By Jacqueline Carey
Released: October 2nd, 2012
Genre: Fantasy (Urban)
Genre: Fantasy (Urban)
Dark Currents was my first introduction to author Jacqueline Carey and it certainly did not disappoint. Dark Currents is the first novel in the Agent of Hel series, and it offers a perfect blend of magic and mystery! I inhaled the book and hardly put it down.
Many of the other books I’ve read involving urban fantasy fall onto a scale of either very good or, to put it bluntly, very bad. Moreso, those concerning the two basic supernatural beings, vampires and werewolves, often leave quite a bit to be desired. Dark Currents, however, involves vampires, werewolves and a myriad of other supernatural beings such as ghouls, ogres, mermaids, fairies, and – of course – the hell-spawn herself Daisy. These added magical elements give the book a unique flavor, in my opinion, and only help to strengthen the world of Pemkowet that the author has created.
Another problem I often encounter with urban fantasy books is that the heroine is often entirely unbelievable. She is either took weak and vulnerable – a basic cut-out of the damsel in distress – or too “bad ass” and unrelatable. Daisy falls into the middle of this spectrum and, as such, turns out to be a character the audience and really trust and relate to. She deals with those problems that typical young adult women do. She has friendships she worries about maintaining, budding relationships, struggles with paying the rent, ect. The fact that she’s an agent for the Norse goddess, Hel, is certainly exceptional, but she does the work of the goddess with believable aplomb. She’s not immediately the best agent ever. She doesn’t know how to wield a weapon when she first picks it up, neither does she have complete confidence in her ability to dish out justice and solve the mystery. In short, an urban fantasy main character can often make or break a book, and Daisy is a character that an audience can enjoy following throughout the length of the story and for several books to come.
The other characters are also individuals that the reader can grow to like. Each has their own distinct personality as well as quite a bit of mystery concerning their histories of how they came to dwell in Pemkowet. If you are anything like me, you’ll find yourself silently rooting for these characters, too, and will have your own favorites in addition to Daisy. Like any other town, Pemkowet is full of crazy people and each and every one is one you’ll love to learn about in the future.
The mystery aspect of the novel was especially catching to me. I’m a big mystery fan and it was largely the reason I entered the giveaway on Goodreads to begin with. Many of the clues involving the murder in Dark Currents are revealed through a psychic reading by Daisy’s mother and really come into play throughout the chapters. And, while you learn who the culprits are and what they are aiming to do earlier in the story, a surprise twist will keep you turning the pages well into the night.
Dark Currents was a fantastic book and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for future installments in the Agent of Hel series!
Dark Currents is an Advance Reader’s Edition provided by the publisher for review purposes.