Book Review: "The Ultimate Killer" by Kimberley Clark

April 19, 2015

Brought back to life, Kira awoke to a world where she no longer belonged. She was one of them now…a mythlend, the scourge that she’d lived her entire life hunting. What was worse, she had become the species that she and a number of other mythlends had tried desperately to stop from being awoken…the Hunrati.

But they had failed.

By the time Kira had opened her eyes, the Hunrati were already living up to their reputation, torturing, massacring, burning cities to the ground like all indestructible killing machines do when they see themselves as gods; any resistance to their actions were therefore deemed futile within days of their first appearance.

Kira wanted to stop them, but she had become their prisoner when she attacked their Queen out of rage for what they had done, and as such, she was rendered incapable of using any of her abilities.

Trapped, alone, and not knowing what had happened to those she cared about, her only way out was to earn their trust. That meant getting close to the volatile and extremely attractive Pheres, and doing everything he instructed, regardless of how depraved it was.

But how close was she willing to allow such a dangerous creature when he wasn’t the man she loved?
Better yet…how far was she willing to go before she lost her humanity completely?  

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 472 pages

I finished reading Clark’s second installment in the Battles in the Dark series a few weeks ago, but needed a few more weeks to digest and reflect on it. I’ll just start by saying that you must, must, must read her first book The Species Within because The Ultimate Killer starts up just where the first book finishes. To read my review of book one, click here

The Ultimate Killer follows the continued story of Kira after her widely-believed death. <Spoiler Alert> She sacrificed herself at the end of The Species Within, only to find that she’s awakened as one of the monsters she and the other vampire clans had been trying to stop. This book follows the direct aftermath of the Hunrati’s release into the human and mythlend world.

Kira is one of the protagonists in The Ultimate Killer. In the first book, I was really invested in the relationship she had with Emmerich—a vampire—and Kuron—an essence-eating creature called a Mooran; however, with this book, I found myself rooting for the “bad guy”. I really liked Pheres, the Hunrati who has been charged with looking after Kira and guiding her in all the ways of the Hunrati. I found myself wanting to get back to him and Kira whenever the plot deviated from their storyline. 

Clark has a very natural ability to write fight scenes, which (as many authors would know) is a really difficult task. It takes choreography and skill, and the ability to ‘see’ the fight play out in your head then transfer the images to the paper is a real art form. My favourite battle scenes of the book occurred near the end where many of the mythlends (mythical creatures) were forced to battle one another. 

In my opinion, The Ultimate Killer walks a fine line between urban fantasy and high fantasy. Primarily an urban fantasy novel (set in a modern city, all the characters are supernatural in nature) there are a lot of the finer details Clark that has written in where you can see how she has been influence by works of high fantasy. If I had to guess, I’d say Tolkien and George R. R. Martin were and still are sources of inspiration for her. 

There was only one thing that didn’t really work for me with this book—and was true with book one too–and that had to do with the amount of terminology Clark uses. Thankfully she has listened to the fans and provided a glossary at the front of the book, but I’d still recommend you have a notepad handy while you’re reading (especially on a Kindle).

All in all, The Ultimate Killer is a great read. It leads into the third book well, although I believe we have to wait a little longer until that will be available to purchase. If you love loads of different mythical creatures—some well-known and other which are more obscure—and getting immersed in different worlds, then you don’t want to miss this series. It’s gritty. It’s sexy. It’s a good read and a great series to get in to.


Book 1: The Species Within
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.

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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