Review: The Species Within by Kimberley Clark

September 16, 2014

 Kira, a huntress plagued by dreams of fire and pain has worked tirelessly to rid her city of the scourge that has nearly destroyed it…nostvores, mythlend creatures with dark and vast appetites for blood and sex. She does this not only because they had killed so many people in her life, but also because she has an edge that no other human had…she has their abilities. The problem was, these abilities were killing her and she feared time was no longer on her side.

So the moment she found out that Darius, a nostvore leader was threatening to awaken an indestructible species to help him enslave all humans and mythlends, and that she may be the key to his plan, she knew her only choice was to risk her life with the little time that she had left and join her enemy to find out why, and to make sure his plan failed.

If that wasn’t dangerous enough, the more time she spends with the Vanatre nostvore Emmerich, and the mooran Kuron, who she brings with her for protection, the less she wants to kill them. Instead, she feels an unexplainable attraction towards them both, and she fears surrendering to such desire with either is a deadly game to play, for she would not only be risking her life, but quite possibly her heart.

Genre: Urban fantasy
Length: 404 pages 

Clark has created a world based on ‘nostvore’ (vampires) and ‘lycrould’ (werewolves) amongst a whole throng of other ‘mythelands’ in The Species Within. With an interesting twist on the vampire legends, I can see where Clark has drawn her inspiration from where other books/authors left off, dragging the reader into the world she’s created…and I do so love a good vampire novel, and this one hasn’t disappointed.

Kira is a human with extraordinary abilities. Being part nostvore and lycrould gives her the edge when it comes to hunting down the mytheland creatures she blames for the death of her parents when she was a child.  Determined to hunt them all down, she has a singular drive to fulfil this desire, drawing on her mixed blood to give her an edge when it comes to fighting these stronger, faster and more ferocious beings.

Emmerich is one of the stongest, oldest and most ruthless nostvore around. The second-in-command to the leader of the Vanatre (one faction of nostvore), he’s finding his life tedious, thinking that maybe death would be a more interesting option. That is until he discovers Kira. She is a puzzle which he wants to solve, but with Kira’s generally prickly demeanour, she makes it incredibly difficult for him.

After a series of attacks and raids, the Vanatre and the Mavator (another faction of nostvore) end up in a sort of chase to find a lost city where the leader of the Mavator wishes to begin a war to put vampires back on top of the food chain and enslave the other mythelands and humans. 

After a relatively slow start, The Species Within definitely picks up the pace, drawing you into the story and making you invest yourself in the characters and their perils. Clark has done a great job by creating an interesting world with a deep history, but I would recommend keeping a notepad close by as there is a lot of terminology to get your head around. I found that this slowed my reading down as I was trying to remember who and what the terms referred to. But once I got used to all the terms, I found the whole book really enjoyable.

Kira is a pretty kick-ass character. With sass and awesome sword/knife-fighting skills, she’s a woman you wouldn’t want to piss off. The chemistry between her and Emmerich has been written in such a way that makes their relationship believable. Apart from the initial few chapters, the plot and their relationship evolves a good pace. As a reader, you get tantalizing hints at things/people/events that have happened in the past that keep you turning the pages (swiping your finger) to find out everything you can. 

There are some great magical elements in The Species Within with something called a’kei, which I likened to ‘The Force’ from Star Wars in regards to there are only a few people who truly know how to wield it, and for those who can, it is a formidable weapon. 

With great world building, there were elements of The Species Within that reminded me of fellow Aussie author Jacinta Marie’s My Demonic Ghost, but also with a little hint of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland in a warped, twisted kind of way. 

This 446-page book is a real page turner once it gets started. If you love vampires and urban fantasy in general, I’d recommend you pick up a copy of Kimberley Clark’s The Species Within.

Kimberley lives by the idea that everyone should have a bucket list of things they want to accomplish in life, but not only to have a list, but attempt to mark off as many items as possible. 

One goal that was high on hers was writing a novel and having it published. This idea of writing a novel wasn't new to her, but an inevitability, as her love of reading books and watching movies inspired her to create her own stories. 

When the day came that she finally did start to write, she realized that this was going to be something that she wanted to do more than once, emphasized by the fact that her first novel was to be book 1 of a trilogy, and that there are many more stories waiting inside her head ready to be created. 

Her hope is that not only for people to enjoy hers books, but that people are inspired by them as others have inspired her.
Kimberley was born in Sydney, Australia, and currently resides in the Gold Coast hinterland.

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