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Darkest Fear (Birthright) Hardcover – January 7, 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Birthright Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Tiernan wastes no time delving into the action in this new series. Within 25 pages, 18-year-old Vivi's parents have been viciously murdered, with her father's heart ripped from his body by what Vivi and her aunt Juliana can only assume was one of their own kind. Their own kind being Haguari, or the "Jaguar people." Vivi has spent the majority of her life denying her heritage, but with the mystery shrouding her parents' deaths and her newfound family in New Orleans, immersing herself in the Haguari way of the life may be the only way to solve the murders. The narrative moves swiftly, engaging readers with a rich backstory of the Haguari people and the omnipresent fear and apprehension that accompanies Vivi throughout the story. This is no Shiver(Scholastic, 2009) by Maggie Stiefvater, although the writing is equally strong. Darkest Fear is not a paranormal romance. Rather, this is about family, self-discovery, and accepting one's differences whether they are inherited or self-determined. Those looking for interspecies love will likely be disappointed, though the groundwork is certainly there for a love interest or two in the next installment. Libraries in which paranormal romance and fantasy are circulating strongly would be wise to purchase.—Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR

From Booklist

Vivi seems like an average 18-year-old girl: rebellious (wanting to be the opposite of her parents), awkward (with boys), and gossipy (with her best girlfriend, Jennifer). But she cannot ignore that she and her parents, who have been mysteriously murdered, are haguari—part of an ancient religion whose followers can turn into jaguars. The sudden deaths of her parentsleave her with many unanswered questions, prompting an excursion to New Orleans. There, she meets family as well as a coffee shop owner with dreamy eyes, and she is introduced to horrific truths that reveal urgent dangers. Vivi’s inner self has always felt embraced by the jaguar gods, but now she must learn to channel that protection for the safety of her family. With this first entry in the Birthright series, Tiernen captures Vivi’s emotional growth through internal dialogue as both human and jaguar, and she employs a raw writing style to explore a struggle that we all face—discovering what it means to be human. Grades 9-12. --Annie Miller
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Product Details

  • Series: Birthright (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144248246X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442482463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paige VINE VOICE on January 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The sole reason I wanted Darkest Fear can be summed up in one word: jaguars. I'm a huuuuge fan of the admittedly sucktacular American football team the Jacksonville Jaguars, so once I heard about this novel and the jaguar people in it, I knew I needed it. This is poor methodology for picking out books and I don't recommend it, but you know what? It worked this time. Darkest Fear is a great start to a new series and something YA readers--maybe even NA readers--will find refreshing.

Honestly, Darkest Fear is less YA, more NA, but not because of anything steamy. The romantic elements are actually very low-key, limited to two guys who would like to get in bed with Vivi and one of those guys getting a swoony kissing scene or two with her. It's NA as it should be: the story of someone figuring out their life when high school ended so recently. Vivi's parents are murdered on her eighteenth birthday and she moves from Florida to New Orleans so she can find some long-lost family, figure stuff out, and blaze her own trail. It just so happens that the whole she's-a-jaguar-person thing is among the stuff she has to figure out.

Readers get to know Vivi and her newfound family very well over the course of the book, but it can get a little boring at times. The cast gets a little too large to keep track of outside the main characters and there's less jaguaring, more job-searching, working, and everyday stuff at times. The slow pacing is usually forgivable since Vivi's resistance to her own nature is why there's not much jaguaring on her end. If I wanted to complain about that, I'd be saying I want Vivi to not be who she is and that's nothing close to what I want. Vivi as she is in this novel is a great main character and she's only going to get better!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This series revolves around 18 year old Vivi, who was left to fend for herself after her parents were murdered on her birthday. Like many girls her age, Vivi struggles with self confidence, self-worth, and her heritage. Although Vivi's heritage is a super natural one (human/Jaguar hybrid), anyone can relate to not being able to accept all aspects of their heritage. In an attempt to figure out how to put herself back together after her parents death, she moves to New Orleans to look for a long lost aunt. Here she unravels a bit more about the mystery around her parents death, makes new friends, gains new family and even finds a bit of romance. In my opinion, Vivi is a very believable and relatable character. I know that if I were to discover that I can turn into a jaguar at will at age 13 I would be thrilled like many other kids. However, Vivi's reluctance makes her the exception, which is why she is so interesting to read about. I agree that it would be nice to see her get a grip sometimes, but that is not really realistic. I know that if I were in her situation I would be crying just as much as she did ( maybe even more.)
Like many of Cate's other series, she keeps you wanting more. There were a couple of hot and steamy moments I would love to see more of. This books is very similar to Cate's immortal series, where she gives you just enough to hook you. I could not put this book down. I can't wait until the next book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
ViVi is a realistic character. She doesn't want to be like her parents. When her parents are killed her aunt comes to help. After her aunt leaves she learns of another aunt and going searching for her. She find her cousin and stays with him and learns of her heritage and learns to accept he fate of being like her parents. She meets Rafe and doesn't understand why is acts the way he does cause they are both the same and they both want the other but neither of them realize how much alike they are. I hope in the next book we learn more about who is killing ViVi family. I am also curious to find out what happens next now her human best friend is staying in a house full of jaguars
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By Kayla on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Cate Tiernan's books and Darkest Fear did not disappoint me. She has a way of making me fall in love with her characters and this was no exception. I can understand why some may find the storyline slow, however I enjoyed the time to get to know the characters and her day to day life. I recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hello Lovelies!

As a reader of paranormal fiction, the "novelty" of certain subjects wears off. Don't get me wrong, I love reading books with vampires and werewolves and each seems to include some exciting twist, but I appreciate when I come across a fresh idea. In Darkest Fear, Cate Teirnan, inspired by the lore surrounding the jaguar, created the Haguari, a people who can manifest in jaguar form. I don't know about you, but jaguar-people is not something I come across often.

While the concept is exciting, the protagonist falls flat. "Vanilla" is the perfect description of Vivi. She has no fire, few quirks, and sulks all the time. It's pretty frustrating. After finding out about her Haguari heritage and nature, she shuns her loving parents and her culture completely. First, I want to shake her. SHE'S A JAGUAR. That's way cooler than being a college student, trust me. Second, she has parent's who love her dearly, yet she hates them and all they stand for. With her parent's death, Vivi becomes a shell, feeling only sorrow. Karma, man.

The story picks up with Vivi following a lead on an unknown family member to the quiet little town of New Orleans. She meets a group of Haguari that become family, gets a job at an eclectic coffee shop, has a thoroughly confusing romantic experience, and slowly takes back her life. However, the most thrilling part is the investigation of Haguari deaths that may be connected to her parent's murder.

Now that I got some of the rave out, it's time for more rant. I think Darkest Fear may have initially been released in phases or sections on some website or something. Why? THERE IS A SUMMARY AT THE BEGINNING OF ALMOST EVERY CHAPTER. Yelling aside, it irked me to no end.
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