Release Date: July 10, 2012
Published by: 47North
Source: Purchased through Amazon
Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. Beautiful and powerful, she’s spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night that leaves Magnolia nearly dead, she finally sees her chance for escape…
But this first taste of freedom is short-lived when she collides with Thirteen, head of the Network—a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals—who recruits her into the group. Even as she’s coming to grips with this new life and the horrific memories that still haunt her, she’s conflicted by her growing attraction to fellow team member Theo and the emergence of new, untested abilities. After months of grueling training, her loyalty to the team is tested when she learns her target is the Network’s most wanted: the Kelch family.
Revenge may course through her veins, but so does the blood of the Kelches. And opposing her family may cost her the thing she treasures most. After all, Magnolia is still a Kelch. And the Kelch are damned.
I was strange, beautiful, ethereal. I was a monster.
Dark, intense, and incredibly disturbing. No Peace For the Damned is an urban fantasy debut with a large dose of horror. As a reader who is fascinated by gore and violence and protagonists who straddle the line between good and evil, this was an immensely enjoyable read.
Powell has created a world where supernaturals possess a wide variety of abilities - telepathy, telekinesis, rapid healing, invisibility, enhanced strength and speed, and more. The potential powers seem limitless.
The story centers around one particular supernatural family that strictly uses its power for evil. The Kelches.
The story's protagonist, Magnolia, is a mistreated member of the Kelch family who finally escapes after years of being subjected to severe abuse, torture, and cruel experimentation. She meets a man named Thirteen who leads a team that is a part of the Network, a group dedicated to stopping supernaturals who abuse their powers. Coincidentally, Thirteen's objective is taking down the Kelch family and to accomplish that goal he needs Magnolia's help.
I have to admit that I loved Mag's character from the very beginning. She's strong and resilient with a quick temper and extreme power. She's made more real and vulnerable by the very raw, painful emotions and memories she experiences through nightmares and thoughts of time spent with her sadistic family.
Throughout the story, Magnolia struggles through many changes and new experiences. She has a man that shows her kindness and affection for the first time in her life, team members that treat her with open hatred and hostility, and a stranger whose presence affects her so powerfully that it feels supernatural...and dangerous.
As the story progresses, Mag is pulled deeper into the Network's operation against the Kelch clan and you get the idea that she's going to cross paths with them eventually. I'll admit that the thought of Magnolia being placed anywhere near her family again had me nervous and on the edge of my seat. Powell paints such a vivid, terrifying picture of these merciless monsters that you can't help but to feel the need to scream at Mag to run the other way. But at the same time, a small part of me wanted to witness her testing her abilities against them since they were no longer able to hold her back.
The story overall could have benefited from more world building. There are too many questions about the Network and supernaturals in general. But even without this information, I would still add this debut to my list of favorites. Mag's attempts at starting a new life, the glimpses in to her haunted memories and the progression of her supernatural abilities all had me eager for more.
No Peace For the Damned had me hooked from the very first page and I would recommend this to any reader who enjoys the darker side of urban fantasy.
The sequel, No Love for the Wicked, is scheduled to release this summer. For excerpts and more info visit meganpowellbooks.com.