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Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur
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Destiny Kills

by Keri Arthur

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Okay, so I’ve read 7 books by Keri Arthur and I can’t take it any more. This is one of her more recent books so I mistakenly thought the problems I experienced with the Damask Circle trilogy, published 10 years ago, wouldn’t be repeated here.

Destiny Kills had a premise with great promise and the power to be unforgettable but it was ruined by a number of re-occuring factors concerning Arthur’s books and writing style.

First off, sex. Nothing can get in the way of sex and the I-love-yous. Not even romance. There's a lot of love-at-first-sight fated-to-be-mated because her, sometimes wooden characters, are incapable of falling in love gradually. Now, if Arthur was a writer of erotica this probably wouldn’t be a problem. But paranormal romance tends to require some sort of storyline, a reason for the hero and heroine to meet each other and for a little time to pass together before they start bumping uglies. I prefer there to be a balance between plot and sex. And plot almost always comes last with this author.

The beginnings of Arthur’s books are mostly very weak and Destiny Kills was no exception. Our heroine is on an unknown beach with a dead body with no memory of how he died, her name or what she’s doing there. Only she knows his name and his relationship to her. She knows they’re both non-human and how to traditionally dispose of his body with the proper ceremony. I’m no expert on amnesia but I have witnessed it first hand, and I find it unlikely that she would remember all of that so quickly.

I wondered why exactly the author decided to start the book at that exact point:

Timeline
Destiny’s a child when her mother is kidnapped. Destiny and her dad run away to the US.

Aged 18, attempting a rescue, Destiny is kidnapped.

10 years of confinement: includes experimentation (read: torture), forced coupling with Egan (i.e. rape), protecting the dragon children who’re also confined.

Escapes aged 28, with Egan, leaving the children behind after her mother feels Destiny’s father dying.

On the run, caught and Egan’s killed.

[The book starts.]

Beginning the book a little earlier while Destiny is still imprisoned would’ve provided better background and a sense of urgency for her escape. Obviously Arthur wasn’t scared of harsh reality and if we’d witnessed Destiny’s living conditions and how she was treated before escape I could’ve felt sympathy, encouraging me to be invested in her mission. We also could’ve met Egan who was apparently a big part of her life, before he died. The flashbacks weren’t enough. They’re too brief, often confusing with little context to fully understand what happened and the effect on Destiny’s behaviour.

Which leads me to another thing, Destiny, although not unaffected by her experience as a lab rat, she’s remarkably and suspiciously functional. I’d expect panic attacks, crying, not wanting to be touched, crippling anger –some sort of post-traumatic stress. She experiences one moment of it: when she’d had to shoot someone in the head during her escape. That’s it. She seems more concerned about dishonouring Egan by moving on too quickly with his half-brother, Trae.

Where are all the people? We live on a planet of 7 billion people and yet most of Arthur’s books (excluding Riley Jensen) contain two characters, and if you’re lucky 3 others with a sentence of dialogue each. There are no side characters, no sidekicks. There’s only one POV: Destiny’s. The scope is too narrow. They’re not the only two people in the world. Neither have friends or family. They receive no calls to check-in after going AWOL. Destiny has an excuse but then the kids, I would think, would be her family but we don’t hear much from them. Trae is an outcast who hates his father but what about friends, his mother? Not everyone is a lone wolf. Contact with other characters can be a means of showing what our heroes and heroines are really like, can provide a little light entertainment to an otherwise challenging or bleak situation, or a reason to hate the villains. Evil scientists were the villains but we didn’t get to see them being evil. We were told.

The epilogue is a rushed summary of events. Events therein could’ve been expanded so we might properly understand the effects of being confined on Destiny and the children during the search for their parents. We could’ve met Trae’s mother and seen her reaction to Destiny, figured out what kind of relationship she had with her son and how she felt about Trae’s father. Emotional relationships are very important and yet they are ignored.

I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of depth to the plot and to the characters. So much more could’ve been done to make this book special. Disappointing.


My history with Keri Arthur:
2 Damask Circle trilogy books(pub. 2001-2) [PNR]*
2 Ripple Creek Werewolf duology books (pub. 2003-4) [PNR]**
2 Riley Jensen books (pub. 2006-7) [UF]
1 Myth & Magic book (pub. 2008) [PNR]

*I own the last in the trilogy, which I may or may not read.
**The best of the bunch.

( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
Compared to Riley Jensen series, which I really like, this one is weak.
A half-breed Destiny (oh, and the title is silly too) saves a bunch of people and falls in love in the process pretty much summarizes the plot.
( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
The Oregon Coast may seem like a long ways away from the Loch Ness Monster, but it isn’t far enough to keep hunters off Destiny’s tail. Of course, she just might have to fulfill her destiny first. A fun read filled with magic, romance, secrecy, and honor. ( )
  amkj | Apr 12, 2014 |
TBR
  Ebeth.Naylor | Sep 30, 2013 |
At the 1/2 way point I was thinking it was going to be a 4 star. It had some good fantasy involving different types of dragons and a romance that definitely had some chemistry.

Still it started getting too... unknown and haphazard in the middle and ending. They keep on being followed and found, and don't seem to have any understanding of what or who is after her. They take on the whole operation without knowing their capabilities.

So I ended up being a little bored with a bit of it because it was a lot of talk with out much information. The romance was good and the dragons were very interesting. I just wish I got to know more about them and wondered why some of Destiny's powers didn't come sooner. Like when the main bad guy comes to the room, why didn't she just call the water and drown him then instead of waiting and getting shot. And finally having to rely on Trae to save the day?

Little things like that, not enough knowledge going in to situations, not taking care of any tracers (getting a x-ray from the nice doctor she knows), etc... that left me not loving it as I started out doing. I give it 3 1/2 stars. I'll have to think longer whether I'll give it 3 or 4 but I'm leaning to 3.

I think I like 1st person better when the person is well informed and telling the options and abilities so you don't think they are going in with no idea; like Dresden, or Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels and now Atticus (from Hounded) This would've been better with a different POV and more information from differing perspectives. I think the romance might have been better too. Still in the end, I liked it and may read another one just to see where it goes. It has a lot of potential. I really did like the dragons and their differences. ( )
  tivonut | Jul 25, 2013 |
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Book description
Desire calls.
Danger Lurks.
But...
Destiny Kills

When Destiny McCree wakes up beside a dead man on an Oregon beach, she knows only this: she has to keep moving, keep searching, and keep one step ahead of the forces that have been pursuing her from the heart of Scotland to this isolated spot. Why? The death of her lover has left her alone, with little memory of her past. A glimmering serpent-shaped ring is the one clue she has - and a bargaining chip in a most dangerous game.

Enter Trae Wilson, a master thief with a sexy, knowing grin and a secret agenda of his own. Destiny and Trae both have powers far beyond the human - and both are running for their lives. Together they're riding a tide of danger, magic, and lust.but with killers stalking their every move, they must use any means necessary, even each other, to survive - until the shocking secret of one woman's destiny finally unravels..
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553589601, Mass Market Paperback)

Desire calls. Danger Lurks.
But...

When Destiny McCree wakes up beside a dead man on an Oregon beach, she knows only this: she has to keep moving, keep searching, and keep one step ahead of the forces that have been pursuing her from the heart of Scotland to this isolated spot. Why? The death of her lover has left her alone, with little memory of her past. A glimmering serpent-shaped ring is the one clue she has—and a bargaining chip in a most dangerous game.

Enter Trae Wilson, a master thief with a sexy, knowing grin and a secret agenda of his own. Destiny and Trae both have powers far beyond the human—and both are running for their lives. Together they’re riding a tide of danger, magic, and lust…but with killers stalking their every move, they must use any means necessary, even each other, to survive—until the shocking secret of one woman’s destiny finally unravels.…

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:55 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"When Destiny McCree wakes up beside a dead man on an Oregon beach, she knows only this: she has to keep moving, keep searching, and keep one step ahead of the forces that have been pursuing her from the heart of Scotland to this isolated spot. Why? The death of her lover has left her alone, with little memory of her past. A glimmering serpent-shaped ring is the one clue she has--and a bargaining chip in a most dangerous game."--p. [4] of cover.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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