I honestly had no idea what this series was even about until I found this book one day and started reading about it. It turns out that the full story of Nick Gautier, a high school student destined to become a monster known as the Malachai, is revealed, as he goes through poverty with his mom desperate for jobs and finding one as a club dancer and his father, who is the current Malachai, is in prison. Even though Nick tries his best to live his life right, he finds himself in dark corners and often unable to find anyone in his life, tormented by bullies and yelled at by his mother despite acting in defense of his bullies talking bad about her. Even today, I feel like some high school students have similar experiences with bullying, as it is still ongoing today and victims often face harsh conditions such as poverty like Nick, and even struggle with mental illnesses, with the bullying adding to their problems.
However, Nick unknowingly finds a glimpse of hope when he meets a girl named Nekoda Kennedy, a new girl at his school in his grade who he ends up making a friendship with. Although Nekoda acts friendly to Nick and treats him nicely, she is secretly tasked with the duty of ensuring that he does not become the monster he is destined to be, known as the Malachai. Although Nick believes he can trust Nekoda, his trust in her can completely be shattered once he hears about her duty. Despite this task for Nekoda, however, she sees some good in Nick and pushes herself to try to save him and keep the good in him, garnering feelings for him in the process.
Nick learning of his destiny is also a pivotal part of this book, as he tries to keep the good in himself alive to ensure that he does not become his father. This is shown in his many interactions with Nekoda, Bubba, Mark, and Kyrian, as he sees his friends as a guiding light to a straight and narrow path to preventing his destiny. His friends are primarily what separate his father from Nick, as his father seemingly has situational allies only and no true friends, although Nick has plenty of good friends and people he has helped in the past. Without his friends, Nick would surely embrace the darkness and become the monster that Nekoda has sworn to destroy.
Overall, I thought this book was very interesting despite my lack of understanding in mythical creatures and beings. The correlation to human life and mythical life is very well executed in this book, and putting Nick in a sympathetic light makes the readers want to root for him and ensure that he does not repeat his father’s history. The warfare between good and evil is also very prominent in this series as well, as each character faces their own personal demons throughout the story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good series to read.