Kresley Cole – “Dark Needs at Night’s Edge”

18 Jun

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Pocket Books, 2008

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.

Final thoughts:

  • 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.


15 Responses to “Kresley Cole – “Dark Needs at Night’s Edge””

  1. Kristie(J) Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    I have all the Kresley Cole books – most of them unread still 😦
    I’ve been hearing good things about this one. So far I’ve only read the first one. Would I be able to skip the inbetween ones and go straight to this one and still get it? ‘Cause I really want to read this one.

  2. katiebabs Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Conrad is a virgin. yum yum.
    After not finishing Dark Deeds on a Winters Night I wasn’t sure if I was going to even go on reading the series, but then with Dark Needs I was so happy! It is one of my favorite books in her series.

  3. Ana Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Love this book! and welcome to blogging! ; )

  4. Taja Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi Kristie, I asked myself the same question before I read this one since I was in the same position as you are now.

    I had no trouble to keep the characters and different Lore creatures straight even without using the glossary. It probably helped that a large part of the story is about Néomi and Conrad. There are some hints about the series main plot line later, but I was able to follow it without feeling lost. And since you already read the first one, I would say, yes, it’s no problem to skip the others. Go ahead. I didn’t regret it and I’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

  5. Taja Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    katiebabs, hello. Urgh, not good to hear this about “Dark Deeds on a Winter’s Night.” But I read good things about “Dark Desires After Dusk” so I better get on with it because I really want to read that one.

    Hello Ana, I really like “Dark Needs.” And thanks and welcome here!

    I went to order book 2 and 3 right after I finished “Dark Needs” and was really disappointed when I saw that I would have to wait a few weeks to read them – that’s how impressed I was.

  6. Tracy Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    I love this series. Liked The Warlord Wants Forever…then AHLNO was meh. I really liked the rest of them though and I thought they just got better and better! Glad you liked it!

  7. Taja Thursday, June 19, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Hi Tracy, AHLNO is one of the few books I actually felt the urge to throw it across the room while reading it. It got better near the end for me but I didn’t want to repeat this experience with the next one. 🙂 It’s good to hear you found it just meh and think the others get better and better. Thanks.

  8. Christine Friday, June 20, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I love this series, too, but haven’t yet readDark Desires… or the latest release Dark Needs…. They are in my TBR pile, though, and I hope to read them soon.

    Nix is one of my favorite characters. She cracks me up. 🙂

  9. Christine Friday, June 20, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    I think I flipped those titles! O_o
    Those titles are too darned confusing.
    I think you know what I mean though… 😉

  10. Sarai Friday, June 20, 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    Is it sad to say I have ALL these book even though I have only read book 1????
    Great review!

  11. Taja Friday, June 20, 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    Christine, the titles are in a league of their own. Who can keep them straight, seriously? And Nix cracks me up, too.

    Sarai, there are never too many books in a tbr pile, it’s the way it should be. 🙂 And thank you. Somehow, the minute I post a review (or something else) I see what could have been better or what is missing or whatever, so really – thank you.

  12. Carolyn Jean Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks for the review! I’m on book three. Your comment about #1 being old school was interesting. What did you mean by that? I love how you bullet out your points at the ends of your reviews.
    Anyway, welcome to blogland.

  13. Taja Monday, June 23, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Hi Carolyn Jean. Old school – well, let me first say that I read AHLNO last year (November?) and that I haven’t read many romances that I consider “old school” (mostly romances which were published before the nineties). I think of old school romances as romances with a caveman-like quality in the hero’s behaviour, a “me Tarzan, you Jane” type of attitude in his dealings with the heroine. A behaviour that, when he wants to make an effort, uses an implied “let’s go.”

    I could also have said “retro” instead of “old school” and I should have made it clear that I only apply this label to the first ~ 150-200 pages. Of course, then I thought of AHLNO as “Emma finds a backbone and turns completely Mary Sue.” 🙂

    I think I’ll read AHLNO again after I read all the others. Maybe I then think that it was written with tongue firmly in cheek and that I missed the point completely. 😉 What did you think?

    I hope the above made it clearer what I meant.

  14. Jace Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    I LOVE this one, despite the lukewarm reception by many other Immortals After Dark fans. I think its slower-paced and tender love story is a much-needed respite in this manic/chaotic series. I love that Conrad and Neomi had time to get to know each other and fall in love. I love Conrad’s interaction with his brothers – heartwarming stuff. Although I’ve stopped reading this series, this book remains on my keepers shelf. 🙂

  15. Taja Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    Jace – what can I say except to repeat that this is the novel that got me hooked on this series after my bad experience with A Hunger? Just for that, and it’s not a small thing, it’s my favorite. But like you, I also like it for its slower pace. I should re-read it. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear you liked it also, though I’m not really surprised. 😀

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