WHY THIS NOVEL: This review on Dear Author.
The back blurb:
“Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherwordly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers – until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself.
To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.
Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?”
Last autumn, I read A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark series, book one) and wasn’t over-enthusiastic about it. Nearly all it had going for it in my eyes was the possibility that it promised to be a series with strong women characters. I didn’t like the writing style and the old-school feel I got from large parts of the novel didn’t appeal to me either. Despite that, I decided to give this series another try after reading the review on Dear Author (see above) and many favourable comments about the women characters in this series.
I’m not disappointed that I did.
Reading the first chapters of Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, I had the opposite reaction I had when I started with AHLNO. Then I thought “Urgh, this story doesn’t work for me,” and the writing, instead of pulling me in, jolted me out of the story again and again. With DNANE, I was captivated by the writing right away and the story worked for me (something I expected because of the review). I liked the way Conrad’s first few POV scenes were written and that Cole used the present tense there which emphasized the moment he starts to get “right in the head” all the more:
“Positioned like this, he gazes into the loveliest eyes he’s ever seen. As if a breeze has swept a path through the fog of memories and confusion, he feels clearer as he beholds her face. He feels centered.
Feels . . . feels . . . felt . . .
He felt clearer. Conrad felt centered. His very thoughts seemed to arise differently. They were more focused, each one distinct in his mind.”(p. 86)
I liked the way Néomi thinks, for example this sentence: “Néomi would demonstrate what happened when a ghost went poltergeist–” (p. 24). Somehow, the expression “when a ghost went poltergeist” just cracks me up.
Anyway, in a complete reversal of my reaction to AHLNO, with DNANE I was hooked right away and read the entire novel in one sitting.
I liked the slow pace of the first third or half of the story and just when I thought that it got a bit boring, the pace changed and the focus shifted from just Néomi and Conrad and got broader. The tone of the story got more humorous so what I liked about Néomi’s thoughts in the beginning came into play more often now.
It was only near the end that I thought the pacing was slightly off. A lot of things happen in a short amount of time that my sense of disbelief appeared even though I knew that a) there were immortal beings involved and b) because of that I should throw my mortals thoughts out of the window about what is possible in what frame of time. Still, compared to the rest of the story, the ending felt a bit rushed to me.
I didn’t have a problem to follow the story even tough I didn’t read book 2 and 3 of this series. This might be because the reader gets a lot of information about the world Cole created through the characters. Néomi doesn’t know about the Lore and so things are explained to her. This “info-dumping” didn’t bother me but might be a problem for readers who know all novels.
- Nix is a hoot.
- I’ll be ordering the missing novels of this series.*
Would I recommend this novel? Yes.
Would I read this novel again? Yes.
Grade: 4,5 / 5
* As I read this novel one month ago, they are actually all here.