By: Rachel Neumeier
Publish Date: February 6, 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: Print, 442pgs
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: 1st book in Black Dog series
Recommendation: Nice read to kick back and submerge into the dark world of Black Dogs.
Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.
But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.
In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.
Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.
But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.
With one fingertip, Natividad drew a pentagram on the window of the bus.
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**I accepted a copy of this book for an honest review.
Natividad and her two brothers, Miguel and Alejandro, are on the run. They are trying to find their way to the Dimilioc territory from Mexico. The Black Dog family that, if accepted in, could protect them. Their fathers past might be something they need to work past, but they are willing to do what it takes. They hope their enemy isn't following, that they lost them on the trek here. In trying to be accepted into the 'family' of Dimilioc, Natividad, Miguel, and Alejandro might be putting many more in danger. Their enemy is up to far more worse then they could have ever imagined, and the siblings hold a secret they don't even know of. They work to keep their selves safe, learn more of what they are - Pure and Black Dog - and keep everyone around them safe as they try to pass the tests to become part of the Dimilioc family.
This was an interesting creation with the werewolf myth, into the black dog. I like the black dog idea, very much. It's different and had me thinking on it. The Pure are humans with a touch of magic that eases the black dog in others. I'm curious on the Pure. Natividad is a Pure and I look forward to more of her powers coming to surface as the series goes.
We get the point of views from Natividad first, then also from Alejandro - the black dog of the family. This book is more of a focus on the black dogs, the major point of the need for the Pure. It is interesting to see from a Pure aspect, who influences the black dogs, and from a young black dog. We learn the rules of the species as we go, and are reminded of the importance of them.
Oh, we have the Dimilioc family. Wow. I love this 'pack'. There is a level of command, which seems hard for black dogs to do, but they do it. The black dogs in the family aren't as cruel as you think they will be. But the leader, Grayson Lanning, is new as apposed to the leader when the kids father was involved. Things have changed a bit. And this is a group, even though dangerous, I would love to meet. I fell for all the characters in the pack as we got to know them. Yes, all of them.
In the start of the book I definitely felt a strong young adult influence to the story telling. I thought anyone one from 10 up could read it. In the end, I still have that feel. The writing feels easy to understand. There is a dark feel to the black dogs and the end, but in this day and age I think it would be a very good Urban Fantasy read. But there is a feel that the story will grow with its readers and characters, things will become a bit older with them both. I think this would be a quick read for adults who would enjoy the creation of the Black Dog.
There is more happening here than we see. I want to see what comes of Natividad, Miguel, and Alejandro as they become part of the Dimilioc family in the future. They are young, but so much potential between them all.