The Dark Ink Chronicles, #2

Riley Poe is an amazing tattoo artist with a shady past. Life was good until her brother was pulled into the dark, bitten by a vampire. In order to save him, she hooked up with the Dupre family, vampires who are all about saving people and protecting the city of Savannah. At the end of Afterlight, Riley was bitten by an evil vampire and had to be detoxed by her Gullah family. Now she and her brother have "tendencies" as they call them. Strength, speed, super senses that enable them to help the Dupres fight the good fight. But Riley's powers include a mental connection to an evil vampire. Every time he kills, he takes Riley along for the ride. He is aware of their connection and uses that connection to torture Riley with his kills. Now all Riley wants to do is stop this monster and get him out of her head. Then maybe she can focus on her business and her relationship with EIi Dupre.

I enjoyed the first book, Afterlight, quite a bit. The unique setting, the Gullah magic, the tattoo artists all were a refreshing addition to the paranormal genre. It was a good first book and I was intrigued to see where the story went from there. When the opportunity to review Everdark came up, I volunteered and waited eagerly for it to show up. Everdark is a good solid sophomore book, building on the groundwork set up in Afterlight and adding some intriguing characters to boot. I had very mixed feelings about this book. I liked how you experience Riley's detox and her recovery and training. The fighting techniques and scenes are topnotch and very satisfying. Eli and his brothers are still very appealing eye candy with EIi being my favorite, naturally. The whole family atmosphere between Riley, her brother, Eli's family, and Riley's Gullah grandparents is so awesome and something that I don't see too often in the genre. I was really hooked by the ending which wheted my appetite for Eventide. That said, here is where the mixed feelings come in. I wrestled with this for quite a while. In the end, I decided I had to include these things in my review. While it is the early days of Eli and Riley's relationship, there is not a lot of getting to know you and more about getting into each other's pants. I know there is a lot of that when you first get into a relationship but I would like to see more of a connection between them than just sex and Eli's possessiveness/love. I know at his advanced age and experience that he would know that how he feels for Riley is love pretty quickly but it bothered me a little. Also, Riley uses the term "bro" a lot and it was jarring. Not to mention, Riley is extremely independent and stubborn. That is cool but her continued refusal to ask for help was borderline foolish. It still felt believable because she is stubborn about a lot of things. I do hope she doesn't learn the hard way to seek help. Ms. Jasper has a great voice that draws the reader in and writes a solid paranormal series that adds a fresh perspective on vampires, magic, and the South. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Book Blurb for Everdark

When Savannah tattoo artists Riley Poe is ambushed by an undead enemy, she inherits some of the traits of her attackers-and a telepathic link with a rampaging vampire. Now, she's experiencing murder after murder through the victims' eyes. And her new powers will not be enough to stop the horror-or the unending slaughter...

Night Owl Reviews May, 2011 4.25