Mortal Path Book 1
Author: Dakota Banks
Paperback, 320 pages
Summary: In the 17th century, a woman is ripped from her husband's arms, thrown in jail, and then set afire as a witch. Saved from the flames by an ancient Sumerian demon, she becomes the Black Ghost, his Ageless assassin gifted with otherworldly skills and superbly trained in martial arts.Centuries pass before Maliha Crayne finds a way out of the life she hates. If she achieves a balance between lives taken and lives saved, she'll break the demon's hold on her. If she fails, she will suffer the demon's torment ... forever.
I bought my copy of Dark Time a few months ago because I loved the cover. Yes, I'll admit that I do that from time to time. I didn't know much about the author when I bought it, but later kept hearing good things. I plucked it out of my huge TBR pile, and ended up loving the story as much as the cover.
It's hard for me to put Dark Time into a specific genre because it has elements of dark urban fantasy, horror, crime thriller and an international intrique element. Don't get me wrong, these elements all work for this book. It's fast paced, yet detailed and complex at times. The back cover talks about Maliha Crayne, the heroine, but it takes a bit before she becomes that woman who kicks ass and stops evil. Let's face it, not many people are born to fight evil. I appreciate that Maliha has a past that started out like most women, though in a much earlier time. She is forced into a situation by circumstances that easily could have turned her evil to the core, but instead she struggles to hold on to what she believes is right.
Ms. Banks has a unique style. She reminds me of a paranormal Tom Clancy. I know you are saying "What, are you crazy?". Let me explain. My dad passed along every Tom Clancy book ever written to me through the years. Those early books with Mr. Clark, a mysterious hardass with mad skills, were great. Dakota Banks' characters remind me of those in many ways, as do her great action scenes and her attention to detail. I hope she takes this as a compliment because I certainly mean it as one.
For those of you curious, yes, there is a little romance in Dark Time, but not in the traditional sense of most paranormal romance books. Maliha's life is a little too complex for traditional relationships, but that doesn't mean she doesn't crave love and passion. She also allows herself some friendships, which end up adding a wonderful element to the book.
I loved Dark Time, the first in the series, and can't wait until August when the second one is released. If you like Marjorie M. Liu I think you will really enjoy the Mortal Path series.
Dakota's books are available at Indie Bound, Powell's Books and Amazon.