Review: Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan

Posted January 22, 2014 in Review / 3 Comments

Darkest FearDarkest Fear (Birthright #1)
By Cate Tiernan
Published January 7th, 2013
Simon Pulse
368 pages
Young Adult | Urban Fantasy
Source: Received from Simon Pulse (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)


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About the Book:

Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy—and maybe her downfall—in this start to a romantic fantasy series that will appeal to fans of The Nine Lives of Chloe King.


Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?


Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.

I really wanted to love this book.  There is so much promise in the world that Cate Tiernan is building with this series.  But in the end, I was left scratching my head and asking myself, “what happened?”  I kept swiping the page on my e-reader thinking there had to me more to this story and maybe it was just missing from my ARC.  And perhaps that’s still the case.  But here’s what happened on the way to my 2 ½ star review. 

Vivi has just suffered through the loss of her parents and is dealing with the aftermath of grief and regrets.  It’s during this time that she discovers more family in New Orleans and heads there blindly from Florida to see this family she knows nothing about.  It was a good start to the book.  I was starting to speculate how this was going to play out… 

But then nothing really happened.  The entire story just didn’t live up to the synopsis.  It could have been a lot shorter and perhaps worked better as a novella – a warm up to the actual book. 

The characters were pretty flat with little fleshing out, except for possibly Aly, Mateo’s girlfriend.  She was definitely my favorite character. 

Unfortunately, even the love interest was kind of dull.  He had so much potential but I couldn’t get over the disjointed make-out sessions that tended to end oddly. 

There was a pretty cool action sequence towards the end but where it could have answered a few questions, it only added more questions.  Grrrr…  And the ending?  Talk about all of a sudden!!! 


*Swipe, swipe, swipe…* 

“Why is my e-reader stuck?  There have got to be more pages!!”


I really hope it was just my ARC and perhaps the finished copy had more answers or was perhaps tighter and more organized.  I’m not sure I’ll continue with this series unless I know I’ll get some closure. 


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Cate TiernanAbout the author:

Cate Tiernan is the author of the Sweep, Balefire, Immortal Beloved, and Birthright series. She lives with her family in North Carolina.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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3 responses to “Review: Darkest Fear by Cate Tiernan