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Nightwalker: The First Dark Days Novel by Jocelynn Drake
Cover Artist: Don Sipley
Review by Steve Sawicki
Eos Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061542770
Date: 01 August 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Book's website / Author's Blog / Show Official Info /

Mira is a vampire. She's six hundred years old, serves as an enforcer for the vampire top council and is at the top of the food chain in Savannah, Georgia. Danaus is a vampire killer who has already killed a handful of vampires in the immediate geographic area. Mira decides it's time the two of them meet since she's sure that Danaus is not in Savannah to hunt vampires but to find her. Their initial battle only serves to reinforce for each of them that the other is more powerful than first thought.

Danaus has come to Savannah to get information from Mira, information about the naturi, a race thought banished from the planet. But the naturi, the dark elves and their kin, are far from banished. They are, in fact, working to re-open the portal between their world and Earth, for good. Since the naturi hate all supernaturals as well as all humans, it is to the benefit of everyone that Danaus and Mira form an alliance. This pairing takes them from Georgia to London to Egypt and back again as they try to stop the naturi from returning. In the process they must come to grips with their origins, the powerful groups they individually serve, and their own distrust of each other.

This is an interesting, well written, action story. Drake dives right in, adding history and background as she goes, rather than making us sit through the expository lumps. Her protagonist, Mira, is a wise cracking woman of the night, who is rebelling against the old order while trying to reconcile a history of torture. As the book moves forward, Mira's history plays a larger and larger role. We, along with her, discover her origin and learn the reasons for her existence. The play, back and forth, between Mira and Danaus, is both sarcastic and sexy, sure to add some spice to the story.

If I have a complaint at all it is that I, once again, have to relearn an entire mythos. I grew up with vampires and I can vividly remember the article in Famous Monsters of Filmland that laid out where they came from, what their powers were, and how you could get rid of them. Now I have to reconcile that each vampire has a special ability, that they control werewolves, that they have an oversight council, that there are groups of vampire/werewolf hunters, and that the whole thing is pretty much invisible to humans.

Oh yeah, and elves and fairies ain't quite what you remember them to be. I understand that each writer wants to grab hold of a world and make it their own but it does get a little trying when I have to remember from series to series exactly what these vampires and werewolves can or can't do. But this is just me after having read six or eight vampire/werewolf books in the past 3 months and getting confused in the process.

Jocelynn Drake has created an interesting world here and populated it with wise cracking, action oriented characters that are fun to watch. Definitely a must read for those of you interested in the supernatural/sf interfacing.

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