The Qwillery | category: Montlake Romance


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Review: Into Darkness by J.T. Geissinger

Into Darkness
Author:  J.T. Geissinger
Series:  Night Prowler  6
Publisher:  Montlake Romance, October 21, 2014
Format:  Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $9.99 (print)
ISBN9781477825549 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review: Into Darkness by J.T. Geissinger
In New Vienna, capital of the oppressive global government formed after the Flash, three things are certain: the sun is poisonous, speaking out is dangerous, and being different will get you killed.

And Lumina Bohn is extraordinarily different. Living in terror of discovery, Lu knows nothing of her past—but she knows she must pretend to be human to survive. When an incident at work triggers her astonishing powers, she becomes the target of an international manhunt. Only one person can save her: Magnus, the enigmatic stranger haunting her dreams. Magnus rescues the outcasts called Aberrants from capture and torture.

As Lu begins exploring her powers among her people, her feelings for Magnus intensify. He’s determined to stay emotionally distant, yet their smoldering passion soon becomes impossible to resist. But when a shocking revelation threatens the lives of every remaining Aberrant, Lu and Magnus must risk everything, confronting their enemies in an explosive final stand to save their kind from the darkest fate of all: extinction.

Melanie's Thoughts

I have been a big fan of this series and really pleased that I have been given the opportunity to receive e-Arcs of most of the Night Prowler series. Geissinger ends this fantastic series with Into Darkness. In this final instalment Geissinger sets the book twenty plus years in the future. Everything changed since the ending of Darkness Bound when jets fly over the Brazilian iKati community. The world is a very different place where the sky is red, society is oppressed and anyone different is killed. Lumina Bohn finds almost everything in her life has been a lie apart for her attraction to the hunky, yet disfigured Magnus. Lumina is more than what she seems or who she thinks she is. It isn't long before we discover that Lumina is really Hope, one of Elena and Leander's twins. She is fighting not just for her survival but also for Magnus, her sister Honor and the whole iKati race. 

I think that Geissinger was both brave and innovative to set this final instalment in the future. It would have been quite easy for Geissinger to just continue in present day and focus on the romance but instead she decided to shake it up. Lumina's world is a terrible place where nearly everyone lives in fear and where the iKati have been almost driven to extinction by the evil Sebastian Thorne.  Lumina/Hope has to dig deep, with the help of Magnus and a few other iKati to re-discover who she really is and hopefully save her race. As strong and as brave as Hope was I still enjoyed the Elena chapters more, although these were few and far between. I felt that Geissinger was rather brutal to her long standing characters and I almost missed their perfection from the previous novels.

Geissinger does make heavy use of one plot device that I wasn't that keen on - immortality. I feel that immortality should only be used for special occasions, kind of like sexy underwear. I thought that immortality really made the evil madman, Caesar a formidable foe in the previous books. In the case of Into Darkness I would have preferred if it had been used a little less than it was.

Overall, Into Darkness was a solid conclusion to a urban fantasy series that I have enjoyed reading over the last few years. This wasn't my favourite  book of the series but it demonstrated that is Geissinger is happy to challenge her readers and doesn't play favourites with her characters. She builds the plot over each of the novels and really packs a punch in this finale. This is a great series for those who like a slow burn HEA.

Review: Darkness Bound by J. T. Geissinger

Darkness Bound
Author:  J. T. Geissinger
Series:  Night Prowler 5
Publisher:  Montlake Romance, June 24, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
List Price:  $13.95 (print)
ISBN:   9781477820100 (print)
Review Copy: Provided by the Publisher

Review:  Darkness Bound by J. T. Geissinger
Tough, smart, and seriously ambitious, reporter Jacqueline “Jack” Dolan despises the secretive clan of shape-shifters known as the Ikati—and has become determined to destroy them. After she writes an editorial arguing for their extermination and turns public opinion against them, the Ikati vow to fight back. They plot to send one of their own to seduce the reporter, then blackmail her into writing a retraction.

Women practically fall at the feet of hulking, handsome Hawk Luna, and Hawk relishes the idea of conquering and destroying the fiery redhead who’s caused so much trouble for his kind. The last thing he expects is to develop real feelings for her, but their liaison awakens a hunger in him that he cannot deny. He kidnaps Jack and brings her to his Amazon jungle colony, but the two lovers are soon embroiled in deadly colony politics and threatened by a looming global species war.

As the danger around them grows closer, Jack and Hawk’s forbidden passion may build a bridge between two ancient enemies—or cost them both their lives.

Melanie's Thoughts

Darkness Bound is the 5th and penultimate book of the Night Prowler series by J. T. Geissinger. In this instalment Hawk the hunky Ikati shifter leaves the safe confines of the Brazilian colony in search of the fiery journalist Jacqueline (Jack).  Jack has helped to fan the flames of discord between humanity and the Ikati with her articles following events in book 3. Hawk needs to convince Jack to come with him to see that the ikati aren't as evil as Caesar has portrayed them to be. He has found the perfect piece of blackmail and its not long before Jack is forced to see the other side of her story.

I have enjoyed this series and especially liked book 4 - Edge of Darkness. Overall, in the series I thought that Geissinger has got the balance between the romance and action just about right. However, with Darkness Bound I thought that 'the sexy' started far too early and this diminished the romance later on in the story.  Jack was an interesting character and her terrible secret was terrible indeed. She was feisty and strong which always like in a heroine but at the same time I didn't really find anything about her that made me like her. I found the tall, muscley shifter Hawk to be a bit too similar to his fellow shifter Xander from book 2 - Edge of Oblivion. The fact that Xander lived in the same colony as Hawk only emphasized the similarities in their bad boy broodiness. I didn't really find these two as engaging as some of the other characters in this series.

Luckily, the book didn't focus solely on Jack and Hawk as some of my favourite characters are back in book 5 including Jenna and Leander. This couple almost steal the show from Jack and Hawk's love story. Jenna is the queen in every sense of the word and takes centre stage in every scene she is in. In fact, I was looking more forward to Jenna than I was with either Hawk or Jack. We also find out what happened to our favourite baddy - Caesar who is back to wreak havoc on both humanity and the Ikati. But does he get away with it? You will have to read it to find out. Perhaps the scariest of all are two characters who have been in the background in the last 2 books - Jenna and Leander's twin babies. Yes, scary babies! Even their parents think so.

I liked this book but perhaps not as much as the others as I didn't engage with the love story. In my view Geissinger saves it all for the ending of the book which is practically on fire it is so exciting. I will be interested to see how Geissinger uses Jack and Hawk in the final book as she seems to be bring together characters from the previous books in this penultimate book to set the stage for book 6. Into Darkness is out in October so its only a few months before I get to find out what happens to my favourite characters and the Ikati.

Review: Edge of Darkness (Night Prowler 4) by J. T. Geissinger

Edge of Darkness
Author:  J.T. Geissinger
Series:  Night Prowler 4
Publisher:  Montlake Romance, December 10, 2013
Format:  Paperback and eBook, 444 pages
List Price:  $12.95 (print)
ISBN:  9781477848944 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review: Edge of Darkness (Night Prowler 4) by J. T. Geissinger
Six years after a shocking tragedy left her emotionally and physically scarred, Ember Jones lives a life of quiet isolation in Barcelona. Determined to keep her troubled past a secret, she keeps her head down and her heart locked up tight. Until the day a beautiful, mysterious stranger walks into her life, and her carefully controlled world is shattered forever.

Christian McLoughlin is unlike anyone Ember has ever met. Wealthy, cultured, and utterly charismatic, he also has dark secrets of his own. They succumb to the undeniable pull between them and embark on a passionate affair, but things turn explosive when the truth about Christian and the reason he came to Barcelona is exposed. As their dark pasts collide, the two unlikely lovers find themselves caught in a web of danger and deceit that neither of them might survive.

The Edge of Darkness, where hunter becomes hunted, no one can be trusted, and love is the most dangerous game of them all.

Melanie's Thoughts:

If I could get away with a one word review then my review for Edge of Darkness would be simply 'wow'. But no, I need to say more about this fantastic instalment of the Night Prowler series. Geissinger, pulls out all the stops in the story of Christian, who we first meet in book 1, Shadow's Edge. Edge of Darkness has something for everyone and then some. Its has tension, suspense, great new characters, a sassy heroine with a deep, dark secret and development of not 1 but 2 plot arcs. It stays true to its PNR roots but not to the detriment of the plot.

The first book of this series starts with a love letter and this fourth installment starts with a letter as well but of a different kind. This time it's a note from the super, evil baddy Caesar whose true character was revealed in book 3. Caesar's letter is addressed to all of  humanity informing them of his supremacy, the power of the Ikati and their imminent demise. This sets the tone for the whole novel with the heartless cruelty of this antagonist at the forefront of the plot yet again.

The story takes place in Barcelona and Geissinger has selected another beautiful, historic city for the setting of her love story. Our heroine, Ember moved to the city with her father after her mother and brother died in a tragic car accident. This is where Ember's deep dark secret comes in and Geissinger teases the reader throughout the plot as to what it could be and leaves us hanging until the final chapters to reveal it all. Ember is one of my favourite types of heroine. She is strong, flawed and best of all plain! Nothing is better in PNR, in my view, then when one of the love interests is amazingly gorgeous and the other is described as plain. It's very Pride and Prejudice, with Eliza Bennett's not living up to the beauty of her sister Jane but for her 'fine eyes'. Ember reminded me of a modern day Eliza Bennett. She was smart, sticks up for herself and of course, had rather than 'fine' eyes had piercingly intelligent ones.

Fulfilling the role of the gorgeous hero is Christian who readers will remember from Shadow's Edge. Christian has been sent to Barcelona to track down the evil Caesar and encounters Ember at the bookshop that she owns with her evil stepmother. Qwill asked me about my use of the word 'evil' to describe Ember's stepmother as it sounded a bit 'Cinderella-esque'. She wasn't evil in the traditional meaning of the word but was very unpleasant to Ember and had two equally unpleasant daughters making Ember seem quite a bit like Cinderella. Christian slowly starts to woo the reluctant Ember knowing the dangers of courting a human. Christian has his own secrets to keep and runs the risk of them being exposed if he gets any closer to her. Opposites attract is the theme of this story with the gorgeous, wealthy and shapeshifting Christian falling in love with the plain, poor and very, very human Ember. This is a relationship that's hard not to like.

Caesar isn't the only antagonist we are encounter in Edge of Darkness. Geissinger brings back a baddy we met in one of the earlier books in the series. I'm not going to say who is back to cause mischief and mayhem so you will have to read the book to find out. Multiple antagonists with their own motivations can make a plot confusing but in this case Geissinger cleverly ties these threads together and we are left again wondering how and when the plot arc will be resolved. There is another big cliff hanger in store for the reader so prepare yourself.

Well what can I say? This is a great book. Hats off to Geissinger as she managed take me from 'I like this series' to 'I love this series'. I have already started to bite my nails in anticipation for what may be in store in final few books of the Night Prowler series.

Review: Into Darkness by J.T. GeissingerReview:  Darkness Bound by J. T. GeissingerGuest Blog by Susannah Sandlin - World (Re) Building - and Giveaway - June 9, 2014Review: Edge of Darkness (Night Prowler 4) by J. T. Geissinger

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