Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Signet
Released on June 3, 2008
It’s so lovely when you’re the winner of a mystery box of books and get the opportunity to try out books that wouldn’t normally come to your notice. In this batch of older releases, there was this exciting looking paranormal romance series that has a refreshing take. Put mythology in a paranormal romance and I’m there even more so when the mythology is Mayan which I know little about.
Nightkeepers introduces the world of the Final Prophesy series. It is a unique series so the author starts with a few pages of explanation to get the reader up to speed on the world system she has created. Next, there is a tension-wrought prologue showing the how the Night Keepers as a unit were lost and only a handful of the children survived. In the present day, narcotics police officer, Leah Daniels is about to get an up close and personal with the secret Mayan priesthood cult where drugs are the least of the troubles. Human sacrifice is on the table and Leah is the next ritual sacrifice until Striking Jaguar can save her from his own kind. The ritual was not completed, but it leads to some interesting side affects for Leah and for Strike to be ostracized and still needing to pull his people together if they stand a chance of defeating demon coming to herald the apocalypse.
Nightkeepers ended up being something of a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I was so into it that I lost track of time while at other times I could care less. I liked the worldbuilding and the built in tension the author created with the end of the world countdown. I was even okay with Strike and Leah most of the time. There was some exciting stuff and I’m glad the author didn’t pull any punches when it came to the darker side to the Mayan beliefs with all the blood and magic and sacrifice because that is a major part of the rituals and culture (yes, that’s a hint that if you’re a tad squeamish to keep that in mind). But, when I put it all together, I had a few bits that didn’t work as well for me.
First of all, I think if I’d gone into this with the mindset that it was like an urban fantasy rather than a paranormal romance, I’d have done better. With PNR, I find the romance takes a front seat to other elements in the story whereas with UF, the romance may not even show more than a hint as other stuff goes on. I waited a while for the romance to get rolling and in the end (I don’t count that bout of instalust in the beginning), had to adjust.
Secondly, the romance was only alright when it did show up. I said I was okay with Strike and Leah and this is true, but sometimes I was not. The pair of them took turns annoying me. Leah comes off as this brash cop type that had a few stubborn-stupid moments. I don’t think a Miami-Dade Narcotics officer would make it very long pulling that stuff in such a dark, dangerous world and that’s even before we toss in the paranormal elements. Then there was Strike really hem-hawing around before he got going. I felt the uneven pacing as a result of him being stuck in his head a lot. But then, it picked up and boy howdy were we finally off to the races.
I think the biggest issue I had (and try not to faint) was there was too much. This book needed a trim. Too much background and history overshadowing the ongoing plot and too many characters and situations. I wish the other Night Keepers’ romances had been less present in this one which already was pulling the load of being the intro book to the series.
So, in the end, I can definitely say I liked it, but loved parts of it better than others. I would also recommend it to lovers of both PNR and Urban Fantasy. I want to press forward and see if now that we’re past book one if a change in characters and a tighter plot surface for me.
Romance Roundabout #286 PNR
Mt. TBR #103
Books N Tunes #41 R.E.M.’s Its the End of the World Tune: