It's been a long time since I read the Nikki Glass series by Jenna Black, but I remembered the intense ending and the excitement I felt for the final novel, Divine Descendant. Wrapping up a series is never easy, but I respect it when authors give it their all and do their best to leave fans satisfied while giving the series and characters the closure it deserves. That being said, I wanted more from this finale. Not to say the story wasn't strong and that the characters weren't as memorable as ever, but as I remembered what the Nikki Glass series was capable of, I felt the story was slower and a little more lacking than what I was familiar with. That isn't to say it's bad– far from it. I just think I expected more. Still, if you enjoy urban fantasy and mythology, this is definitely a series worth checking out. Note: Since this the final book in the series, there are major spoilers in the synopsis. I'll keep them out of the review, but be aware.
What happens when fertility goddesses go on strike? Nothing much—except maybe the end of the human race.
When private investigator Nikki Glass became immortal as a descendant of Artemis, she never dreamed she’d find herself playing marriage counselor to the gods. But she doesn’t really have much of a choice when the crazed ex-wife of Anderson Kane—a god in disguise who just happens to be the son of a Fury—decides to enact revenge by wiping out all of humanity. Somehow, Nikki must convince the two to kiss and make up, but with Anderson now gone AWOL, she'll have to find him first. To top it all off, the cat’s out of the bag that Anderson killed Konstantin, the Olympians’ deposed leader. Now their new boss—Konstantin’s son—is out for blood.
With every mere mortal’s fate now resting in Nikki’s hands, can she outsmart the gods…or will she be doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a barren and desolate world?
The third book in the series, Rogue Descendant, ended in a major cliffhanger and despite the three year wait, I didn't forget it or the complications it would bring main character Nikki Glass or the rest of her descendant allies in their battle against the Olympians. The stakes were raised and they grew even higher when Nikki's leader and friend Anderson's past returns with a literal vengeance.
Longtime readers of the series know that Anderson is way more than meets the eye and has secrets we can only begin to comprehend, but the truths we learned about him shocked even me. Black definitely has an understanding of how old gods reacted to indiscretions and slights, and the crux of the story was seriously appalling. It's always refreshing to read about a plot twist that doesn't involve excessive violence, but is nonetheless awful and sinister.
From there, the story progressed with a steady pace, though it was slower than previous novels with more talks and negotiation taking place than actual action. There was some, but I never Nikki or the other characters were in any serious danger until the end, and I'll talk more about that later.
On a whole, the characters grew very well. Nikki was stronger and braver than ever. I've enjoyed her struggles and determination as a character, and will absolutely miss her more than anyone else. Speaking of anyone else... Jamaal, the love interest. Look, I get that he was consumed with death-magic and had intimacy issues, and I won't deny that his changed attitude stunned me for the better in this instalment. He came a long way and I was proud of him, but I still can't find it in me to like him. He just caused too many problems, was too callous, and wasn't there for Nikki as often as he should have been for me to soften to him. Still, his progression as a character was spectacular and definitely a highlight of the book.
Now, onto the tricky stuff. The ending. A bit of a letdown. The main battle had some intense moments, but to be honest, I was expecting way more casualties, possibly even a major character death (a permanent one, if you know what I mean). Instead, the final confrontation didn't involve a lot of action at all. My first reaction was, "That's it?" Following that was a lack of resolution from a pair of characters I'd been rooting for as a couple. They definitely got shafted and I wasn't happy with how their story ended. Finally, the last scene. Though I can see how it would be a resolution for Nikki and closed out a mystery revolving around her past, I couldn't help but feel it was too major to throw at us and not know how it would be resolved. I mean, this is the last book, and you can't put something like that in the finale and not have longtime readers want to know what it means for Nikki's future.
But these are my opinions, and like I said, the novel is very good. I was happy to return to this universe and see how the finale played out. Yes, I could have done with a little more of almost everything, but if you're looking for a unique take on the urban fantasy/mythology genre, look no further than the Nikki Glass series.