Review: Dark Goddess

The Dark Goddess
Sarwat Chadda
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: January 25, 2011 (USA release)
Pages: 384
Source: Bought
Ratings: 4 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
*SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOK*
New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,
Billi’s back, and it seems like the Unholy just can’t take a hint.
Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi’s thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity.  And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil’s seen before. 
They call themselves the Polenitsy – Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they’re out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.
The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular. 
Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.
While visiting London this summer, my one requirement was to visit a book store and pick up this book since here, in the United States, the book is not released until next year. I am extremely glad I did this. I loved Devil’s Kiss the first book featuring Billi SanGreal and I was really looking forward to seeing where Sarwat Chadda would take Billi next.
Dark Goddess, the sequel to Devil’s Kiss, was more than I expected, in a good way. Sarwat Chadda continues Billi’s adventures as a Templar Knight and in this book expands the world Billi lives in. I loved that this book took Billi away from London and brought her, along with the rest of the Templars, to Russia where we get to meet the Russians equivalent of the Templars. Russia provides Billi many more challenges and has her continuing to question herself and her duty as a Templar.
In the Dark Goddess, the events from the previous book have truly taken a toll on Billi. In this book, Billi, who still have those characteristics I love about her, such as her stubbornness and devotion to those she loves, has been deeply effected by the previous events in her life. Billi has grown as a character, and continues to grow even more because of the events of these books. I often forgot that Billi is a fifteen year old girl. She seems more mature that because of the harsh life she has been subjected to as a Templar. Even though Billi gets put through more events that have her questioning her beliefs, I love that she stayed true to herself and ended up growing up even more from her experiences.
One of my favorite parts about this book was that it took place in Russia and that in Russia we met a whole new set of characters. I must confess, I have a weird love of Russia and really would love going there and I was so glad that Billi got to go there in this book. I also really loved how Sarwart Chadda took the Russian myth of Baba Yaga and made it his own. I’ve read a few different takes on Baba Yaga and I really like his spin on her and how well it fit with the story. Along with just loving Russia, the characters Sarwart Chadda introduced to us in Russia are probably some of my favorite. I loved Ivan Alexeivich Romanov, even if he did fulfill Kay’s role in this book. Ivan is basically a male version of Billi, and I loved that what you see with him is not what you get. He is battling many personal battles, like Billi, and it was interesting to see his story revealed.
Overall, I truly enjoyed Dark Goddess and ended up reading it all in one sitting. I think I ended up enjoying this book more than it predecessor, probably cause it had Russia in it (just kidding). I found this book very enjoyable, and the ending left me wanting more since it was left opening, hopefully for a sequel to help resolve it. I was not disappointed in my buy in the UK and extremely glad I brought it. Definitely check this book out when it is released in the US.

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