*I received this book as an eARC from Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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Title: Black Dog
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Synopsis: Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.
But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.
In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.
Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.
But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.
Why?: I'm not normally a fan of werewolf stories - I think they're severely overdone right now. But this one sounds different. I like that there's magic and that the girls have to prove themselves. I also like that it's set in Mexico - I haven't really read any books set there and I think it will be interesting.
Expectations: I am not really sure what to expect from this book. I'm hoping for a gripping urban fantasy with mystery and adventure, and maybe a little romance.
Judging a book by its cover: I actually really like this cover. I think the colors would help it to stand out on a shelf, and the giant black dog makes it look almost like a horror book. I would probably pick it up if I saw it somewhere.