- A Dribble Of Ink
- A Fantasy Reader
- Adventures In Reading
- Bastard Books
- Beauty In Ruins
- Best Fantasy Books HQ
- Bitten By Books
- Bookworm Blues
- Charlotte's Library
- Cheryl's Mewsings
- Civilian Reader
- Critical Mass
- Curated Fantasy Books
- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
- Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
- Edi's Book Lighthouse
- Everything is Nice
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews
- Fantasy Cafe
- Fantasy Literature
- Far Beyond Reality
- Gav Reads
- Genre Reader
- Grasping For The Wind
- Hero Complex
- Jeff VanderMeer
- King of the Nerds
- Layers of Thought
- Neth Space
- Old Bat's Belfry
- Only The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
- Realms of Speculative Fiction
- Rob's Blog O' Stuff
- Smorgasbord Fantasia
- Speculative Book Review
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Tez Says
- The Agony Column
- The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
- The Bibliosanctum
- The Book Smugglers
- The Green Man Review
- The Nocturnal Library
- The OF Blog
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Vinciolo Journal
- The Wertzone
- The World in the Satin Blog
- Tip the Wink
- Val's Random Comments
- Voyager Books
- Walker of Worlds
- ► 2015 (125)
- ► 2014 (155)
- "Dualed: Dualed Book 1" by Elise Chapman (Reviewed...
- 2013 HUGO Award Nominee "Captain Vorpatril's Allia...
- GUEST POST: Scott Lynch — The Man, His Books and W...
- Tom Swan Returns, while Satyrus and Melitta Start ...
- The Drifting Isle Chronicles Multi-Author Intervie...
- The Lives Of Tao by Wesley Chu (Reviewed by Mihir ...
- RE-REVIEW: Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines (by Mihir W...
- “Three Parts Dead” by Max Gladstone (Reviewed by C...
- Sleight Of Hand by Phillip Margolin (Reviewed by M...
- "The Boy" by Lara Santoro (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu...
- GUEST POST: Villains by Wesley Chu
- The Machine God by Meilin Miranda (Reviewed by Mih...
- GUEST POST: The Kaiser Affair - A fantasy thriller...
- "Promise of Blood" by Brian McClellan (Reviewed by...
- GUEST POST: On Machines and Talking Birds by Charl...
- "The Best of All Possible Worlds" by Karen Lord (R...
- Interview with Wesley Chu (Interviewed by Mihir Wa...
- GUEST POST: When Collaborating, Say Yes by Meilin ...
- GUEST POST: The Drifting Isle Chronicles - A new w...
- Cave & Julia, Kindle Single from M. John Harrison ...
- "The House of Special Purpose" by John Boyne (Revi...
- On The Highly Expected Series Debuts of 2013, Djan...
- Introducing Aethernet Magazine - Serial Fiction wi...
- Very Sad News about Iain M. Banks, the Greatest SF...
- GIVEAWAY: The Ill-Made Knight by Christian Cameron...
- “Dark Currents” by Jacqueline Carey (Reviewed by C...
- RE-REVIEW: Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines (by Mihir Wan...
- ▼ April (27)
- ► 2012 (287)
- ► 2011 (317)
- ► 2010 (346)
- ► 2009 (466)
- ► 2008 (376)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Order “Dark Currents” HERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Dark Currents (Published October 2, 2012 by Roc) is the start of Jacqueline Carey's new urban fantasy series, Agent of Hel. (That's Hel the Norse goddess, mind you, not the infernal dimension.) Carey is most famous for the Kushiel's Legacy series, but she's got several others out there. Her website says there are two forthcoming books in this new series, so we've probably got a trilogy on our hands.
Our protagonist, Daisy, is hell-spawn (yes, the infernal kind this time) courtesy of an accident with an ouija board. However, she doesn't have any fancy powers. She knows how the eldritch community works, she's sensitive to the seven deadlies, and she's got a tail. She could have all the power she wanted, if she invited her demonic father to Earth and started the apocalypse. However, despite all his tempting, she hasn't — yet. Daisy lives in Hel's territory on earth and works as Hel's liaison between the eldritch and human communities.
In terms of world-building, the setting is a catch-all for mythology. Any mythos could be real, somewhere, and none are more prominent than any others. Hel may be head goddess in Daisy's small town, but there are fairies, vampires, trolls, werewolves, ghouls, and mermaids; there are tarot and runic readings. Happily for me, although vampires are a major player in town, they aren't in this book: instead, Carey focuses more on ghouls. Her interpretation is interesting, like vampires that feed on emotions instead of blood, and it's pretty cool. It's also incredibly relevant to some of the problems Daisy deals with by virtue of being hell-spawn.
The story does follow the now classic urban fantasy set-up of our protagonist investigating a murder. Daisy is with the police department in a semi-official capacity, but she isn't actually a detective; since she isn't the lead on the investigation, Carey gets to skip on most of the police procedural details.
I appreciated that there was no clear love interest. By the end of the book, Daisy is sort of interested in three different people who may or may not be romantically interested in her. I like this because it felt real: she has no idea what's going on with any of them, and the book isn't obviously pushing her into a relationship with any or all of them.
I also really liked all the other subplots in this book. There's an investigation going on, but life doesn't stop: her best friend still has family problems, Daisy still visits her mother, and she interacts with people from earlier in her life who don't have any bearing on the investigation. Daisy had relationships with people in town that suggested a lot about her character and gave her more of a sense of history, as well as fleshing out the world. I point this out because too many stories have a token friend or family member that is the “normal” person in the protagonist's life, and I think Carey avoided that problem neatly and made her solution help her besides.
In the end, it was obvious that none of Daisy's contacts, physical strength, or investigative acumen were going to save her, and Carey sneakily spent the whole book ensuring that she had exactly what she needed to be a true hero.
The trappings may be familiar to urban fantasy readers, but I think Jacqueline Carey is doing something special with Dark Currents. The fantastic is the dressing to tackle serious, “mundane” issues, and it makes for a compelling read.
12:00 AM | Posted by Robert | | Edit Post