The Immortals After Dark Series: Volumes 4, 5, 6 by Kresley Cole. Simon and Schuster, '6.99 each
Reviewed by Ian Hunter
Dark Needs at Night's Edge #4 Okay, *counts fingers* if my maths skills are up to speed this is book four. Trust me, I'm the reviewer, and only slightly confused. I think the series had its origins in an anthology which didn't contain a full blown novel but did plant the seeds of a series that so far has spawned ten books in total ' plus another side step into anthology-land on the way.
TIAD series concerns a bunch of immortal races, or creatures like vampires and werewolves and demons and witches and valkyries and all sorts of mythological creatures that live in a world called The Lore, which co-exists beside humanity. War breaks out with each of the factions and within their own races on a pretty regular basis. Got it?
Good, because this one is about a murdered beautiful, rich and successful ballerina, killed by a jealous lover ' stabbed to death at a party she was hosting. Now she has been doomed to haunt the manor house that was her home for decades while having to relive her death over and over again. Into this relative calm come the Wroth brothers with half-mad Conrad in chains, except Conrad can see the beautiful wraith-like Neomi. Thus begins a love affair with more than a few problems. I mean, a rule-breaking vampire loving a ghost? Will it work out? What do you think? But finding out is going to be great fun, and you can never have enough foul-mouthed Valkyries, I say. A stronger addition to TIADF series that which, to be my mind, riffs off Beauty and the Beast slightly and imports a twisted version of that premise straight into the world of The Lore.
Dark Desires After Dusk #5: Cadeon (or Cade for short) Woede happens to be a Rage Demon who has messed up big style in the past which resulted in his brother losing his crown and his kingdom and a lot of good people being killed. For nine hundred years he has been working as a mercenary ' earning the name Cane the Kingmaker ' and itching for revenge. Now after all this time is his big chance, if he can carry out his plan and mercilessly use a half-mortal woman called Holly Ashwin, who is actually a 'Vessel', capable of giving birth to a child that could become a great force for good or evil. By handing her over he can get the one weapon which could kill his greatest enemy, Omort the Deathless, but can he betray and give up someone he has grown to love?
There is a nice contrast between the two main characters: one, a larger-than-life demon, and the other, an obsessive-compulsive maths teacher who is quite boring until she gets struck by lightning and taps into her Valkyrie powers. Here we have a novel that is funny and action-packed, but ultimately quite predictable in its outcome. However, if you are a fan of the series you probably won't want to miss it.
Kiss of a Demon King #6: Rydstrom Woede is searching for the special sword that will kill Omort the Sorcerer and allow him to take his rightful place as king of the demons and regain the throne of Rothkalina. While on this quest he has also been on the lookout for a Queen. Too bad that the only attractive woman he comes across who really takes his fancy happens to be Sabine the Queen of Illusions and the sister of Omort. Before he can say 'I don't suppose you would' he is her prisoner and held in a dungeon in his old castle. Oh, the shame of it, and Sabine has plans of her own in using Rydstrom to father a child that could tap into the powers of the mysterious Well. To her, he is just a pawn, a tool to be used on her path to power, while to Rydstrom, Sabine is the epitome of evil, and could never be his Queen.
While, living up to its paranormal romance label, I have to admit to finding the books a bit repetitive with their initial feelings of mutual loathing and distrust between the major characters growing into the discovery of a true soul-mate. One for fans of the series, but count me out after this one. [...]