Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chronicles of Nick

Paranormal young adult tends to be heavy on female protagonists in the midst of an adolescent maelstrom of difficulties, complicated by magic, which will lead them to become strong, self-directed young women who’ve survived tough situations and learned how to make hard choices. It’s refreshing to throw a male main character into the mix once in a while-- although, because this is young adult fiction, the boy will of course be in the midst of an adolescent maelstrom of problems, complicated by magic, which will lead him to grow into a strong, self-directed young man, yadda yadda yadda.

I make fun, yes, but Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series takes this formula and runs with it, fast. Fourteen year old Nick Gautier (go-SHAY) has a mom who’s a Bourbon Street stripper and a dad in prison for murder. Despite his academic scholarship to a prestigious school, Nick just can’t stop getting into trouble. Nick’s mom loves him to pieces, and he’s devoted to her, but that’s not enough to keep him on the straight and narrow. Getting into fight after fight at school, usually when someone disrespects her, has put him one step away from being kicked out of his only chance for a better future.

 Then everything changes. Nick makes one small choice that gets him shot and hospitalized: but which also wins him the patronage of a Darkhunter, a modern-day paladin devoted to fighting supernatural evils for the ancient goddess Artemis. The good news: Nick’s new friend is on the side of good and will do everything in his power to make sure Nick and his mom have the opportunity to change their lives. The bad news: Nick learns he has a destiny that’s thus far been hidden from him. He’s fated to grow up to be the Malachi, an evil figure that will bring the apocalypse down on humankind. New and strange powers start to manifest, zombies attack his school, he meets a very sweet demon, and the plot gallops ahead in unexpected but always entertaining directions.

 Sherrilyn Kenyon is the author of the Darkhunter series of popular and steamy paranormal romances, but although the Chronicles of Nick take place in the same fictional world and have overlapping characters, the “steamy romance” part is tamed down in this young adult subseries. Nick’s a fairly convincing teenage boy, possibly a tad more self-aware emotionally than most, but likeable in his struggles to resist the low expectations people have for him based on his parentage and his dire supernatural destiny. This isn’t literature: the prose is sometimes purple, and high-stakes emotional drama is on every other page. But if you enjoy Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan, Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse, or Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Nick Gautier too.

 1. Infinity 
 2. Invincible
 3. Infamous 
 4. Inferno

1 comment:

  1. Apparently there is also a manga adaptation....