Monday, October 27, 2008

The Darkest Touch by Jaci Burton

The Darkest Touch by Jaci BurtonJaci Burton - Demon Hunters series

1. Surviving Demon Island - Derek and Gina (see previous)
2. Hunting the Demon - Nic and Shay (see previous)
3. The Darkest Touch - Ryder and Angelique
Release Date October 28, 2008

Category: Peanut M&Ms - mmmm...devour... sigh... then reach for the next one. My daily dose of Insanity-B-Gone. (A-,B+,B)
Flame Height: 6" out of 9"

WAIT! WAIT! Come back! I know that, if you are like me, you see the word DEMON—YET AGAIN—and you can’t get away fast enough. But remember that Jaci started this series BEFORE demons started showing up in every PNR and UF book. And this series is so filled with adventure and romance that it would be a shame if you missed it just because you've had enough of the latest “demons are the new vampires” trend.

You know, I’m having the same problems reviewing this book that I did with book 1, Surviving Demon Island—it’s very hard to talk about it without revealing something that each reader should discover for herself.

The Darkest Touch continues the relationship between the Demon Hunter Ryder and Angelique (Angie) Deveraux, an archeologist last seen in Australia fleeing the diamond mine with the Black Diamond. You may remember that the Sons of Darkness seemed to think she might be their queen and realized they had “the wrong one” when Angie’s touch produced no reaction from the Black Diamond.

Angie ran with the diamond once it occurred to her that, if she was “the wrong one”, then that probably meant that her twin sister, Isabelle, was “the right one” and the Sons of Darkness AND the Realm of Light would be looking for both Isabelle and the Black Diamond.

So now in The Darkest Touch, Angie has hidden the diamond and herself but hasn’t located Isabelle yet. Ryder, however, finds Angie just in time to rescue her from a new, impossible to kill creation of the demons.

Meanwhile, another Demon Hunter, the mysterious Dalton, has found Isabelle and has used a ruse to get her into his protective custody. But he’s in for a surprise himself when he realizes that Isabelle has her mother’s diary which contains some explosive information about Isabelle, Angie, and the Sons of Darkness.

We meet and learn more about the Sons of Darkness in this book. And we meet another Keeper for the Realm of Light, Michael, and learn a WHOLE lot more about the structure of the Realm. BTW, Michael... Mandy... sparks a-flyin’. Just sayin’.

The Sons of Darkness are indeed hunting for Isabelle and they figure they might as well grab Angie back again too. The final climactic scene of this story is filled with one “OMG” event or revelation after another. Jaci doesn’t pull her punches and it quickly becomes clear that each one of her characters is in danger. Although, to be perfectly honest, I have to admit that after two books of speculation among the demon hunters about what exactly the Black Diamond is, I was a bit disappointed that Lou and Michael knew all along and said nothing. As it was, the revelation of its true power felt a bit patched in so that a certain heroic sacrifice could occur. For me, integrating its history- how it became what it was- would have made for a more interesting and fulfilling scene. Frankly, I feel like that bit of the story was left dangling and, because of how the scene ended, I doubt that Jaci will be revisiting it.

Other than that one quibble, Jaci has written another excellent installment to this series. She knows how to write heroes and heroines who respect each other and who fight beside and for each other.

With Hunting the Demon and now The Darkest Touch, Jaci has started giving us a unique twist to this series (even if I do think she’s an evil tease). The series falls firmly into the paranormal romance subgenre and as such, Jaci makes sure we get an HEA for the central couple. Notice that I said CENTRAL couple, because in addition to ongoing urban fantasy like adventure storylines, Jaci also gives us a SECONDARY couple. Yes, in many ongoing series we often see sparks flying and guess who the next couple will be, but Jaci actually weaves the secondary romance throughout each book... but only to a point. And that’s where Jaci’s evilness shines through. Yes, we get the central couple’s HEA, but she leaves both the ongoing adventure storyline AND the secondary couple’s relationship open-ended.

I’ve said before that this series is like watching a modern day Saturday afternoon movie serial, but with the inclusion of the secondary romances, Jaci has insured that we absolutely won’t want to miss the next installment of her Demon Hunters.

Piquant Opines: M.G. Braden, Romance Reader at Heart, Wild on Books, Curled Up with a Good Book, Romance Junkies, Naughty Nikki, RT

Have you read any of these books? Feel free to review or link to a review in the comments. Even if you don't agree!


MB (Leah) said...

Nice review Bev--damn you. ;-)

I might be one of those few, I'm surmising, out there who is not tired of Demon stories. And I totally love Jaci Burton. I haven't read one of her books in a long time. Maybe it's time for a visit with her again.

Do ya need to read the first one or can you pop in with this book and get the gist?

Bev(QB) said...

Honestly, the story is getting complex enough that you could start with the second book but probably not this third book. If you start with the second one, make sure to at least read the blurb for the first one.

Bur really, I highly recommend book 1, Surviving Demon Island, and I think you will really enjoy it. It was different and enjoyable enough that I placed it in my Lava Cake category and there's not too many that land in that group.

Bev(QB) said...

Or you could head over to Jaci's post over on Novel Thoughts and comment for a chance to win BOTH books 1 and 2!

Bev(QB) said...

GRRRRR.... Screw it... Just go here...

MB (Leah) said...

Oooh, thanks QB. This must be the day of contests for me.