Urban Fantasy, Demons, Magic
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (320 pages, HARPER VOYAGER)
Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.
For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life—as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.
But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.
Author Site: dakota-banks.com
Hit on my cardinal sins of fiction too much. (2 stars)
Writing a review on a book I didn't finish is a very rare occurrence. It takes a lot for me to give up on a book, especially one where I liked enough of it to put in a full hundred pages before stopping.
Conceptually DARK TIME works. A woman wrongly accused of being a witch is burned at the stake, is given a demon's pact of sorts to be returned to life but she regrets it and tries to break free. It's nothing particularly fresh or original but always makes for a likable, readable plot. What made it start off on the wrong foot from page one was the name issue. In fiction I have only a couple of big peeves that can kill a book for me and one of the biggest is having a character that's name changes more than once in the course of the storytelling without VERY clear definition to why. The name from the blurb doesn't pop up for over 70 pages. That alone was like getting a full-body bath from a cat but the storyline also jumps from historical point to historical point only really beginning around the same time.
By the time the back story was given I had not only lost interest but found there was nothing to like about Susannah/Maliha. At no point did I feel a connection to her or desire to see her reach her goals. The only time I connected to her at all was when she was imprisoned and went into labor. It was pretty much the only human, weak moment she had and when she jumps into being Maliha later in the book I all I could think was that she had multiple personality disorder.
As much as I wanted to like this book I read just over a hundred pages and realized it just wasn't going to happen. I liked Banks' writing itself, she paints a clear picture as far as visual elements go but as a reader I cannot feel this detached from the protagonist and enjoy it. To sum it up... I truly cannot think of anyone to recommend this to because so little of it worked.
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Notes: Review Copy from Amazon Vine.
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