I was captivated straight from the beginning, as the author introduced me to her original urban fantasy world. It was a place called Sanders, though I don't remember where exactly that was supposed to be. Somewhere in North America.
We learn that there arefour special races – the Wilds, Hotbloods, Cools and Hollows – that mingle among the ordinary humans. Each race has their own abilities like nature control(Wilds), great fighting(Hotbloods), mind control(Cools) and whatever else the exterminated Hollows race was capable of.
Also, each race is divided in houses, each with its influences, inner dealings and such.The first event we witness right after we plunge into the story, and it is kind of the main thing that spins the novel from then on, is the funeral of Devlin Sanders, a Wilds/Cools hybrid, who also happens to be a Son of the House of Slide – the most feared, capable and wealthy Wilds house.
It is at this funeral that our male protagonist, a boy who is to be called Lewis, meets the hybrid boy's sister, Dariana. She's a pale, lifeless thing, beautiful, delicate and... soulless. It is the last one on that list that sparks up Lewis's interest, because usually one could last a couple of days without a soul, but this girl had lived like this for ten years.
Supported by her brother, Dariana had contained enough live force to continue to exist, but she's more like a zombie than a living, breathing person.
Worn down by curiosity (and perhaps something else), Lewis is incapable to restrain himself from figuring out what's going on in the mysterious House of Slide. In an attempt to untangle a ten year old knot, he finds himself drawn toward Dariana and the mystery of her life. Little does he know that the first kiss they share would be the one thing that would turn his world around.
Because as it happens, Dariana is not who she appears to be. She's not only a Wilds/Cools hybrid like her brother. She also carries Nether blood in her veins. And since the Nether (those who created the four races) are capable of manipulating souls, she is too.
In a whirlwind of emotions, along with the timely intervention of a Nether creature, Dariana and Lewis end up with each other's souls.
From then on, they come out as completely different people. The Hotblood soul that now occupies Dari's body makes her violent, incapable of self-control and completely unbalanced. She has to spend some time with her father in order to learn who and what she is, and also – how to not be a zombie anymore.
However, it is when she goes back to her home in Sanders that events really start unfolding. She meets Lewis again, and slowly falls for him. She feels an inescapable pull toward him even when she finds out what he is, and pushes him away. When Dari realizes her mistake it's way too late, and by the time she goes on to search for Lewis, she only falls into a trap – a grand plan that consists of eliminating the House of Slide.
This novel is a mad pool of near death experiences, deaths, sacrifices, lots of bloodshed and violence. But it also contains a lot of love, mystery and compassion.
The only thing I didn't like about it were the many questions that were never answered. Like what happened to the Nether creature? Why were the demons chasing Dari? Who was Valerie exactly? How did Grim find Satan's coat? Did the four races live in secrecy to the outside world? And so on.
Even so, my evaluation is