“Good book, started kind of slow but it got pretty great. Interesting concepts but i feel that the description of this small town feels too disjointed and not really small-towny. Last 100 pages or so were great though.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“So, Jacqueline Carey has jumped on the paranormal fantasy bandwagon.
“So, Jacqueline Carey has jumped on the paranormal fantasy bandwagon.
I was excited to hear about this book, and I bought it with no other recommendation than the author's name. Unfortunately, Carey doesn't seem to be able to pull off the paranormal sub-genre with the same elegance as her epic fantasy. It's as if she takes the "real-world" setting as an excuse not to develop or explain anything, because, after all, people know about how the world works, right?
Mundanes just shouldn't attempt to write paranormal fiction. Really.
Okay, I'm a snob. I admit it. I've studied world mythology and folklore since I could read. I've studied "the occult" since I was about eight or so, and read Tarot since I was twelve. Professionally. So I have an extremely high standard for this kind of work. Most writers don't measure up. From the depth and breadth of her other work, I expected Carey to. That she didn't disappointed me almost beyond belief.
Pemkowet, Michigan, is a Great Lakes resort town. It has what is termed a "functioning underworld," a term that is never fully explained except inasmuch as it gives the author an excuse to populate her setting with every supernatural creature in the book. Demon spawn, vampires, ghouls, werewolves, faeries, naiads, frost giants, you name it, Pemkowet's got it. It's as if Carey Googled a list and just stuck everything in there she could find, and she doesn't have anything new to say about them. This whole mishigoss is presided over by the Norse goddess of the underworld, Hel. Her being resident in Podunk, Michigan is never explained, either. Or why she would care about anything outside the Norse cosmology. Just because she's a goddess? Um, no. Unlikely.
Anyway. The female protagonist, Daisy Johanssen, is the daughter of a mundane woman and an incubus. Being a "half-breed" has given Daisy substantial anger management issues and a tail, but very little else. It certainly didn't give her any personality. For more reasons that are never explained, Hel has chosen Daisy as her "liaison" with the mundane realm. This duty seems to involve Daisy flashing a rune-marked palm at any supernatural entity who irks her. Later, Hel gives Daisy a magic dagger. It looks really cool with her jeans.
Daisy works for the police department as a file clerk and part-time adviser on the "eldritch" community. Kudos for use of the word "eldritch," by the way. It was the one thing in this book that I liked. I couldn't really figure why the police department needed this kind of adviser, as the eldritch community has no legal status. But I suppose the authorities do have some responsibility to keep track. So, a local kid turns up drowned, and the Chief of Police's magic pocket watch detects magic of some sort. Daisy gets stuck into the investigation, partnered with Cody Fairfax, a werewolf she's had a crush on since high school. This gives Daisy a lot of opportunity to make comments about how hot Cody is. And I guess that's okay, because other than his beautiful, stubble-covered jaw and his remarkable six-pack abs, Cody doesn't have anything going for him, either.
Daisy was really, really irritating. You'd think that a person of demon-descent, who'd lived since birth in a community populated with paranormal creatures of every stripe, would be curious enough to figure out how the whole business worked. But, well, she didn't. All too often, when some question came up, Daisy would simply say, "Well, I don't know why it works that way; it just does." I could have bought that once or twice. But it happened so much that it left me feeling as if Carey simply couldn't be bothered to sort out her mythology. And it gave the entire work an underdeveloped, superficial feel. Also, Daisy has the vocabulary of a second-grader. When at a loss for words, she falls back on the weird exclamation, "Oh, Gah!" This happens about once a page. And when she does happen to come up with a good word, she never fails to point out that she learned it from her high school English teacher, Mr. Leary. It made me feel like she wanted a grade. The way she drools over Cody reminded me unpleasantly of reading Fifty Shades. I expected every minute for Daisy to say something like "Oh my! He makes me hot DOWN THERE!"
Oh yeah: there's also the standard fascinating male paranormal entity in the form of an ancient Polish ghoul. He also makes Daisy hot down there.
So anyway: mundane kid murdered, staunch Christian parents up in arms because of Satan's influence (yes, let's not forget to throw in a religious angle, by all means). Enter the Pemkowet Visitor's Bureau!--because, of course, Pemkowet is a tourist destination for people looking to photograph the various supernatural entities they might chance to spot. Now Daisy has to work public relations. This subplot serves no purpose except to show off still more paranormal people, and to introduce the single character in the entire book who might actually be interesting.
Honestly, you know what? I meant to go on with this. But it was so bad, I don't actually think it's worth my time. I write paranormal fantasy myself. Sometimes I read my work and think, "Is this really stupid or what?" I will never think that again. I could not possibly fabricate anything as dumb as this book. The writing is shallow, inept and superficial. The characters are barely two-dimensional. I've seen other reviews from people who really liked this book, found it thrilling and funny and well-developed ("Like Buffy!"). I can only imagine these reviewers have never actually read books, or watched Buffy, either.
Please, Ms. Carey, go back to doing something you do well. For the sake of a genre that already gets maligned enough, leave Pemkowet alone. ”
“Good book, started kind of slow but it got pretty great. Interesting concepts but i feel that the description of this small town feels too disjointed and not really small-towny. Last 100 pages or so were great though.”Mick R wrote this review Sunday, February 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really good. I liked Daisy a lot, and enjoyed her story.
Throw your idea of the normal supernatural regulars out with this book. There are more varieties and they are unique; Werewolves, Brownies, Vampires, Ghouls, Mermaids and more. The head Ghoul, is sexy with a beating heart and blood in his veins. Hel is a Norse goddess who rules supreme over the edritch (supernatural others) that live there.
Daisy is a half demon and agent of Hel. She was raised by her mother, and taught to be 'good.' She has to avoid temptation, called the seven deadlies. She will gain enormous power and then hell on earth will reign. Not easy when she's quick to lose her temper and her demon father is always trying to get her to come over to the dark side. She is single and looking, and there are some nice men to look at. She is a bit immature, and acts a bit like a teen, IMHO. She is new at this, and she grows up before the end of the book.
When a Frat boy turns up drowned, and his death points to supernatural causes, Daisy is partnered up with hot police officer Cody Fairfax. He long time crush. They work together hunting clues and trying to keep her on the non-evil side of the force. -She is a hot head- They meet up with Stefen, the head ghoul and hunky hotness that he his, he stole the show for me. : ) He has powers that can help and offers them. But can he be trusted ?
The humans is town don't like the supernaturals and this killing brings all the craziness out to disgrace the town and the police department. This could be the end of the uneasy balance the town has. The clock is set and them team must rush to solve this case before it gets really bad.
The bad-I was bothered by Daisy's tail, it is brought up too much. it was twitching, it was rubbing, it was...okay I get it she has a tail. The sexual torture, I hate this subject, but it was not detailed nor graphic and I appreciated that. I was also miffed at the lack of romance, but when dealing with the subject of the story i am relieved it was left out. It would have been totally inappropriate. So I guess it's not a problem, I just wanted it. LOL
There are two more books planned and I am jumping on them asap.”
“Urban fantasy is not Carey's milieu and it's annoyingly awkwardly obvious. The first person narrative is stilted and unbelievable and the beginning of the story seems rather oddly placed within the narrators history.
Basically a giant DNW. ”
“Loved this, this is what a paranormal needs to be. Sure she is crushing but at least she is not an doing things instead of whining or having sex every second.”smog wrote this review Monday, November 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm not a huge fan of the first-person here-on-modern-earth style, which leaves so very little world-building for Ms. Carey to do (which she is SO good at!), so it took me a little while to get into the story, but I did end up enjoying it, and getting caught up in what was going on and how would they find the bad guys and stop them, etc. Would recommend it especially to fans of Charles deLint; it's more small-resort-town than "urban", but it had a kinda similar feel, to me.”Sandy C wrote this review Friday, October 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is by no means an amazing book, and isn't even the best urban fantasy I've read (the early Anita Blake series is better). However, it does have some good points. The author actually provides an explanation as to why there are so many mythical creatures gathered in one place, which I appreciate. There aren't a bunch of random sexual encounters with the main character, which I also appreciate. And the author tries to develop her own unique take on fantasy creatures without leaning too heavily on vampires and werewolves (which have clearly been way over done). Definitely worth giving a try if you like fantasy or Jacqueline Carey in particular.”quadragon27 wrote this review Monday, October 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
I have wanted to read a Jacqueline Carey book in what seems like forever. I've been attracted to and purchased quite a few of them, but never managed to set aside the time to read them. Then this book comes along with this beautiful and fun cover and I just caved and had to read it.
I think I'm in love. This book is not the dark and gritty urban fantasy I thought I would get by reading a Jacqueline Carey book and for me, in this story, it worked marvelous.
DARK CURRENTS is fun, it's spunky and it has a lot personality. It's unique and entertaining. Starting out with a heroine, Daisy, that I found very down to earth and relatable. At the same time she was a lot of fun and someone that you just want to hang out with. She can be badass when absolutely necessary, even though I think she has some growth to do in that department. She has a really cool profession. Her human job is as a paper pusher at the sheriff's office but because she's a supernatural she is starting to be more involved in investigations. Her supernatural job is as Hel's agent. And no, that's not a typo. Hel is a Goddess, not hell as in flames. She is in charge and in power of keeping the order in the human realm and inter-relations between humans and Hel who rules the supernaturals on earth.
Ms. Carey masterfully introduces us to the very unique supernatural world of this series and more importantly to what's going on in Pemkowet. For the amount of world building that took place in this book, not once did I feel like there was an info dump. Such a smooth and amazing job!
The story revolves around a murder mystery, which I always find interesting. The supernatural community in Pemkowet is shaken up, as well as the human sheriff's office, when a college boy is found dead, who presumably drowned. The police department has to find the killer before the supernatural connection is brought to the public's attention. A little bit of mystery and intrigue. A whole lot of normal in the midst of chaos.
I think that was my favorite part. This book has a lot of normal. Daisy is a normal girl, with normal issues. Except maybe one not so normal appendage, but I thought that was cute and funny. She also has a crush on a hot guy, Cody, and she is now put in a situation where she has to work with him to solve the murder. She has a best friend who likes Cody as well. But Jen is human and Cody is a shapeshifter. Then she meets the Master ghoul in town, Stefan, who is hotter than hell and very powerful. And there's a human who can see auras, Sinclair, thrown in the mix for good measure.
While solving a murder she still has to perform her job as Agent of Hel and normal early twenties girl. Wanting to hang out with her BFF, saving her BFF's brother, hanging out with a family of werewolves, and chasing a mermaid. You know, the usual.
When I finished reading the last page of this book I truly wanted more. I want to know who Daisy will end up giving a shot to be with her. I want to see her grow into her powers. But as much as I am dying for the next book, the ending of this one was a bit anticlimactic after the awesome build up throughout the book. This is why I can't give this book 5 stars. Other than that, this was a masterpiece and a keeper for sure!
*ARC provided by publisher
“Got an unedited proof from a Penguin giveaway on Facebook. Enjoyed the book, was a little frustrated with the pacing, as I thought it was too slow. Otherwise a well built fantasy world with interesting characters.”danae wrote this review Thursday, August 23, 2012. ( reply | view 1 replies | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No