Thursday, 10 July 2008

Twilight Fall by Lynn Viehl


Phew! Haven't done one of those in a while. For anyone new to my blog, that's just a little warning that I'm not quite as objective as usual.

Twilight Fall is the sixth and penultimate book in the Darkyn series. For anyone looking to get into the Darkyn books I can't recommend that you start here, you really need to go back to the beginning with If Angels Burn.

Twilight Fall is Valentin Jaus's story. He has popped up a couple of times, but his first major appearance was in Bk 2 Private Demon, when he lost the woman he loved and had his arm chopped off. TF finds him in a kind of holding pattern, but all of that is about to change as he meets Liling Harper a woman with extraordinary talents of her own. Unbeknownst to the two of them, their enemies are closing in and are determined to see them dead.

As always in the Darkyn books this is a multi-plotline story. Michael and Alex's story continues, Val and Lilings relationship blooms, John Keller's story reaches breaking point (HAH! to all those readers who thought he was insignificant and wished him out of the storyline).We find out more about what the Brethren have been up to and none of it's pretty. We also catch up with Jayr & Byrne (from Evermore), Luisa, the woman who was horrifically scarred at the beginning of the series, and we're starting to learn how fire is a significant thing for both the Brethren and the Darkyn. I think when all seven books are available it will be well worth reading back over the series and finding out how all the clues fit together.

We also have the introduction of a new 'species' for want of a better word. I think of them as elementals as they have power over fire or water. Initially I did have a problem with this and wondered if it was getting a little fantastical for me. But at the end of the story I think it works. Some people may question how much coincidence plays in the plotline, but here I'm not sure how far the influence of the Brethren extends, it's not clear how much they know. So it may be less coincidence and more good planning, LOL - or it could be coincidence.

As you can tell from the above there is a lot packed into this book. Most of it leading back to previous books and starting to bring plot threads together.

Like Evermore this book has a much more sexual feel to it. Valentin is dominant which I think is something he repressed during his time with Jema. However it is this dominant side of him that attracts Liling. There are no whips or chains, its very much played out mentally rather than physically. And all these Darkyn men are so like Michael.
"You are my sygkenis. You belong to me now, Liling..."
Liling has a quiet strentgh, and even though she chooses to submit to Valentin sexually. Everyone else would do well to treat her with caution. She may appear fragile, but at her core she's steel.

One of the best things about this series (for me) is Michael and Alex, they have been the major arc holding the series together.
"I could tie you to the bed, you know."
"No, you can't. It's round and you don't have any rope."
And they prove that a love story written after the first happy ending is just as enthralling as the initial get together. They are one of my favourite UF couples and have some brilliant scenes here. It's also interesting to read about Alex's relationship with her brother - when is she going to look at him and truly see him?

John Keller's storyline as I mentioned before takes a huge leap forward. I think once all seven books are out and I re-read the entire series, his will be one of the most interesting arcs to rediscover. And I couldn't end this review without mentioning Rain and Farlae. Over at her Paperback Writer blog, Lynn Viehl has said she's been e-mailed by fans hoping for a short story featuring them, and I definitely add myself to that number. They have two short scenes in Twilight Fall and steal the show in both of them.

A quick mention for Melanie and Kyan. Just beause they have some wonderful exchanges.
...He offered her the bottle again, but she turned her head. "You are thirsty. Drink."
"You are an asshole. Fuck off."
I find myself wondering if it's significant that the Methodist preacher uses the same Einstein quote that Melanie was supposedly writing an essay on - "We must learn to see the world anew,"

The Darkyn series is dark, real and intense. Some readers I think, find it too non linear and not neat enough. But I'm going to miss this series. If I could have a wishlist for Book 7 - the final book :sob:. It would be that as well as Robin's story, we'd have some closure for John and Luisa. Their plotlines have been there since the beginning and I can't wait to find out how Lynn Viehl's going to tie it all together.


Nicole said...

Man, I'm really looking forward to reading this one now! Only I'm not, because then the series is almost over! Eep!

Actually, I've still yet to read Evermore. I own it, though. I've been saving them and reading them gradually to make the series last longer. =p

Sweet said...

I totally agree with you Lesley about John and Luisa. We have been invested in their stories since the beginning of the series. I want to see some closure in regards to both of their futures. I really thought someday John would get his own book and after reading Twilight Fall I want John's story tied up more than ever.

The only thing I really wanted were more scenes with Val and Liling together. His whole Dom nature really took me by surprise and I absolutely LOVED IT !!!!

DonnaB said...

I liked this book. More than I expected to, really, since Jaus never struck me as a particularly interesting character. But somehow he came alive here, and I agree that Liling was a great character, proving that being a sexual submissive is not synonymous with being a submissive person. I was surprised at the BDSM scenes between Jaus and Liling. Not offended, mind you, just surprised in that the sex and even the sexual terminology used in this book was harder than what Viehl had used previously. It made me wonder how some of her fans would react. I really liked it that she put us inside Jaus' head, thinking about how he'd had to restrain his natural dominant tendencies with "modern" women.

As for John ... meh! He's always struck me as something of a whiner and I would have been happy to see him go away a long time ago. In this book, Viehl seems to be setting him up as a Darkyn, though. You think he'll commit suicide when he finds out? LOL

Finally, I was VERY sorry to discover there was only one more book in this series, although I'm glad it will be Robin, who I think is a great character. I'll be sorry to see the series end, but then maybe Viehl will come up with something equally wonderful since she's such a creative and prolific writer.


Carolyn Jean said...

I have to check this series out! And hey, we all have to be fangirls on some things. I love that elemental power idea. I like it when we get made up paranormal creatures.

Tracy said...

Ok I have If Angels Burn which was kind of an impulse buy...but haven't read it yet. I'll work on that now. :)

LesleyW said...

Nicole - I wish I had your willpower.

I really liked Evermore. I think it's possibly my favourite of the series. Not just for Jayr and Byrne but also because it's the beginning of Robin's story. I'd also recommend it as probably the best standalone of the series ( apart from If Angel's Burn which kicks the series off). Unlike the other stories it pretty much takes place in one location and has a reasonably linear plot. (Except for the Alex secondary storyline).

LesleyW said...

Sweet - I think after Evermore focused so much on Jayr and Byrne, that Twilight Fall had to be a more ensemble storyline with Lynn Viehl wanting to wrap the series up. I think as John and Luisa are part of the major arc that their story will be wrapped up in Bk 7. At least I hope so!

I am still hoping we might get a Richard standalone at some point in the future.

LesleyW said...


Donna - I love the Stardoc series as well. So I'm pretty sure whatever Lynn Viehl writes in the future I will be reading.

As for John I think I've always thought he would be a Darkyn. If you remember he overpowered Angelique when he was captured by the Brethren I think that was in Book 2. And also something about him and Alex when they were younger being in an alley. I can't remember the specifics of the scene but I took that as another clue.

I think the whining is why some readers have a tough time with him. He is one of those characters who does seem to enjoy suffering. I'm looking forward to finding out more in Book 7 - that ending to Book 6 has to be tied up! And I think when I re-read the whole series his actions and motivations will become understandable.

LesleyW said...

Carolyn Jean and Tracy - I am completely biased when it comes to the Darkyn series. LOL. So am probably not the best person to give an objective review.

I like it because it's darker than a lot of the stuff out there, without being completely morbid. The darkyn are ruthless and pretty selfish when it comes to getting (and taking) what they want.