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on 16 January 2015
The inappropriately named Daisy Jo is an Agent of Hel; not Hell the place, but Hel the Norse goddess, who just happens to roam in her small home town of Pemkowet, Michigan. But Hel isn't the only creature to reside in the town. Pemkowet attracts the tourists because of its eldritch society; werewolves, ghouls, vampires, naiads, fae. You name it, the town has it. And Daisy is perhaps the most infamous of the eldritch, because she is hell spawn; after a night of passion with demon/incubus Belphegor, her Mom conceives her and as well as having her Mom's Scandinavian colouring, she had her Dad's black eyes, as black as the pits of - well, you know, and a cute little tail. She also has the dubious honour of being able to bring about Armageddon if she lets loose with the Seven Deadly Sins and succumbs to her passions then claims her birthright. Luckily for Daisy, as well as working as a filing clerk for the police, she gets involved in cases where the eldritch community are involved and gets to investigate. But this time things are trickier than usual. Not only is she investigating an apparent accident by drowning that looks more like murder, but she's been teamed up with sexy werewolf cop Cody Fairfax, the trigger behind many of her private fantasies.
Brimming with intrigue, sexual tension, humour and great characters, Dark Currents is a fantastic addition to an overwhelming amount of Urban Fantasy flocking the market. It's difficult to stand out from the crowd in this genre, but Carey manages to do it. There is no questioning her innate talent, especially if you've had the chance to read her earlier fantasy novels in the Kushiel's Legacy series. Carey's world building is exemplary and she's not afraid to mix and match her mythical creatures to great effect in this novel. On top of that, the chemistry between Cody and Daisy versus that of ghoul Stefan and Daisy is sizzling and Daisy is a cracking character. A truly enjoyable discovery.
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on 29 October 2012
This book is not my usual sort of story but I am always open to trying something new. When I started this book I didn't really know what I was heading for. I'm not sure if this is written for teenagers but I felt that the language and flow of the story was quite simple and easy to follow. The story follows Daisy as she works with local police to help capture criminals, only Daisy captures criminals from the underworld. These underworld criminals can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from ghouls to fairies and vampires. Overall, I liked the story and this was probably a good introduction to these types of books. It has been left open for further adventures and I will probably check out the next instalment when it's released.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 January 2014
In the charming little resort town of Pemkowet lives Daisy Johanssen. She isn't actually the spawn of Satan as technically her father is Belphegor, a lesser demon and occasional incubus. He managed to have his wicked way with her mother, yet raised in love Daisy tries to steer clear of the seven deadly sins; unwilling to embrace her demonic heritage and unleash Armageddon.

When a young man is found drowned, the family just want to move quickly past the incident and grieve. Yet Daisy has suspicions that this isn't the straightforward case it appears. There are hints that the eldritch (supernatural) community is involved, and as the special liaison between human and eldtrich, plus the fact she has been personally selected by Hel (the Norse Goddess of the dead) as Her agent to enforce Her laws, Daisy and police officer Cody Fairfax (who just happens to be a werewolf and Daisy's secret major crush) are determined to uncover the truth.

The world building is well down. Pemkowet may be a small town, but is has a vast array of supernatural inhabitants; from traditional Norse mythological figures to vampires, and from ghouls to fairies, ogres and nymphs. This author does a good job of incorporating these different supernatural/paranormal elements together. I also thought Daisy an interesting and entertaining leading lady. She is suitably feisty when required, yet the reader soon learns that it's not good if Daisy loses control of her emotions; particularly anger. There are a few love interests introduced, but there are serious obstacles to overcome if Daisy wants something permanent with any of them. I did however expect a punchier plot line. Despite all the magical elements, the investigation to uncover the truth unfurled at a somewhat pedestrian pace. I also think the reader would have benefited from a little more history surrounding Daisy and her connection to Hel.
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on 8 April 2013
I am always excited to see more from Jacqueline Carey and surprised to see her release a paranormal romance/adventure with the generic kick-ass female cover to boot.

I enjoyed this book. It was a departure from the lush world of Kushiel which will remain my most favourite of Ms Carey's writings to date. I found the world of Dark Currents easy to engage with, well written without being overly descriptive and loved the rich and varied mythological community (Lamia, Mermaids, Werewolves...)

The story wasn't heavy and I didn't feel weighed down emotionally but enjoyed the action and the unravelling of the mystery as well as the humour, although it was somewhat predictable by the end.
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on 10 February 2013
Many authors have a regular style of writing, and sometimes a reputation for something in their novels that may turn off (or turn on) certain types of readers. Jacqueline Carey is best known for the Kushiel series of books (Kushiel's Dart, etc), which I haven't had the pleasure of reading yet. They have a reputation for being sexually-charged, gritty novels with sado-masochistic themes and explicit sex. The last thing I expected to see from Carey is her latest book, Dark Currents, an urban fantasy that not only moves away from the sex (at least slightly) but is also something I never thought I would hear about a Carey book: funny. It's a great change-of-pace novel, and one I really enjoyed.

The Michigan resort town of Pemkowet is a strange place, full of eldritch beings that live side-by-side with normal ("mundane") people: ghouls, werewolves, fairies, nymphs, even vampires. It's also the hometown to an agent of the Norse goddess Hel, Daisy Johanssen. Daisy's father is a demon, so she's already a half-breed. She even has a tail. Working for the local police force as a clerk, she also takes on tasks for Hel that have to do with the supernatural community. When a young college student drowns in the river, signs point to more than just a drowning, and the local police chief asks Daisy to help with the investigation. What was the boy doing on that fateful night? Will Daisy and friends be able to solve the crime before the resort town is shut down by normal humans who are getting tired of co-existing with the supernatural?

Carey is obviously kicking of an urban fantasy series starring Daisy Johanssen. You can tell if a book is in the genre from the covers and set-up: a young woman with some kind of supernatural ability dealing with all of the other weirdness in town, as well as potential romantic issues with at least two other supernatural guys who also help her out. Inevitably, each cover features the good-looking female protagonist featured alone, staring out at the reader from the bookshelf, tempting browsers to pick them up.

Dark Currents follows much the same line, though thankfully Carey avoids the cliché of having a vampire be one of the romantic interests. It's not a surprise that Carey would move into this genre given its current popularity. What is surprising is that she would do so and turn a couple of its conventions on their heads, writing a very good novel using the standard tropes. I don't really like the genre, though I do like some of the series within it. I can see myself following Daisy's story easily.

From the opening page, Carey defied almost everything that I thought I knew about her. I'm wondering what her fans who have read her other books think of this. The jokes start almost from the first paragraph and continue throughout the novel. The subject matter is quite serious, of course, but the tone of the book is that mixture of light and dark that characterizes the genre. The book is told in first-person, and Daisy is a breezy narrator unafraid to mock herself or her perceptions of what's going on.

She's teamed with her childhood crush, a werewolf cop (the werewolf part is a secret, though the police chief does know and accounts for it) named Cody Fairfax. The sexual tension between the two is pretty blatant, even when both know that it could never work between them. The byplay between these two characters, as well as all of the other characters in Dark Currents, is delicious. Carey has a way with funny dialogue that I never would have expected.

The world-building is solid, though I understand that's also one of her strengths from her other series. The interplay between the mundane and eldritch communities includes a society of ghouls that feed off of the strong emotions of humans, fairies that inhabit the river that flows next to town, and so much else. It's inventive and a joy to read.

Only a couple of small things bring down what otherwise is a great opening entry into the series. Most can probably be attributed to Carey trying to create the world she's writing in. Some spots in the book slow down to a crawl with sequences that have little to nothing to do with the plot of the book itself. They're not even really character development, but instead illustrate how Carey's world works. That's not bad in itself, but in this book, they do get a bit annoying. They may pay off in future novels, or they may just be background. If an author is going to incorporate that, at least make it interesting. Carey doesn't succeed in that here.

Overall, Dark Currents is a wonderful novel, playful and fun though with dark themes. Carey keeps the tone balanced and believable, allowing readers to laugh at one point and be horrified by the truth at another. If this is an example of how Carey's new series is going to go, consider me along for the ride.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2013
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on 14 May 2015
The Urban Fantasy genre is petty jam packed and it takes something special to stand out. For me, this fails to shine although it has all the usual elements - werewolves, vampires, elder gods etc etc - and a decent plot. The heroine is Daisy Johanssen, daughter of an incubus and a human mother. She acts as liaison between human authorities and Hel - the Norse goddess who has chosen the midwest town of Pemkowet as her abode.The barriers between the world of elder gods and humans are particularly weak in the town, hence the presence of all the supernatural beasties. She has to use all her skills when a teenage human boy is apparently killed by one of the non-human groups. It could damage the lucrative tourist trade (shades of Jaws) and lead to human revenge attacks. Her investigations reveal a sinister website encouraging sex between humans and supernaturals and abuse of a captured mermaid. That all sounds like the book should be a dark and thrilling ride but instead, there is no real feel of danger or any sense of chilling otherness about the supernaturals. The heroine feels like a cross between Mills & Boon and Nancy Drew (the wholesome teen detective is even mentioned at one point) and even the occasional swear words seems like they are dropped in to try to add a little edginess. It's not terrible and the book is certainly readable. It just never really grips or convinces. Certainly not like the early Laurell K. Hamilton novels, which set the benchmark for hard edged, believable Urban Fantasy. A missed opportunity.
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on 31 December 2012
I have found most of Ms. Carey's works to be instant classics, so was especially pleased to receive her new work. As a departure from the world of Terre d'Ange, I was in a state of excited anticipation. I was not disappointed. With all of the authors' trademark character development and pithy dialogue, I found that even though I could anticipate parts of the plot, it still had a most satisfying outcome (sorry - no spoilers here!) I look forward to further installments.
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on 9 August 2014
A new urban fantasy series in a fairly conventional vein: Daisy Johanssen is a young woman who is a bridge between human and eldritch, discovering that life gets ever more complicated.

Here we have a world where the eldritch exists only in fairly isolated communities, and on sufferance of the majority humans. Daisy has to help solve a murder before the humans decide the eldritch are more trouble than they are worth.

This starts off fairly slowly, painting in the background of werewolves, fairies, vampires, ghouls, and more esoteric characters. It gets more active towards the end, as all the different factions clash. I’ll be checking out the next in the series, to see where it goes.
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on 11 April 2013
I do not understand why I had to pay £13.66 for this book. Its an easy read, cute story line but nothing special.I have read many better eBooks at a more reasonable price. I expected something longer and amazing much like her past novels. I have read all of JC's old books and thought they were amazing, but not this one. Very disappointed and out of pocket !
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on 4 January 2013
I have read previous work by Carey and with the exception of one duff book, found her work entertaining and readable. It's a gentler book than the Naamah's series with the sex simmering below the surface but not in a overly sloppy way, it could so easily degenerate into "teen vampire" mode but thankfully stays just the right side of this (for me!). I found some of the concepts behind the eldritch characters behaviours fascinating and look forward to them being developed. Reminded me of the way Tchaikovsky introduces new apt characteristics based on insect behaviour that is recognisable and, well, apt.

Will buy the next one.
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