Frankly, I wasn’t sure how to grade Dreamveil. Did I love the book? No. Did I feel satisfied? Emphatic no. Do I believe in the happily-ever-after? Huge, hulking no. But will I keep reading the Kyndred series? Hell, yes.
This is the lowdown on our Kyndred superheroes after the explosive events of Shadowlight: Matthias and Jessa are happily procreating in Tennessee, Drew escaped to California, and Rowan Dietrich has landed in New York. She doesn’t care to return to the city she ran away from, but life has dealt her harsh blows and Rowan has learned to roll with the punches. So when her motorcycle crashes in front of the poshest French restaurant in the city, and the chef offers her a job, Rowan takes it. The chef, Jean-Marc Dansant, also rents her a room upstairs, where she shares the space with Jean-Marc’s business partner Sean Meriden. Both are attracted to Rowan, and Rowan is seriously attracted to both.
Meriden, it turns out, is a part-time bounty hunter who has been hired by the magnate Gerald King to find his missing daughter, and this is where the plot threads start to get tangled. King – who may or may not be a part of Rowan’s past – has some mysterious connections to GenHance, the evil biotech company that messes around with genetics and created the Kyndred. GenHance is looking for Rowan because her special ability to shapeshift may solve some of their scientific problems.
That’s all fine and dandy, but so what? Tantalizing, I can take. But raising more questions without answering others? That’s just mean, and I finished the book unsatisfied. The Kyndred and GenHance take a definite backseat in this book, and the biggest subplot involves the missing teen and King. While it’s sufficiently engaging, I don’t see what it has to do with the bigger picture, besides introducing yet another genetically-enhanced character into a series already burdened with a huge cast. (And yes, I acknowledge the possibility of eating my words in the future.) In addition, in order to do a love triangle full justice both men should be given equal treatment, and I felt Jean-Marc got the short straw. It’s a pity, because I love chefs.
So it’s a good thing Rowan is the star attraction. At 21 she’s the youngest contemporary heroine I’ve read in a long time, but she is mature and has her own brand of sober spunk that is appealing. The kitchen scenes are delectable, and the love triangle was compelling enough to keep me guessing right up until the end, which I should have seen coming. At first the unexpected twist was a delight. But the more I think about it the more I question its viability – I’m open to possibilities, but I really don’t see how the romance can work, and the slightly unconventional aspects won’t please some readers.
Still, followers of the series won’t want to skip this one. Even though Dreamveil raises more questions than it answers, Rowan is a great heroine and, if you’re a fan of the series, there are revelations that you won’t want to miss.