Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adult urban fantasy review: Everdark by Elle Jasper

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Original edition (June 7, 2011)
Blurb: 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...

Our review: I liked Afterlight, the first book in The Dark Ink Chronicles. In my review I made some comments about things I'd like to see answered or explained. Most of my questions were answered this go round making Everdark one rocking read. Tatoo artist and bad girl gone good, Riley Poe is back and she is even more kick ass than she was before. Having the incredibly dangerous and potent blood of two ancient strigoi vampires--Valerian and Victorian Arcos--in her veins has opened up a Pandora's box of talents and abilities to figure out and deal with. But as we already know, if anyone can deal, it's Riley.

Besides, she has the smoking hot Eli Dupre as well as his entire vampiric family to help guide and train her. Everdark continues off where the first book ended, immediately tossing the reader into what Riley has to endure after being bitten. The telepathic connection she now shares with Victorian continues to intensify. Added to the mix are visions of dank places and murder, but from who? And why would Riley have another 'connection' to contend with?Some may wonder why she doesn't tell the Dupres sooner about all of this, but that would go against her independent spirit. Riley has only been with Eli a short time and while she knows she loves him, her feisty inner self cannot give him complete control and access (her not being bossed around issues). Strong-willed, strong-minded and stubborn as sin--it's all part of her appeal and why I like this series.

Riley has become incredibly tough and Jasper shows us why. We already know of her mother's murder, the rough crowd she hung with, and how she turned herself around in order to provide her younger brother Seth a safe and loving home. Now she has to contend with visions, physical changes, and joining forces with friends of the Dupres to find out who is controlling the changelings. Part of this new job is hanging out at a fight club. Knowing Riley, we can be assured she won't be a quiet spectator.

I enjoyed Riley's new adventures, filled with action and danger, welcomed the new characters (hello Noah!) and their lore. Eli did come across at times as caveman-esque with his reiterating this woman is mine attitude, and as the story progressed I chocked up his constant ownership issues as insecurity (which may come into play in the next book I wonder).

Elle Jasper had me intrigued from the opening scene at Gullah Island and I remained entrenched for the entire roller coaster ride that made Everdark such an exciting read. Victorian Arcos is an alluring character and I hope to see more of his story revealed in the next installment. After the cliffhanging ending of this book and subsequent teaser, I anxiously await the third book in the series, Eventide, next spring.

Rating: Really enjoyed it.

Favorite excerpt: "Lamplight from the riverfront streamed in through my balcony door, casting a narrow beam across the floor. I eased to the bench at the foot of the bed and sat down softly, pushed my Vans off with each opposite foot, peeled my socks off, and just . . . sat for a second. Every muscle, every joint, even my skin ached. Slowly, I shrugged out of my tank, stood and peeled off my jeans, and dropped them on the floor. With my blades still sheathed to my various body parts, and in only my bra and panties, I hobbled to the balcony door, opened it, and stepped out onto the veranda. A slight breeze lifted my ponytail, and I reached up, pulled off the elastic band holding it together, and let my hair down. Overhead, thunder boomed; a few seconds later, a streak of lightning lit the sky. Red blinking lights flashed in the harbor as shrimp boats and fishing boats headed out to sea. As the briny breeze caught the palm fronds, they crackled, rubbing against one another. I let the sounds and smells and sights of normalcy wash over me. I leaned against the veranda's railing and closed my eyes. I stood there for a while; how long, I didn't know.


My eyes flashed open, and my heart leapt at the voice. A dream. Of Eli. In my head. I'd fallen asleep standing up on the veranda.

"No," Eli said against my ear with a soft laugh. "Not a dream."

Gently, with both hands, Eli grasped my face and tilted my head up. He looked down at me, his eyes searching mine. The lamplight gleamed in their blue depths, and a small smile tipped his sexy mouth. "I missed you, Riley Poe.""

Cover comment: Similar to the first, I like the purplish red hues, so symbolic of what Riley has to go through in this book.

Book source: Purchased.

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