Reviewed by Jen
Jocelynn Drake has created a dark and fascinating new vampire world with this first installment in her Dark Days series. It features Mira, a 600 year old nightwalker. She is special among her people because she can wield fire and is impervious to its effects. She lives in Savannah and serves as the de facto head-vampire in the United States. As our book opens, there is a mysterious vampire hunter in her territory. She is fascinated by the man and finally meets up with him. She realizes that there is something unique and powerful within him. Danaus is not there to kill her, but instead is seeking her out to help deal with an even greater threat to humanity than the vampires.
There are two ancient forces once thought eradicated from the world: the naturi and the bori. And it looks like naturi, which are something like an evil version of the fae, are trying to make a comeback. Mira has stood against them once before and survived... though barely. So Danaus is hoping she can help stop the new threat. Together, they venture to the Old World, seeking ancient vampires to help with their cause.
The very best thing to me about this book are the two main characters. Mira is strong, sexy, and smart enough to know her place in the world. And Danaus is the perfect blend of smoldering power and mystery. The sexual tension between these two is off the charts. Every time they got close to each other, I gripped my book a little tighter, waiting to see if this
would be the moment they would give in to temptation. Don't misunderstand. This isn't a romance novel. It's firmly Urban Fantasy, but what's going on between these two characters can't be ignored.
I also found myself very interested in the secondary characters. Jabari is an enigma, showing fatherly instincts one minute, passion the next, and then later cold calculation and fury. Who is he really? Then, there is fragile vampire Tristan, the self-serving warlock Ryan, and the evil naturi Rowe. Each was clearly fleshed out and left me wanting to know more about them.
The book's not perfect. There is a little too much exposition for my taste. I could do with fewer words to describe the setting and background. --Another small peeve was serious overuse of the word "angels" when Mira refers to her bodyguards. Yeah, I get the reference... Michael and Gabriel... but it just felt forced and the more often the word was used, the more it annoyed me.
Drake's not afraid to make bold choices with the course of events. There's a surprising death before the story is over --and there are other heartbreakers as the series progresses. But it says something about the author's abilities to draw me into the world, that the events weigh so much on me as they unfold. In all, it's a solid book and worth reading, because it kicks off a unique and powerful series. 4 stars.
Labels: by Jen, Jocelynn Drake, Shifters, Urban Fantasy, Vampires