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Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Book Review: When Darkness Hungers by J.K. Beck
Author: J.K. Beck
Series: The Shadow Keepers, book 5
Source: From Edelweiss
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For more information visit J.K. Beck's website
After learning about the death of her sister, FBI agent Alexis Martin's hunt to find the killer leads her into the dark and dangerous world of the shadowers. Becoming a hunter of rogue vampires, Alexis believes she is closing in on her sister's murderer. On her path for revenge, she meets a man that's as dangerous as he is sexy. Serge has spent centuries fighting back his daemon. Finding a way to keep his beast at bay and help rid the streets of L.A. of rogue vampires, Serge is immediately drawn to Alexis. She's able to calm him like no one else before and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe. But a terrible secret from Serge's past threatens to take away the woman who could be the salvation he's waited centuries for.
I had mixed feelings about Alexis. I liked that she has such strong feelings for her sister that she was willing to do whatever to find her killer but I thought she made the transition from FBI agent, who knew nothing about the shadowers (the paranormal), to a believer and successful vampire hunter too quickly and smoothly. I understand she had motivation but I felt like I missed a big step on her journey from point A to B. I also wish more was given about her character beyond the fact she's a vampire hunter and why she became one. Some bits and pieces were given about her background but not enough for me to really form a connection so I never fully invested anything into her character.
Serge I've got to know from past books and despite all the bad he's done, I couldn't help but pull for this tortured hero. Battling a curse that's made him something different, Serge has fought to keep his daemon in check and he's lost control more than once. He's found a way to keep himself from needlessly killing and this has led him to Alexis. Like with Alexis, I feel like there was something missing. I'm a sucker for a tortured hero but I needed more than just a very brief recap of how he got to the point he's at now.
As for Serge and Alexis' relationship, that didn't work for me either. It progressed too quickly and I didn't feel any strong emotions behind it. The beginning of something is there but I don't think it ever took off beyond them having hot sex.
As for the plot, Alexis trying to avenge her sister and Serge trying to not go crazy are the main focus, neither which impressed me, but there were a couple side plots I found interesting. A vampire is collecting rogues to form an alliance of their own that feed on humans freely. This story does intersect with Serge and Alexis' and delivered a lack luster finale but the reach of this group went beyond the L.A. borders. I hope we learn more about this. Also, Alexis' friend Leena is a witch who helps her in her search. There's more to Leena than what you see on the surface and I was actually surprised by the twist involving her character in the end. One of the the few surprises I actually liked.
I've been with this series since the start and I wanted more for Serge's book. He and Alexis did nothing for me but thankfully one of my series favorites Lucius Dragos played a part. He's Serge's closest friend and holds a powerful political position. He's able to dominate a scene just by being in it and he was what Serge needed. Even if it took Serge longer to realize it. I won't reread this book but I will continue on to the next because the hero is another one of my favorites, half human, half daemon Ryan Dolye.