Saturday, 29 September 2007

Dark Need by Lynn Viehl


Have to apologize I thought I'd posted this review of Dark Need ages ago, but was adding series labels to my posts and realized either a) I'd never posted it or b) it had mysteriously disappeared. So here's the review.

In Dark Need we catch up with Lucan the Darkyn assassin who we first met in If Angels Burn. Homicide detective Samantha Brown crosses paths with Lucan during the course of her investigation into a bizarre drowning. As the number of killings increases Samantha becomes even more deeply drawn into the world of the Darkyn and their enemies - the Brethren. But she also has enemies of her own.

I've never been able to pick a favourite from the first three books, because it's always been something different in each story that has appealed to me. In Book 1 it was Alex's spunkiness and strength, in Book 2 it was Jaus, and in book 3 I love Lucan's amorality.

Lucan is perhaps the most overtly sexual of the Darkyn we have encountered so far. His relationship with Samantha is complicated, in that as much as he wants her, he tries to push her away with equal intensity. The reason for this becomes clear at the end of the book, but it makes for a strange courtship. I’m aware from reading other reviews that some readers found this unsatisfying, but I think it’s a case of having to look at the reasons for a characters actions, rather than just the actions themselves.

Another relationship worth mentioning is that between Lucan and his tresora Burke. Lucan has a darkly wicked sense of humor and spends much of his time threatening Burke with a variety of dire fates often leaving his tresora non-plussed but persevering to please his master anyway.

One thing I did find confusing was how Alex knew about the bad guy. At the climax of the story she calls out his name but I’m not clear on how she knew who he was.

There is a continuation of plot threads from the two previous books including Michael and Alex, Alex's research and John Keller's quest. Indeed the more John tries to escape from the Darkyn/Brethren conflict the further he seems to entrench himself in it. Having said that I think this is more of an individual story than Private Demon (book 2), though reading the previous books will help you get more out of the story.

There are also new plotlines started in Dark Need - we learn more about Tremayne's condition, the changelings are introduced, and some new characters are mentioned. Notably Locksley (who has been mentioned several times but as yet hasn't made an appearance), and we first meet Jayr and Byrne. (Evermore Book 5).

I would warn that whilst the main story of this book is concluded, there is quite a plot twist at the end. So if you're a fan of the series I'd have book 4 (Night Lost) on hand.

Also available
Book 1 - If Angels Burn
Book 2 - Private Demon
Book 4 - Night Lost
Book 5 - Evermore (current release date January 2008)

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