Someone is spreading terrible rumors about the kids at Nick's school, pushing tension levels through the roof. Some of the students are devastated; others become bigger bullies than ever. Nick makes it his mission to discover who --or what-- is behind the slander campaign. In the meantime, he is trying to master his magic, while staying one step ahead of the agents of his father and the primordial gods who want him under their power.
All that would seem to be enough to keep him busy, but over and over again, the story comes back to the issues between Nick and his mom. Personally, I find Cherise to be over-rated. Throughout this series and the Dark Hunter books, we've heard about how awesome she is, but frankly, I found her completely grating. She has no faith in her son; she berates him constantly; and vacillates between treating him like a baby and a delinquent. As far as I can tell, her big claim to fame is that she loves her son and didn't give him up for adoption. Frankly, that's not enough to make her mother of the year... even though she's allegedly this paragon of motherly awesomeness.
The YA themes were pretty heavy in this one. From "my mom just doesn't understand me" to "drinking and drugs are bad" to "premarital sex is SUPER-bad," I felt like the book was practically screaming I am reaching out to teens! But for all of his glib "charm," Nick's actions and reactions feel more tweenish than a sampling of high school behavior.
All that aside, there is good news. Kenyon finally gives us some insight on how this series may all fit in with the Dark Hunter version of Nick's life. The prologue explains alot about future-Nick's motivation and limitations. And later on, there's some talk of quantum mechanics. I didn't entirely understand that part, but I think it's laying the groundwork for how the changes to Nick's backstory can exist simultaneously with the events that lead up to him becoming a Dark Hunter.
Again, we get appearances with Dark Hunter characters like Ash, Kyrian, the Peltiers --and even Thorn. It's so strange how freely the information flows about these characters whose histories were so closely guarded in other books. But I do appreciate how Kenyon ties the people and events together with all we know from the adult series.
We still have a long way to go, however, before it all really comes together. I'm ready for Nick to mature a bit... and I'm hoping for the series to progress beyond the movie-of-the week lessons Nick is learning about life and what it means to be a good person. I know Kenyon has it in her. I just don't know if we're going to really see him grow up in this series. 3 stars.
*ARC Provided by St Martin's Press
Infamousby Sherrilyn KenyonRelease Date: March 13, 2012Publisher: St Martin's Griffin