*I received a free copy of Keystone from Tantor Media via Tantor Media. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Keystone by Dannika Dark
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Series: Crossbreed #1
Published by Tantor Media on 31 January 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Length: 10h 19min
Source: Tantor Media
Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe - a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.
They're hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?
Dark secrets, unexpected twists, and a blurred line between good and evil will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Keystone was even better in audio version than it was when I read it myself – I was so immersed in the story I was happy with the morning traffic.
Keystone is set in the Mageri universe, and since I’m already familiar with how the different breeds and the politics work, it was great to go back for a visit. Raven is a lost soul in many ways. First of all, she’s a mix of vampire and mage. Also, her vampire maker abandoned her as soon as she was made. This, of course, has made her resentful, and she has no love for vampires in her heart.
Because she is all alone, and not registered with breed, she lives on the streets. And what she sees there has made her a vigilante. She kills mages and vampires who kill humans with their evil ways. One day, though, an older man shows up at the diner she sits at sometimes. And he has a very enticing proposition for her. If she can prove her worth, she can join a group of hunters. They operate within the law, but barely.
There is both mystery and suspense in Keystone, and I enjoyed both. I loved the side characters and their witty reparte. I also really enjoyed seeing Christian in a different place than where he was in the Mageri series.
Raven, solo hunter, until that is no longer possible. She has strong ties to her former humanity, and that is something that can be used against her.
Christian is the perfect smirking vampire, too hot for his own good. He also has some mad skills. But he doesn’t want a partner, even less so, Raven.
Nico is a side character, but I would love to read his full story one day. He is very old. And he is blind. However, because of his gifts, he can see people’s aura and their energy, so he can still fight – sometimes even better than the other characters.
Writing style :
Keystone is written in third person perspective, past tense, mostly from Raven’s perspective. There are plenty of dialogues, and the action scenes are so well done I could see them in my head.
I felt Raven’s loneliness the strongest of all. I also felt her need to fit in, but not enough to let go of her principles. There was a lot of excitement, and a little bit of sensual tension as well.
Nicole Poole nailed the narration! I could see Christian’s smirk in her voice, I could feel Raven’s anguish and hope, and I sensed the stars through Nico! Poole has many different voices and accents in her arsenal, and that truly made for a fantastic listen!
If anyone comes into my domain without explicit permission, I’m going to impale you in a way that will give you the very best idea of what it feels like to be a corn dog.
He circled around me, whispering in my ear. “I’m O positive. I’m everyone’s type.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: