/Tanicus and Genaro’s family, Matthias’ tattoo and ancient origin, and how it ties up with what we already know of the Darkyn and Kyndred origins. All this will hook new and old readers alike, in my opinion.
Shadowlight is an interesting new step forward into this fascinating universe that Lynn Viehl has crafted for us. You’ll find here engaging new characters, old classic ones that don’t disappoint, a plot with enough twists to keep you turning pages well into the night, and lots of questions that will keep you coming back for more Kyndred books. There is a good dose of romance, but it’s well done, and the sex is well balanced and adds to the plot, not at all like in Some Authors that Will Remain Nameless. I’ll give four starts out of five, because the active villain, Lawson, was really annoying and cartoonish at times, too over the top for me. However, don’t miss Shadowlight. Go and preorder. Now.