As one of the genetically enhanced Kyndred, Lilah can read and control the minds of animals. Rescuing a group of kids from a wayward bear brings her to the attention of GenHance, the shadowy biotech company willing to murder to acquire superhuman DNA. After being drugged and abducted, Lilah wakes up handcuffed to a half-dead man in a refrigerated truck.
Walker, a soldier critically wounded in Afghanistan, is brought back to life by Lilah’s warmth and determination, and resolves to do anything he can to free and protect her. But as the two struggle to escape their grim fate, they stumble upon a remote town hiding a dark secret, and learn that Lilah is also being hunted by someone she never expected to fear: a Kyndred friend.
Lilah’s having a really bad day. Her jerk-of-a-boss fires her, her car is stolen and, just as she’s relaxing at home, she’s kidnapped by some GenHance hired thugs who put her on ice, handcuffed to a chilled corpse in the back of a refrigerated truck. But wait—he’s coming back to life, just from the power of her hotness! Okay, so I’m joking, sort of. Her body heat does bring him out of the deep chemical/frozen coma he seems to be in and, once she wakes up from the drugs the kidnappers gave her, they connect and work together to escape.
While Lilah and Walker are the two main characters in the third installment of the Kyndred, there are multiple storylines that muddle up the plot. First off, there’s the Kyndred themselves. They’re humans who have been biologically altered, have some kind of super-DNA, and there’s a shadowy bio-company that’s collecting them like butterflies to experiment upon. Lynn Viehl’s other series involves the Darkyn, who have their own powers, are immortal, and exist in the same world. Why would I mention them, you ask. Well, because there are characters from the Darkyn series who pop up in this story. Thus, some of the muddle.
Lilah’s a Kyndred who, up until her kidnapping, was trying to live a quiet life as an animal control worker. It’s a perfect job for her, considering her power is speaking to animals—a critter whisperer. But she’s so much more than that, which she discovers as the story goes on. Walker was/is a Darkyn who, by some twist of fate, is now a Kyndred who turns furry (I was a bit confused as to whether he was still a Darkyn or Kyndred or both and how he got turned but it wasn’t integral to the plot so I let it go).
When Lilah and Walker escape the truck, they stumble upon a small down that, for much of the year, is cut off from civilization. There’s some freaky stuff going on in this town, and it’s here that we’re introduced to another breed of people called the Chahanat (I don’t want to get into too much detail about them since that would give away too much of the plot.)
It’s always a little disconcerting to me when characters fall in love super-fast, like with Lilah and Walker. Sure, sexual attraction can be instant. That I can go for. But when Lilah and Walker fall for each other so quickly, especially considering the amount of time one or both of them was unconscious, I have a harder time with that. I didn’t even feel like I knew them very well before they were lovestruck.
However, once I got into the novel and the multiple storylines began to converge, I enjoyed the complexity of the world as well as the fast-paced plotline. I’ll definitely be checking out more of both the Kyndred and the Darkyn world in the future.