Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Series Review: The Nightwalkers

Today’s series has a large and very loyal fan base. It’s The Nightwalkers, a paranormal romance series by Jaquelyn Frank ( Although there are vampires, they don’t take a predominant role, which appealed to me greatly in this paranormal romance market flooded with angsty teenage girls and the vampires that love their whininess.

There are several species of Nightwalkers. It’s a generic term used for all of the creatures out there that aren’t human. Nearly all of the Nightwalkers can’t go out in the daylight for one reason or another, hence the name, but this series primarily focuses on demons. It does side track to shapeshifters, vampires and a few others, but the main story line throughout the series is demon.

Series Overview: This series has a lot of plusses, but it also has a lot of minuses. I don’t want to offend any of the hardcore fans out there, but I had to put down the second book (and the third) several times just to take a break. I could have skipped the first third of the book and been fine because the author took that long to explain what happened in the first book. I know why she did it, to make each book stand alone in case someone picked up the second one first, but for those of us who had read the first one, it was incredibly boring. It does get better as the series progresses, and the author uses other methods to explain what’s happened so far in the story.

On the other hand, the world that the author has created is rich and unique. One of my requirements of a good series is that I can lose myself in the world, and I found myself getting lost in these books quite often (in a good way). I liked the characters and even though the writing style of the author annoyed me, I felt connected enough to those characters to continue with the rest of the series. However, I will not be picking up her other two series.

Jacob – This book drew me into the series immediately. Jacob is an enforcer for the demon race. He’s kinda like their police force. Most of his job is keeping demons away from humans. When he becomes uncontrollably drawn to one human in particular, who will enforce him?

Jacob was my favorite book in the series. It introduces the world and there’s just so much potential.

Gideon – This one had the potential of being my favorite if it wasn’t a retelling of the first book and then Gideon’s story. The plot of this one was right up my alley and could have really been fabulous. However, the author likes to use a lot of the telling style. Normally, I don’t mind some telling, but the first third of this book is almost all telling and it got really boring, really quickly. What kept me reading were the characters.

We’re also introduced to the shapeshifters and yet more of this wonderful world is revealed.

Elijah – If you wanted to know more about the shapeshifters, this is the book. There is quite a bit less telling in this book and the style in general is much better. However, these particular characters weren’t my personal favorite. So it remains a good book in the series, but not my favorite.

Damien – We’ve gotten hints about Damien up to this point in the series and we finally get his story. This book deviates from demons and focuses on vampires and shapeshifters almost exclusively. Again, it is better written, but the characters were not my favorite. This one does get more into the ongoing plot and moves the whole series forward. I have to admit that I enjoyed that part.

Noah – I had been looking forward to this book. Noah was one of my favorite characters and I really wanted to see him with a happy ending. That said, I literally put the book down and started yelling because I was so disappointed at his actions. It totally ruined my view of this very beloved character. He does make up for it and everything comes together in the end, but the beginning left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Otherwise, it was a decent book in the series. However, the ongoing plots were barely touched. I don’t know if she plans more in this series, but there are several loose ends that need to be tied up.

Conclusion: Some people rave about this series and how great it is. I think it had potential (I think I’ve used that word very liberally in this post so far), but it ended up fizzling or at least not being as great as it could have been. The plots themselves, the world, and the characters are wonderful. It’s the writing style and the constant rehashing of previous books that turned me off the most (not to mention my disillusionment of Noah in the last book).

If I knew then, what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this series. Now that I’ve been immersed in the world, I’d continue reading if more books were put out just to see what happens.

She does have two other series going, but I will not be reading them.

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