Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nightwalker: A Review

Nightwalker (Dark Days #1)
Written by: Jocelynn Drake
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Eos
Language: English
July 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Dark Days Series

For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker--an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.


At the beginning of the year I told myself I was not allowed to buy any new books until I went through at least one bin of To Be Read Books. That is right. I have bins. I have 5 of them to be exact with books I have yet to read. And if E and I move again I want that number to be 0, or maybe just 1. So I need to get a-cracking. Especially since there are some really great books coming out soon. While I don’t post a review on every single book I read, I do try to do the majority.

As I have gone through my TBR pile number one, I am realizing that I read a ton of urban fantasy and not a lot else. This is troubling for me. While I love my little niche genre, I just love to read period. I should branch out more. I say this because I think I might be getting bored with urban fantasy. I keep reading the same thing. It’s just different names and slightly different plots. I’m not seeing anything truly new and original. I am just looking for a bit more variety and a lot more substance. I want to be able to tell characters apart. I want to be able to tell authors apart. And by the gods…no more vampires or if you do please do something interesting with them.

Drake tried to be original with Nightwalker not only through her character of Mira, but the world as a whole. Mira is six hundred years old and change and the current enforcer of her territory in Savannah. She also has quite the reputation as she pyrokinetic and has earned the title Firestarter for good reason. When vampire hunter Danaus shows up in town, he also brings the nature with him. A few centuries ago these nature imprisoned and tortured Mira and while she doesn’t know the exact details, she knows that having them resurface is dangerous indeed. The naturi are seeking a way to break out of their supernatural prison and unlike previous attempts, they’re close to succeeding. If they are going to succeed both Mira and Danaus are going to have to work together. No problem, right?

Things I loved: Mira is an interesting character. Not exactly likable as she comes off fairly bitchy, arrogant and occasionally cruel. But as the story goes along you realize that she has some pretty layers. She suffers from some pretty deep PTSD from her time with the Naturi and it still haunts her. Thank you for making a character who goes through some fairly extreme events to have to deal with the aftermath. So often life and death situations happen in every book or story and the lead character throws it off like it was just another day at the office. Mira also cares about her bodyguards (though really doesn’t need them). She has vulnerability and she makes mistakes. Danaus tries to be his own character as well and begins as a vampire hating hunter and through his time with Mira realizes that not everything is so black and white. Plus I really do want to know more about him and who and what he really is. His budding romance with Mira is also nice because it wasn’t love at first sight as it happens so often of late. For once it might actually take some time so kudos there.

The Naturi (elemental) and Bori (demons and angels) are interesting races in the overall world building. Similar to the fae, the Naturi control elements and have been trying to escape imprisonment for some time. The Bori are all but absent though vampires side with the bori while werewolves would fall under the control of the Naturi. This is great stuff. Interesting and different. Which is why I was so disappointed when both the plot and the lead characters failed to be interesting and different, which brings us to….

Things I didn’t love so much: Oh look another strong woman who apparently has a small harem of men who love her, adore her, hate and love her at the same time, etc. Boring. Don’t go the Anita Blake route please. Have some female characters. Have a woman who doesn’t have a bevy of hot guys clamoring about her. Or I don’t know, how about one guy. It is just so Mary Sue and annoying as hell. What happened to having girlfriends or one lover. How about not everyone likes you? That would be interesting. Harem of guys not interesting.

It was extremely slow to start and the pacing was uneven. Whoa on the exposition. While it was still a fairly quick read, the pacing and narrative flaws that became fairly apparent with Mira’s point of view made it a little rollercoaster-y for me.

I hate that this is very obviously the first in a series. I have said it before but I miss one shots. I miss having a complete story in one book. Hell I will even take trilogies, but books that go 3 and more are quite often unsatisfying. I almost want to take away a happy bookmark just because of it. It is an incomplete story, but not enough of the good stuff for me to really invest in reading more which is unfortunate.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. While there were some decent attempts at originality, I fear that it was not enough. Plus I just cannot afford a new series.

Part of: A Series
Book One: Nightwalker
Book two: Dayhunter
Book Three: Dawnbreaker
Book Four: Pray for Dawn
Book Five: Wait for Dusk

Also Recommended: Storm Born by Richelle Mead, Ill Wind by Rachel Caine, Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs, and Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire.

2.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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