21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2008
I'd seen this on Amazon, but it was actually reading the first few pages in a bookstore that made me buy it, plus the blurb from Kim Harrison.
Overall, it reads very well. Lots of action, but generally well formed without the feel its their for its own sake. i.e. all the action is 'justified'. The characters are compelling, and become moreso with the passage of the book, and there are quite a number of plot twists. The feel is reasonably dark, with a lot of moral ambiguity - not so much on the part of the characters themselves, but certainly in the world they exist in and the power structures they support. And the authour is certainly willing to let the characters get hurt a bit.
There's a potential relationship forming with the main character, but wouldn't be surprised at all if it didn't turn out.
And its a bit longer (smaller writing) than a lot of the urban fantasy out there (Kim Harrison and Mike Carey besides!), so that is nice too. Thouroughly recommend. Has a similar feel to both those authours, and to a degree with Lilith Saintcrow.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2008
I picked up this book because I am a fan of anything dark and paranormal, and NIGHTWALKER by Jocelynn Drake certainly looked like it wouldn't disappoint.
However, I found that the beginning of the novel was rather...pretentious. Maybe I've read too many novels where the protagonist is a self-depreciating, but ultimately arse-kicking female, and have gotten used to the dry humour. Don't get me wrong, I have still given this book 4 stars(3+ if I think of all the REALLY good vampire books out there), and it is still worth a read, even if that's just because it managed to convince me to shift it from my No Good pile to my Need to Read the Sequal pile by the end! However, I was inbetween books when I read this, so I think maybe people who read paranormal books at the rate I do (like there's no tomorow) will get the most from this novel...ie will be willing to forgive it some of its flaws just because you are so desperate for another good dark vampire series :)
The Heroine of this novel is Mira, a Nightwalker; that's a vampire to me and you, but not only that, she has been one for thousands of years, and is actually a big shot in the vampire world. She can certainly look after herself, and often when she goes to deal with a situation on her land with a rogue vampire, as soon as she mentions her name you see cocky vampires suddenly gulping and looking for the nearest exit...I have to say I did enjoy the fact that she was a Heroine who truly did not need 'rescuing' in any shape or form. However, I have now come to realise that perhaps that was what my issue with the beginning of the novel is...not counting the cringe-worthy cliches such as: "His cloak swirled around him like a pack of baying dogs". Okay, yes we know he dangerous...but anyway, at the beginning of the novel, even though it is nice to see her strutting her stuff, she is almost too much like a vampire. Cold, bloodthirsty, and blood lust means just that: she needs to watch out she doesn't rip someone's throat out. So for anyone looking for a stronger romantic element, don't be fooled by the lack of clothes on the front cover, I would say the romance takes a definite backseat in this novel. (although there is some - much to my relief! I do like dark and gothic and gory, but there has to be some fun parts as well)
I realised that I started to like this book - it's when Mira has a mini breakdown, has to rely on the brooding mysterious man by her side (the hero of the novel - a vampire hunter who she forms a brief stalemate with for the purpose of hunting the greater evil - the Naturi). This disturbed me a little bit; maybe what I really like is the helpless female?? But anyway, after her little breakdown were she stops smiling coldly and imagining how she will kill the hunk (No! the reader cries; he's your best bet for getting laid!), and shows some fear/self-doubt/anger etc etc, I realised I could emphasis with her more because she seemed more human.
Now, I don't know if this was down to poor plotting and character development, or a clever ploy on the authors part; make the heroine stong, fiesty and a little cold/emotionally retarded, put her through some trials, almost kill her once or twice, hit her with some devastating emotional baggage from her past and Hey Presto! You have a new softer lovable character who can still kick some Naturi butt. (another of my slight issues - for creatures who basically look like hairy humans, I couldn't understand the fear they installed - vampires were literally hitting the ground running after just hearing the name, and Mira and her hunky hunter struggled to survive an attack by 4 of them at the beginning of the novel, and yet at the end they are suddenly able to pick them off left right and center. Maybe I missed something)
However, I think it is testament to the novel that I was still willing to give it 4 stars, more than willing in fact, despite all these inconsistencies in my mind. I'm putting them down to teething issues for Drake, as it was her first novel, and am eagerly looking forward to the sequal. Give the book a chance, don't be put off by the front cover and my review!
I would recommend for fans of the BLOOD TIES series (a very good series too if you haven't read it), because both deal with the darker, less-romantisized aspects of vampirism, although I would say Blood Ties is the more gory of the two, or fans of vampires who are looking for something a wee bit darker.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2008
I really enjoyed Nightwalker, the first book in the Dark Days series. Jocelynn Drake has created a good series with a solid foundation. I did find the start of the book a tad slow going but as the book progressed and I got to know the characters and became involved in their world the story took flight.
Mira is a centuries old vampire who lives in Savannah, the new world, away from the central ruling vampire body, The Covern. The mysterious Danaus, a vampire hunter shows in up in Savannah killing vampires and as Savannah is Mira's domain she must investigate. Unfortunately vampires is not the only thing that Danaus is hunting. With the discovery that the Naturi are once again in the world Mira and Danaus follows the trail that leads back to the old world and back into the arms of the Covern. Something that Mira has avoided for many centuries. With the world as we know it on the brink of destruction and Mira's demons coming back to haunt her can Danaus and Mira but aside their natural animosity and work together?
I have already pre-ordered the second book in the series Dayhunter.
on 26 October 2008
'Nightwalker' is the first of the 'Dark Days' series and was a really enjoyable beginning with a slightly different take on the common vampire/vampire hunter theme.
Mira is a vampire, over 600 years old, who has been living quietly in the New World for over a century. She's rather unusual in that she has elemental mastery over fire and has the nickname 'the Fire Starter'. When she discovers that a mysterious human vampire hunter, Danaus, has been picking off vampires in her area, she decides to sort him out. She very quickly discovers that Danaus isn't your average human and also that he's not actually trying to kill her - at least not at the moment. Danaus shows her evidence that an evil race, the naturi, are regathering and are planning to destroy both vampires and humans. But what role does Mira have to play? Do events five hundred years ago in her past mean that she may be more important to the naturi than she realises?
I really enjoyed reading this book with its different layers. The relationship between Mira and Danaus was excellently written as they both begin to see through their prejudices and to begin to look at each other differently. The author kept us guessing about how things would work out in the book although I did feel that perhaps not quite enough threads were completed when I had finished this first episode. I also felt that the vampires' fear of the naturi seemed rather over the top when the naturi appeared relatively easy to dispatch, at least for Mira and Danaus. Nonetheless this was a good book with an interesting world of vampire behaviour and a mysterious hero.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2010
I usually don't write reviews but this book really deserve some really great comments. I bought this book because it was on my list of recommendations, and I found it smart, brilliant, innovative. The heroine Mira is so imperfect and flawed but at the same time powerful and fierce that you just like her!
The book is ful ot plot twits, interesting dynamics between the characters and I cannot wait to read the second book!
on 10 August 2011
I'm still under its spell. Jocelynn Drake's writing style is simply amazing, her descriptions are evocative and poetic, she is a true writer! Another series I will have to add to my TBR list!
Nightwalker is the first novel in Jocelynn Drake's Dark Days urban fantasy series, and despite the fact that at the beginning I could only progress slowly, that didn't keep me from falling in love with Jocelynn Drake's poetic writing. So persevere, because after the initial 80-90 pages the novel's pace picks up and the action will become a blur (in a good way).
Nightwalker is truly a literary novel! I loved the author's evocative writing style and her characterization is fantastic! Another series which I put on my Must-Read list. If you haven't read this series yet, start it, you'll be in for a treat.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2008
Mira is a nightwalker or vampire, over 600 years old, ruling/responsible for a chunk of the American south. How she managed not to get knocked off within that 600 years is astounding. In this novel Mira comes up against Danaus, silent, brooding, built like a Roman soldier (unsurprisingly it turns out) who first of all tries to kill her then works with her to overcome the nasty naturi. Unfortunately Mira's common response to mention of the naturi and just about every other problem is to have incredibly girly hysterics. That and the fact that this book just isn't very well written - if I read once I read 5 times about her heels clcking as she strides along - make this a very average novel for this genre. The only good parts were the Machu Pichu and Egypt references. I certainly wouldn't pay full price for the second one in the series as it just isn't worth it. Finally, another review I read compared it to Suzanne Mcleod's 'The Sweet Scent of Blood' which is in fact so much better. Disappointing.