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Northern Bites by Nikki Jefford

Northern Bites - Nikki Jefford

Note: This is Book 2 in the series and probably wouldn’t work so well as a stand alone.

Aurora Sky returns to keep on kicking vampire butt! Well, she tries. Aurora is still in high school and still in training with the secret government group of vampire hunters. Her mentor Dante isn’t being much help, not with his flirting. Also, she gets to spend lots of time working with fellow vampire hunter Valerie, who she detests. Her ex-boyfriend Fane isn’t making things any easier either. Life is tough.

This book is mostly flirty silliness, dating woes, and fighting over boyfriends. There was a good dollop of this in Book 1 (Aurora Sky), but I feel this book got seconds dished out. I went into this book looking forward to seeing how Aurora fared in her continued training, what would happen between her and Fane, and basically looking forward to her evolving into a badass vampire slayer. Largely, those things didn’t happen because most of the book was caught up in these high school dating dramas. I suspect I was suppose to care about Aurora’s beef with fellow agent Valerie, but I didn’t particularly. Aurora still has feelings for Fane but Fane is moving on and not making it easy for Aurora. Then there is Aurora’s friend (and fellow agent) Noelle who later on muddies the waters and is obviously keeping secrets. Really, I just wanted to sit them all down and knock their heads together so we could move on with the real plot.

There’s a few action scenes here and there. There’s a few mysteries – a high school kid (Michael) goes missing, an agent (Krist) turns up dead, Aurora is having very odd cravings – but so little time is spent on these that I was left wanting more out of the book. There is some family drama that unfolds. I found those scenes interesting too as they added depth to Aurora’s character. She can’t simply check out and not be a part of her family; she’s forced to at least acknowledge the situation. So all these little good parts were stretched out painfully thin into something resembling a plot and then we have all this empty, repeating, predictable teen angst dating stuff as filler. I wanted more meat and less whip cream.

Then there is Dante’s character. In Book 1, he was something of a mentor. Here, he starts off as that but then this terribly flirtatious side of him comes out. It doesn’t really fit what we know about him and the change isn’t explained. Also, there’s a reveal late in the book about who may be behind the death of the agent, and when Aurora tries to chat with Dante about that, he blows her off. This also is not like him. So, of course one of two things is going on: either it’s poor character development or something drastic has happened to Dante behind the scenes that us readers are not privy to in this book. And that brings me to another point – nothing is resolved in this book. While this is a series, I do like some resolution for some of the plot points per book. That didn’t happen here.

Lastly, there were a ton of vampires mentioned in this book and I am sure most, if not all, were in Book 1. But there were no reminders for who most of these characters are. Really, for most of them, it was just a series of names that could be swapped out. Descriptors were few and far between. So, after a while I gave up trying to keep them straight. So, yeah, I kept hoping the book would get meatier, that the plot would strengthen, and it didn’t. There’s plenty here to intrigue, just not much to satisfy. I am not sure yet if I will continue with the series. I want answers, action, mystery, vampire slaying… but not teen angst in large quantities.

 

Narration: Em Eldridge did another good job as the voice of Aurora Sky. She has a young lady’s voice that can hold great emotion or become an angsty, flippant teen as the scene demands. Her other character voices were distinct and her male voices were believable.