Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: This review does not contain spoilers. (Yay!) However, it does make reference to events from earlier books. While I’ve tried to minimize spoilers for those titles, I do suggest you begin with the first Dark Mission novel. Read the VBC review for Blood of the Wicked for starters.
Throughout the Dark Mission series Karina Cooper has thrown together enemies and made them into lovers. It’s part of what always appeals to me about these books. Each novel has a constant push and pull: lies versus truth, love versus hate, pain versus ecstasy. The final book One for the Wicked gathers all these elements and exhales them in a miasma of hidden truths, long-desired revenge and unbidden attraction.
Basically, One for the Wicked is an explosion of emotional sexytimes and characters fighting for their lives. Both things I love.
We’ve heard plenty about Dr. Kayleigh Lauderdale in previous novels. We’ve heard about her role in the Salem Project. We know she’s been working to find a way to stop the degeneration of its subjects (like super delicious Simon). What we don’t know is what’s really going on inside Kayleigh’s head. In One for the Wicked we discover Kayleigh’s motivations and realize she takes the lies of her father at face value.
Shawn doesn’t buy Kayleigh’s innocent routine. The other Lauderdale killed his parents and if he has to use Kayleigh to exact his revenge, he will. He just didn’t plan on finding her so damn attractive or her stirring real, non-violent feelings within.
Both Kayleigh and Shawn betray one another repeatedly. You’ll be shocked at the way he pulls the rug out from under her. Then even more blindsided when she ignores her feelings and turns on him. And again. And again. This book is about how hard it is to accept the truth. Both Kayleigh and Shawn have to learn to trust each other, believe the new truths they’re faced with and find a way to live with the results. Not an easy task.
This isn’t like Simon and Parker’s story in Sacrifice the Wicked where they hated each other but knew one another beforehand. Kayleigh and Shawn haven’t met before the start of this book, and there is no foundation for trust. The answers they find not only bring them together, but give readers many of the answers we’ve longed for throughout the series. You’ll know more about the earthquakes. You’ll know more about Kayleigh’s mom and the Eve Sequence. You’ll understand what links the Salem Project team and you’ll better understand the senior Lauderdale’s motivations much better.
As this is the final Dark Mission novel, Cooper made sure you get to revisit every couple from previous books. Silas even gives relationship advice. (I know, right?) The ending is a nice reward for readers who have stuck with the series.
Sexual content: Sex