Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dancing with the Devil by Keri Arthur


Dancing with the Devil by Keri Arthur

First in the Nikki & Michael series

2.5 stars

Nikki James is a Private Investigator with a past that has been haunting her for years and an ability that has done nothing but harm people. Everything changes for Nikki when she follows a teenager named Monica Trevgard who reminds her of herself into the shadows and finds herself ensnared in war between two men that aren’t human. Michael Kelly came to Lyndhurst to protect Nikki and ends up finding his archenemy, who is now targeting Nikki for death. Michael’s existed in the shadows for 300 years and never thought he was capable of love, but Nikki may be the one to change it all for him. Nikki’s psychic abilities and dark past are catching up to her and it won’t be easy to win her heart. Let me say this, I was actually really excited to read Dancing with the Devil because I had found the book a few years ago and it sounded totally awesome. It wasn’t that awesome. I’m not really sure what to say, but while reading I came up with a pretty interesting idea for my review. Since we just finished studying the classifications of life, I thought why not see if Michael is considered living or nonliving. I know what you’re probably thinking, all vampires are dead so they are no longer living, which is true but I’ve come across vampires that were much more alive than some humans.

How to Determine if Your Vampire is Living or Nonliving in ITALICSDancing with the DeviITALICSl:
1) Made up of cells?
A: I’m pretty sure Michael and Jasper were made of cells. If not they once wouldn’t have been human.
2) Able to reproduce?
A: It’s never discussed in the book because Arthur probably sees no point in mentioning it. I want to know because most books about vampires mention it.
3) DNA or genetic code?
A: At one point, so yes.
4) Able to grow and develop?
A: Once upon a time. I think Michael has already developed into a full human, but I know Jasper is still technically a teenager since it seems that his development/ growth was stopped after being turned.
5) Obtain and use materials and energy?
A: BLOOD! All the blood you can get your fangs on.
6) Respond to their environment?
A: Better than humans because they have super-senses.
7) Homeostasis (stable internal environment)?
A: Probably thinking I would say no, but Nikki says that Michael is warm and I’m pretty sure that that is a sign of homeostasis. He’s no Edward.
8) Evolvement in species?
A: It’s never discussed so I can’t say.
Results: 6/8, but since two questions weren’t answered I’m resulting in this experiment as inclusive until further notice.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this book and that was just a fun way to entertain myself. I will say that I’m tired of these cliché vampires that haven’t lived half-a -millennia. You can’t be a cool vampire if you’re 300 or 100 years old. In my opinion, you’re a baby and while you have experience you haven’t seen enough of the world. For a good part of the beginning of the book there was absolutely no character development, but just action scene after action scene. Even all those action scenes started to dwindle to nothing.

The main female character is Nikki. Nikki is one of the most desperate characters I’ve ever encountered. You know jokes about thirsty girls that have become popular, well this book was originally released in 2001 and Nikki is one of the original heroines of thirsty girls. She’s constantly throwing herself at Michael and the first time they have sex is because she uses him to get Jasper’s darkness from her mind. She’s also incredibly stupid. I’m stubborn, but not to the point where I’ll throw myself into situations that result in me getting mauled and kidnapped by zombies repeatedly. There is also no sexual tension or anything between Nikki and Michael. I’m just not feeling their romance and it doesn’t make me swoon or wish for my own boyfriend. In fact, Nikki and Michael’s relationship is so bland and boring that I could probably find two stray animals that have a better love story. Nikki is also like a depressed teenager who thinks she’s not good enough for love. I didn’t sign up for the adult version of Twilight. I wanted something unique and badass not filled with teenage angst in an adult story. Nikki is also always beating herself down and I know that a lot of people do that, but she was beating herself up over being alone even though she was the one pushing Michael away. You know what I have to say to that and your sob story, Nikki?

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4
The main male character is Michael. He’s better than Nikki, but not by much. I find him to be completely lacking in a personality or substance. We also don’t find out from the author that he’s a vampire until around the 15% mark, which is quite far into the story and we’ve already had multiple POVs from him. I dislike greatly when authors do this. He’s not keeping a secret from himself and I don’t get why for such a long freaking time he couldn’t admit to himself that he was a vampire in his internal monologue of moodiness. Michael is also another Edward Cullen in terms of moodiness and I’m just so over it.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 5

The Villain- Jasper wasn’t half bad for a villain. He was probably the coolest character in the novel. He’s sadistic, has mad psychic powers, can raise his victims from the dead into zombies, and can easily manipulate an idiotic teenager into doing his beck and calling. So, Jasper is pretty badass in my view. I definitely would run as far away from his sadistic self if he was real.

Villain Scale: 9
The only other characters were Monica and Jake. Monica was irrelevant and who cares about her dumb self for getting caught up with Jasper. Jake is actually pretty cool though and he’s a father-figure to Nikki. He‘s always there for her and I like how he actually cares about people.

Character Scale: 7

One of the most annoying things about Nikki and Michael is that they are broken records of emotions. They repeatedly think the same thought, but in different wording on ONE page. It’s ridiculous. During halfway through the book, it was like the storyline evaporated and this became the huge plot:
Nikki having sex with Michael and refusing to talk about Tommy. Who is Tommy you ask? Well, Tommy is Nikki’s boyfriend from the past who also had psychic abilities. She didn’t talk about what he did to her at all until 61% and she didn’t even internally think about what happened, but it was just constant “Michael’s another Tommy.”

This gif describes how I felt the whole entire time while reading.  I have nothing else to say other than I’ll be reading the sequel, but I won’t be afraid to DNF or drop the series if it sucks.

Cover Thoughts: The new cover is definitely better than the old one. I like it, but I don’t love it. It’s pretty standard PNR/UF cover.

Thank you, Netgalley and Dell for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!


  1. I didn't have much luck with the one book by this author I tried ages ago, so I guess she's not the author for me either. Hope your next read is better, Sarah!

    Man, that gif practically gives me seizures.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thanks, Wendy! I don't know if I'll pick up another book by her other than the next book in her series.

      Lol. It reminds me a mosh pit and disco lights.