Jocelynn Drake


My newest review: Dead Man’s Deal by Jocelynn Drake.

It’s the second book in her new urban fantasy series where the main character is a (male) tattoo artist. I gave it four and half stars from five, so I really liked it.

My newest review: Jocelynn Drake: Angel’s Ink.

Angel’s Ink is the first in Drake’s new series and I really enjoyed it.

The last book in the series.

Publication year: 2011
Format: print
Page count: 418
Publisher: Harper

Mira has to confront all of her enemies in this final book of the Dark Days. She has a lot of them including the naturi Queen Aurora, her father, who is an ancient god, and the man who made her a vampire and manipulated her through out her whole life. Happily, she’s also got friends and allies she can depend on. Also, Queen Aurora’s younger sister Cynnia is offering Mira and the rest of the nightwalkers an alliance. If Cynnia’s forces beat Aurora, the naturi will live quietly side by side with humans and vampires. But the catch is that Mira will have to work with her nemesis, Rowe, and she doesn’t know if she can do that.

Most of the book is written from Mira’s first person POV. The book has another point-of-view, too: Nyx, who is Aurora’s and Cynnia’s middle sister. She was born different and most of her people have shunned her. Her father, the king, trained her to be a protector of her people. But Aurora has forced Nyx to hunt her own people and now she’s hated and feared. However, Nyx believes that Aurora has lost her mind and is leading the naturi towards destruction. So, she has sided with Cynnia against the queen she has served all her life. Cynnia has sent Nyx out to recruit other naturi clans to her side. Nyx also needs to recruit Rowe. Most of his life Rowe has been Aurora’s champion and husband until Aurora banished him recently. Nyx thinks that Rowe resents Aurora because of that and will join Cynnia’s cause.

Burn the Night is a good ending to the series. Mira has to face a lot of enemies and the plot lines are concluded. I was surprised when I realized that a new POV character was introduced. Nyx hasn’t had a significant presence in the series so far and she’s somewhat similar to Mira: a formidable fighter who wants to protect the people close to her. Yet, she brings an insider’s POV to the people who have been the major enemy throughout the series; we get to see the division inside the naturi lines and that some of them just want to live in peace. So, I think the new POV was needed.

Overall, I was satisfied with the ending.

The fifth book in the Dark Days urban fantasy series.

Publication year: 2010
Format: Audio
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: Christina Delaine
Running Time: 13 hrs and 22 minutes

Wait for Dusk starts right after the cliffhanger which ended Pray for Dawn. Despite all her powers, Mira has been kidnapped and badly beaten by a creature who wears her father’s face. The creature claims to be one of the ancient gods who has gone with various names: Ogo, Anansi, Coyote, Loki etc. and that he’s Mira’s sire. He’s very disappointed that Mira is a vampire. He threatens to turn Mira into a human so that she can bear their child. Horrified, Mira refuses. Nick, as he calls himself, gives her another chance: if Mira can control Danaus and Jebari, and turn their powers against them, Mira will have proven herself. Nick gives Mira a limited time to do so and leaves her battered. He also gives her additional powers to twist Danaus’ and Jebari’s powers which have been used against Mira before.

Valerio teleports from Venice. The vampire Coven wants Mira to return and take her place officially. However, when Mira and Danaus travel to Venice, one of the old vampires challenges Mira for the seat. But Mira burns him and reclaims her place. The Coven sends Mira to Budapest. The old city doesn’t have a vampire Keeper and has apparently a lot of naturi so it needs a protector. At first the vampires of Budapest seem welcoming but they are hiding a lot. In addition to Danaus, Mira has a questionable ally in Valerio, who is Mira’s old friend – as much as vampires can be friends. He also has his own reasons for wanting to go to Budapest. And Mira’s nemesis has also traveled to the city.

In this book, Mira declares Danaus her consort, her equal. She tries to explain it away as a political move and a way to protect Danaus but of course she’s also attracted to him. Their on again, off again relationship hasn’t been my favorite thing in this series but here it reaches an all time low. Danaus finds a vampire’s pet whom he’s determined to protect. Mira turns into jealous harridan and immediately loses all of her trust in him. Also, the city doesn’t seem to have much of police force. At least in Savannah Mira has to worry about the local police.

Nick has interesting powers: Mira can’t hurt him but he can hurt her and even turn her into a human. Nick can also appear where he wants. However, otherwise he seems to be just one another powerful man who want to control Mira for his own ends. Nick seems to imply that even if Mira hadn’t been turned into a vampire, she would have still been alive. After all, Mira is 600 years old and as a human she would have been long dead before now but Nick hasn’t searched her out before.

Mira was almost motherly in the previous book but in this one she’s back to behaving like a vicious vampire. She’s also doing to best to keep the vampires and werewolves together for the final confrontation. That means a lot of politicking.

The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but it changes politics in this vampire world.

Unfortunately, I didn’t care for the narrator. She made Mira sound like she was crying or whining all the time but especially when Mira was supposed to be angry.

Oh, and I really loath that cover.

The fourth book in the Dark Days urban fantasy series. In audio!

Publication year: 2010
Format: Audio
Publisher: Audible
Narrator: Todd McLaren
Running Time: 13 hrs and 22 minutes

The fourth book is from Danaus’ point-of-view, for the first time. Danaus is 1,800 years old, because his soul is linked to a Bori, a demon of sorts. Before Danaus was born, his mother gave his soul to a Bori in exchange for power. Danaus got a long life and supernatural abilities. He’s convinced that his soul is already damned. For a long time, he has been looking for a purpose to his life. For a while, Danaus got his purpose from hunting vampires and protecting humans. However, since Danaus has had to ally himself with Mira, he’s started to think that he could have been wrong, to an extent. For a couple of hundred years, Danaus has been working for Themus, a secret organization devoted to destroying vampires. But now he’s started to suspect Themus’ leader, the warlock Ryan, is only using the organization for his own ends. Danaus doesn’t like to be used.

Once again, Danaus is drawn to Mira’s home town of Savannah. A senator’s daughter has been killed and it’s likely that the murderer was a supernatural being. Her parents are influential and they want to investigate her murder. If they find a supernatural link, they could expose it to the whole world.

While Danaus is hunting a vampire, he sees that something takes the monster over and the vampire is able to kill several naturi. He finds out that the Bori who owns Danaus’ soul has returned and wants Danaus to work for him. Of course, Danaus refuses. Also, Danaus’ assistant James has his own problems.

The previous books have given hints about Danaus’ past and they are now confirmed. He was born as a Roman citizen and for a while he was part of the Roman army. Then he spent a while with monks. It seems to me that Danaus was one of the earliest Christians, or perhaps a Jewish man, because his concepts of divinity, souls, and damnation seem to be Christian rather than Roman. He also has trouble with current technology which is understandable.

We are introduced to a new character and the book revolved a bit too much around her. Also, there’s a lot of repetition; Danaus goes back and forth that he needs Mira to destroy their mutual enemy, the naturi, and that he’s very attracted to her, but she’s a vampire. Sometimes Danaus thinks of her only as a prey, especially when they haven’t met for a while. Mira has spent some time with Themus and has apparently gaind some new powers during that time. Danaus is surprised by the same new powers several times.

This time, the book is set in Savannah instead of the more international settings in the previous books. So, the established cast in Savannah are also seen a lot; Tristan, Lox, and the werewolves. A surprising number of ordinary people seem to know about the supernatural creatures; they seem to be an open secret, especially among the homeless.

The overall plot is developed a bit and the book ends in a cliffhanger. It’s entertaining but I don’t think this book was as good as the previous ones.

Third in the Dark Days fantasy series. It continues right after the end of the second book, “Dayhunter”.

Publication year: 2009
Format: print
Page count: 372
Publisher: EOS

After the climatic ending of the previous book, Mira has had a little breathing space. She returned to her current home town, Savannah, to gather strength for the next conflict between herself and the naturi. However, the naturi followed her home. They attack her and her underling vampires, and also use the local werewolves which throws the lycans into a disarray. Barrett, the leader of the local werewolf pack starts to accuse Mira and wants to drive her away because Barrett believes that when Mira leaves, the naturi will follow her. In fact, Mira is going to leave soon to Machu Picchu where the naturi will try to bring their queen to Earth in just a few days. Unfortunately, the naturi have kidnapped one of Mira’s closest underlings and she is adamant that she will find Amanda before she leaves. She has to beat the werewolves into giving her the time she needs.

Meanwhile, Danaus returns with an Earth witch. In the previous books Mira found out that she can sometimes sense and use Earth magic which no other vampire can do. She wanted someone to guide her in it and Danaus found the one Earth witch who is willing to teach the legendary Fire Starter. Mira is suddenly dubious but agrees to let Shelly, the witch, to tag along.

When Danaus, Mira, Shelly, and Mira’s underling Knox are freeing Amanda from the clutches of the naturi, they also find someone else: a naturi Princess who is being held prisoner by her own kind. Mira is both eager to use her as a bargaining chip but also suspicious of her sudden, and quite convenient, appearance.

The plot is again very fast-paced: the naturi attack quite often and increasingly desperately because they are trying to stop Mira from reaching Machu Picchu. We get to see some familiar characters from the previous books and also a few new ones, Shelly and Cynnia, the naturi princess. Shelly is an Earth witch and she’s so cheerful person that Mira is willing to send her back the moment they meet. However, Shelly is willing to help Mira and her gang to fight the naturi. Cynnia claims that she doesn’t want the war between humans and the naturi, and that is why she’s been taken a prisoner.

The inclusion of Cynnia brings in another character whom Mira can’t trust. Through Cynnia we also learn more about the naturi who up to now have been pretty much a faceless mass of enemies, except for their leader Rowe.

At the start of the book we meet familiar characters from the first book: Amanda, Knox, and Barrett. We also get to see Mira more in a leadership role in her own domain. She has a few trusted police officers and even a coroner who can mop up the bodies of naturi and other supernatural creatures before the press gets them. Mira seems to have a quite an efficient machinery going on. She’s clearly the leader of her community. She also casts aside her protestations of being a loner and starts her own vampire family.

The book wraps up the naturi storyline with epic fight scenes. There is a chance of continuing it and most of the subplots are left wide open, but the conclusion is satisfying.

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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