Unlucky Charm: The Black Kat Prequel
Katherine “Kat” Carter is always in trouble in her role as a Chicago police office. After her last incident, she leaves the force to become a bounty hunter with a mysterious, unnamed organization. Leaving the police doesn’t mean giving up Sargent Valdez, however, and the two begin a steamy relationship.
In the meantime, illusionist Hugh Harrison is on trial for the murder of his brother Dale. But is Dale actually dead or simply missing?
Both Kat and Hugh have strange powers that make them a part of the group of “Supers” who are at the center of the book.
Theme of the Book
The only way for the Supers to survive is to overcome past trauma and learn to work together despite their own conflicts. Cooperation, teamwork, and strength in numbers are the most important elements of their struggle for survival.
What I Liked About the Story
Unlucky Charm is an introduction to a fascinating group of characters. The reader immediately has a number of questions: Who are they? Where do they come from? Why are they hunted? Although the book does not provide answers to these questions, it whets the appetite and leaves the reader wanting more.
Kat is obviously going to be the central character of the books that follow this one. In Unlucky Charm, Kat is not yet aware of her powers and is a character full of conflict. She loves being a police officer but hates following rules; she is strongly attracted to Valdez but knows something is missing; she knows she is an adopted child but knows nothing of her origins. These conflicts make Kat an intriguing character who has the possibility of being the basis of an excellent series.
There is plenty of action in the story. The courtroom scene, during Hugh’s trial, introduces the other Supers in a flurry of powerful events. The reader sees that though the Supers have powers, often their powers are not well-controlled. It is as if part of the group is able to use powers with purpose and other members are just learning what their powers can do. It will be interesting to watch the maturation and development of these characters as the series continues.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
The courtroom scenes were very detailed. This was probably necessary in order to introduce the other Supers. However, I did find them a little too long for the total length of the novel. The same can be said for the seduction scenes. Although the scenes did illuminate Kat’s character, they were a bit overdone.
Secondly, the use of the verb “smirk” should be limited to only very specific circumstances. At one point, Valdez says to Kat, “You strike me as the kind of woman who always manages to land on her feet, like a cat”. He “smirks” while he says this. A smirk is a smug or conceited smile and I find the choice of words to be inappropriate here. He might ‘grin’, ‘smile sexily’, or curl up one corner of his mouth, but he’s not being smug or conceited.
Finally, although there is action in the story, the story itself doesn’t tell us much. It introduces the characters. The idea of a group of mysterious beings with superpowers hiding from the rest of humanity is not a particularly new or original idea. Readers will have to wait if they are interested enough to follow the development of the saga to see if there is something new and original involved.
As an introduction to what will most probably be a series, Unlucky Charm is fine. It provides enough information and character development to give readers a hint of what to expect in the future.