Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Review: Nightwalker and Dayhunter by Jocelynn Drake

Nightwalker (Dark Days, 1).
Released 7/29/2008. Mass Market PB.
Dayhunter (Dark Days, 2).
Released 4/28/2009. Mass Market PB.
by Jocelynn Drake

My Description: Mira is a 600+ year old nightwalker (a.k.a. vampire) with the very unique ability of creating and controlling fire. She's top nightwalker in her domain (Savannah, GA) and ensures younger ones stay in line since humans are unaware of the existence of nightwalkers. When a vampire hunter named Danaus arrives in her domain, Mira learns that an old enemy race, known as the naturi, are back and threatening to destroy all nightwalkers and humans. Can Mira and Danaus put their inherent feud aside long enough to survive and deal with the naturi problem?

My Thoughts on the Series: Nightwalker opens with a straightforward conflict. Mira is a vampire and Danaus is a vampire hunter that has waltzed into her domain and killed several nightwalkers. Danaus looks human, but his agility, speed and other unique abilities are definitely not human. Mira’s not sure who or what he is, so she doesn’t want to kill him right away. Mira learns from Danaus that the naturi are back. The naturi are a dangerous earth-related creatures who attempted to destroy other races (humans, nightwalkers, etc.) centuries ago in order to protect the earth itself. This begins a very unlikely partnership between Danaus and Mira. They decide to put off their fight-to-the-death battle for another day so they can figure out how to prevent the naturi from returning to power.

Mira’s inner conflict sometimes feels like a split personality.  She’s fierce and assertive one moment and then suddenly she’s vulnerable, confused, and weak the next. She loses her temper way too quickly and can’t control her emotions.  I like Mira’s character, but her mood swings can get tiring.  Danaus is one hunky vampire hunter and oh so mysterious! The more I read, the more I like him. Their interactions and dialogue is something between dancing and sparring. From scathing insult to quippy remark, they navigate together (reluctantly at first) through scenes with vampires, lycan, naturi, witches, humans and more.

In book 2 Dayhunter, the series gets more complex as we learn about the characters' back stories and the politics of the Coven, the nightwalker ruling body in Venice, Italy. Why is Mira the way she is? What is Danaus? I had so many questions in my head during the second book. Who can you really trust?  There are a lot of supporting characters, so it’s sometimes hard to keep story lines straight. Author Jocelynn Drake does a great job of holding your attention even through those long dialogues. The fight scenes can get a little choppy. I had to re-read paragraphs because I couldn’t visualize the movements. There’s some cursing and one steamy sex scene, which is completely fine since it’s an adult novel (I’m so used to reading YA). Of course, there are many bloody fights and some gruesome torture, but Drake’s nightwalkers heal pretty quickly. I was surprised at the ending of the first book and I'm eager to read what happens next in book 3, Dawnbreaker.  I haven’t read too much in the adult urban fantasy genre, but I enjoyed this series so far.  I plan on buying the third book asap.

Bottom Line: Though not without it's flaws, this exciting vamp guilty pleasure keeps you coming back for more.
My Rating: 4/5

Book 4 Pray for Dawn releases on June 29 and book 5 Wait for Dusk is slated for August 27.  Personally, I'm not liking the covers of these two books.  The guy portraying Danaus on the front of Pray for Dawn looks more like an 80's rocker than how I had pictured Danaus (leaner with "real" shoulder length hair). The Wait for Dusk cover is way too steamy.  It might have turned me off from reading the entire series if I saw this cover first since I'm not a big Harlequin Romance type of fan.


For more info on the series, visit Jocelynn Drake's website and blog.


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