Second in the Dark Days fantasy series. It continues right after the end of the first book, “Nightwalker”.

Publication year: 1993
Format: print
Page count: 368
Publisher: Harper Voyager

The six hundred year old vampire and Fire Starter Mira is back. After the battle in London, at the end of the previous book, she, Danaus the vampire hunter, and a young vampire called Tristan travel to Venice where the leaders of the vampires live. The Coven has summoned Mira to answer for what she has done and also to discuss the returned threat of the naturi. Much to her surprise, the Coven has already struck their own bargain. Many of the nightwalkers in Venice want to kill Mira so she has to be constantly on guard against the others of her own race. Those that don’t currently want to kill Mira, want to manipulate or control her and use her as a weapon against the naturi. She has very few allies.

Mira says all the time that she’s a loner and doesn’t want a family. For a loner, she sure has a lot of people around her! In addition to Danaus, who is there just to hunt the naturi, who are a bigger threat to humanity than the vampires, there’s Gabriel, Mira’s human bodyguard, and now Tristan, a young vampire whom Mira promised to rescue from his sadistic maker. Also, Mira acquires another follower, a werewolf, in this book. She has a lot of people to protect not just from the dastardly naturi but also from other nightwalkers. In order to protect them and her own standing, she has to intimidate and fight other vampires, including her own makers. In fact, most of the book concentrates on nightwalker politicking, intimidation, and posturing.

Right at the start, we get to know some more about this world’s nightwalkers and later we find out just what Danaus is. Hopefully, that will be explored more. Mira and Danaus also have a few philosophical talks about just what makes a person evil but Danaus still has no qualms about killing vampires. Apparently, a lot of readers want Danaus and Mira to end up together, but I don’t. I think they are far more interesting as reluctant allies who have agreed to kill each other after they’ve destroyed the naturi together. However, they now have a mental connection to each other and I strongly suspect that the are going to get together no matter what. We also get to know some more about the organization that Danaus works for. I also enjoy their status as reluctant, almost perhaps dependable allies.

We also get to know more about the other supernatural races in this world. I was very intrigued to find out that even though the supernatural elements are in hiding currently, they have a time table for revealing themselves to the world. In order to prepare the humans properly, the werewolves, witches and others own companies that produce propaganda for them, in other words, TV-shows, movies, and books that make the supernatural creatures look cool and good guys to the world at large. That’s hilarious!

Mira has a lot of guilt and regrets from the previous book so she wasn’t as sure of herself and confident as before. However, when she’s in a fight, and there are a lot of fight scenes in this book, she’s focused on fighting. She’s still a very powerful and enjoyable main character.

Oh, and the vampires in this series are evil. They enjoy torture and they create new vampires who are deliberately left powerless so that the older ones can torture the new ones and eventually kill them. There are a few nigtwalkers who have a more philosophical outlook but even they want to manipulate the people around them. In fact, Mira seems to be the only one who doesn’t want to manipulate everyone around her all the time.

A great continuation to the series. My only complaint is that the main plot didn’t advance much.

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