Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review – “Dayhunter” by Jocelynn Drake

FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
A new day dawns blood red
A master of fire, Mira is the last hope for the world. For centuries she has secretly enforced the history-altering edicts of the Triad. Now she and her unlikely ally—the human vampire hunter, Danaus—have come to Venice, home of the nightwalker rulers. But there is no safety in the ancient city, for the threat of conflict is in the wind . . . with unholy alliances and earth-shattering betrayals taking hideous form in the shadows.

Banished for eons beyond the world's boundaries, the malevolent naturi prepare to feed once again upon a vulnerable earth—and treachery is opening wide the portal that will enable their dread re-emergence. The great battle that has always been Mira's destiny is looming, and she must remain powerful in the face of a shocking revelation: that Danaus, the only creature she dares to trust, is something more than the man he claims to be . . .
Dayhunter is the sequel to last year’s auspicious debut dark urban fantasy novel Nightwalker. This instalment of the Dark Days series continues immediately following the events of Dayhunter with Danaus, Mira and Tristan heading to Venice to answer the summons of The Coven, the ruling body of the nightwalkers.

It is very appropriate that in Dayhunter, a significant portion of the story takes place in Italy, the birthplace of Machiavelli because Dayhunter is a deeply riveting tale of power, revenge, secret agendas and betrayal. Mira is hoping to get answers that will help her thwart the next attempt of the naturi to breach the barrier and allow their return to our reality. The fate of humanity continues to be at stake and time is running out.

Mira continues to be a wonderfully complex and compelling character, nuanced and sometimes filled with self-doubt. On the memories of her human life and daughter she reflects -
Would I still cherish my sweet Calla and the life I once had if I was evil? In the gathering darkness with Danaus at my side, those questions were all I had left to cling to.
Dayhunter sees Mira beginning to acquire ‘family’, something she had never contemplated or desired. She challenges and wins Tristan from his sire to save his life. This leaves Mira conflicted but does not hamper her resolve to protect once the decision is made.
Rage pumped through my veins, pushing aside the blood. I hated him. I hated myself. I hated the fates that had bought us to this precipice. There was no escaping the promise I had made nor living with myself if I even tried to.
Mira is part of the Triad that protects humanity from the naturi, but being a nightwalker we wonder why this matters to her. Understanding Mira’s connection with humanity underscores our belief and identification with her character.
Reluctantly, I released her as her heart slowed to a lethargic beat. Holding her in my arms, I stared down at her smooth young face. I didn't know her. She could have been a college student or a young mother on her way home. I hadn't taken the time to sift around in her thoughts, learn her hopes or her fears. I didn't know her dreams for the future and I felt cheated. Hunting and feeding were more than a power rush. It was my last contact with humanity, the last thing that kept me bound to a race I had once been a part of.
Dayhunter as with Nightwalker, provides numerous terrific action sequences in Venice and later in Greece once they discover the location of the next naturi incursion. Scenes are very visual, graphic and move at a pulse-pounding pace. Actions of the various adversaries are rarely predictable and there are plenty of surprises surrounding the many intrigues that are introduced.

Danaus and Mira’s uneasy relationship continues to evolve in unexpected ways. Their unlikely partnership is further solidified as they band together - an island under siege by a hostile sea. We get to learn the secret of Danaus’ true nature and how their abilities mesh in unique and powerful ways. Events also continue to hammer away at their preconceptions of each other – their unspoken attraction remains but so does their fundamental recognition that this is a truce and they likely will return to being adversaries – if they survive.

Nightwalker was a strong debut for a new series, but with Dayhunter Jocelynn Drake has hit cruising speed effortlessly. This was a treat to read and I anxiously await Dawnbreaker this fall. Dayhunter hits the shelves next week. If you like your urban fantasy dark and dangerous and want a fresh and passionate heroine to root for, then try this book and this series.
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AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Jocelynn Drake Website

HarperCollins Publishers
Published: April 28, 2009
ISBN #: 9780061542831
Format: Paperback
Pages: 356

Read an excerpt of the first five chapters.

Recent Interviews:
Darque Reviews

Dark Days Series:

  1. Nightwalker (2008) – my review
  2. Dayhunter (2009)
  3. Dawnbreaker (September 29, 2009)

Unbound (anthology August 25, 2009 contains the story The Dead, the Damned and the Forgotten which is a prequel to Nighwalker)

7 comments:

  1. Hi Doug

    Nightwalker was one of my top picks for 2008, it was a freaking great book for a first time author!

    I've been dying to get my hands on an ARC of Dayhunter, but with no luck.

    By entering Michele Hauf's contest though, she's sending me an ARC of FAERIES GONE WILD just because of my Tink addiction as well as entering me in her contest. So, a big thanks for posting her contests.

    Dottie

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  2. Dottie we agree on top picks for 2008. Dayhunter proves it was well justified as this is an even stronger story. Fairies Gone Wild is a great title and should have some fun stories. I look forward to your review.

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  3. I could not agree more. I loved Nightwalker - in fact I think this was the first time I commented here, on your review of Nightwalker? -and Dayhunter is awesome so far. I have a few pages left but I am loving it.

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  4. Oh, I didn't know about the Unbound anthology. Add another one to my TBR list! I'm not sure whether to thank you or shake my fist at you...ah what the heck, thanks! :D

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  5. Ana I love it when I hear that fellow bloggers have stuck around long enough that I am actually reviewing the next book in an authors series. So cool. I love the intensity of this series.

    Pissenlit I get that reaction from people a lot. LOL. I am sure you will love it.

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  6. Dark and dangerous urban fantasy? Sign me up lol! Sounds like a good one :)

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  7. Lady_tink at this point in the year this will likely be one of the novels on my top 10 list.

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