Monday, March 29, 2010

GIVEAWAY & REVIEW: Dawnkeepers by Jessica Andersen

ISBN 9780451225757
Series: A Novel of the Final Prophecy, Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) May 2009, Signet, Penguin Putnam
Jessica Andersen's website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links (paper): Amazon, Book Depository

"A thrilling sequel as the adventure continues!"

It was several months since the end of the events in the first book and Nate and Alexis have broken off their relationship, mainly due to a rejection on Nate's part, who didn't believe in gods and prophecy and fate and destiny. All his life, he's had to work for things he wanted--wealth, success, etc--and he didn't see why he couldn't do that too for the woman he wanted in his life. Yet, something drew him back again and again to Alexis, the woman on whom his fantasy game heroine Hera was modeled after, years before he'd seen Alexis.

Alexis, on the other hand, having grown up with a winikin (something like a bond-servant) who instructed her in the Nightkeeper lore and history from young, bought fully into the prophecies and concepts of destiny and fate. As she didn't seem to possess the full warrior fighting powers, she wanted to have more magic and more power in order to live up to the memory of her mother, who'd been one of the king's advisers. And so she clung to Nate, not only because she was hopelessly attracted to him, but also because a mated Nightkeeper is more powerful than an unmated one.

Being a Nightkeeper must be tough on the nerves because there is nonstop action and excitement and danger. The story opens with the Nightkeepers searching for the artifacts that contain the demon prophecies, the next stage in their fight against the Banol Kax. Magic and mayhem ensued and there was never a dull moment, though the story dragged a bit in the first few chapters with explanations and highlights of past events. Some of the abbreviated language threw me at first and I had to stop and think what it meant, especially 'hood for neighborhood, but once I got the hang of it, I was fine. In fact, 'porting sounds way better than teleporting.

For Nate, I think everything came together when he stumbled into his parents' cottage. It was like waking up from a foggy dream and realizing, "Oh fucking shit, this is real." He had parents who loved him and cared for him, and if the massacre hadn't happened, he would have grown up being trained as a Nightkeeper. His assimilation into his role within the Nightkeepers was gradual and logical, coming out of his own realization that the royal council needed an objective voice, someone who didn't believe wholly into the Nightkeeper traditions and prophecies, someone who could think out of the box. I didn't quite like him at first, because I hate the way he pushed Alexis away when he obviously yearned for her, but later on, when he started accepting the inevitable (to a certain extent), I find him super-hot, especially toward the end when he made himself vulnerable to her. (Couldn't say more, as it would be a spoiler.)

I have a harder time understanding Alexis's character and motivation, because I couldn't quite decide if her ambition of being part of the royal council came from Alexis herself or from her winikin. I read on, fully expecting Alexis to rebel sometime down the road, that no, this wasn't what she wanted, but later on, we see that Alexis herself wanted the position. She wanted to be acknowledged that she was doing something important, like her mother did. So maybe, Alexis herself was confused at the start, but the idea grew on her until she wanted it. Perhaps she saw it as things coming full circle--her mother being Strike's father's adviser, while she is Strike's adviser. This may be the reason in part for me having the feeling of the story being confusing as I read.

However, I totally admire and rooted for Alexis for being a kick-ass heroine in that she was strong enough to reject Nate somewhere in the middle of the book, that no, she might need a Nightkeeper mate in order to have strong magic enough to battle the bad guys, but he didn't have to be Nate, since Nate so obviously didn't want to be with her. Yay for the woman who doesn't cling or goes weepy because the man didn't want her.

Like in the first book, so many things happened in the story that the events almost overshadowed Nate's and Alexis' romance, but actually, everything was integrated into the whole, even their romance. The problems that cropped up in their relationship was due to their identities as Nightkeepers, and their background as both humans and magical warriors. Each event that the Nightkeepers encountered only served to strip them both bare until nothing was left but the very essence of who they are and made them see, especially Nate, what is most important to them.

Of course, life would be very bland and dull without Rabbit, whose foul-ups seemed served to help the enemy more than the Nightkeepers, Anna who was still torn between her human life and her destiny as a Nightkeeper, and Lucius, who it seemed has to undergo a lot of pain and transformation before he'd realize what his destiny was. I do wish though that some momentous events in some of the characters' lives could be given longer screen time, like when Rabbit discovered the truth of his powers and when Alexis realized she loved Nate.

Review of Nightkeepers
Quiz on Nightkeepers - How well do you know the book? Test your knowledge!


~ o ~


WE'RE HAVING A GIVEAWAY! Three (3) copies of book #4 Demonkeepers to be won! Everyone on the planet can join, even the penguins in Antarctica, if they can get on the 'Net and write a comment. LOL

How to enter?

Go to Jessica's website and tell us what you like about it. It can be about her books, the extras she has there, or even the design of the website. You can also tell her what you want to see there. Anything. While there, look at the amazing information she has for you. But be warned that the animated intro is a little loud, so if you're at work, hit the volume!

Extra chances to win:
+ 3 if you're an old follower of this blog
+ 2 if you're a new follower of this blog (starting to follow from this post/contest)
+ 2 if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter
+ 2 if you take our poster (located on the right sidebar) about this contest and post it
              on your blog/website with a link back to us
+ 1 for every time you spread the word about this contest via Facebook, MySpace,
              Twitter, your blog, website or other form of social media. For example, you
              tweeted about this contest twice and also announced it on your Facebook. You 
              also wrote a blog post. That's 4 additional chances! However, for these to 
              qualify, be sure to come back here and post the links. Like, if you tweeted 
              twice, give me both links.

If you do all of the above, at a minimum, that's 9 chances to win (8 chances if you're a new follower)! Remember, the more things you do to help us spread the word about this contest, the better are your chances.

Contest ends on April 1 (Thursday), 1159pm EST.

Winner will be picked via Randomizer.org and announced within the week. Instructions will be given then on how to claim your prize. Be sure to come back and check because we won't hunt you down. If prizes are unclaimed after 1 week, new winners will be chosen.

Good luck!

14 comments:

Saffron said...

I love this series! I like Michael Stone the best. If I can, I'll bring him home with me. LOL

Jessica, is Rabbit gonna end up with Myrinne? Please please please say no. Somehow, I don't like her, even if Rabbit loves her to bits.

What I like about Jessica's website? Everything! Love the music too, definitely in keeping with the theme of the books.

Robin K said...

The website is fantastic. I love the interactive feel. Very unique. The loading speed is very good too. I have seen many sites like this take far too much time to load. So, kudos to your designers. The countdown clock is awesome. My only recommendation would be to bold the main links and text on the home page.

+ 3 old follower
+ 2 follow Twitter (@intensewhisper)
+ 1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/IntenseWhisper/status/11252491639

Spav said...

The site is awesome. I love the header, is very colourful.

+3 Old follower
+2 Twitter follower (@Sparima)
+1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/11263012612
+1 Blog Post: http://fictionkingdom.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-international-giveaways.html

spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

CallMeKayla said...

I love the Mayan looking outline, very pre-calendar-y! LOL

+3 old blog follower
+2 twitter follower- bookluver09
+2 facebook follower

sexywomenread@yahoo.com

Katrina said...

The site is awesome. You're right, the music IS loud. Good thing I was at home then. I wish we could read more deleted scenes.

I'm looking forward to read Demonkeepers,mainly because of Jade. She's been so quiet in the past three books, that it'll be nice to see things from her perspective. I have a question about Lucius though. In Nightkeepers, it was explained that evil was able to have a handhold on him because of his greed. In Skykeepers, the makol was dealt with and so is the greed? Else, how to reconcile the fact that Lucius was once a makol with a non-hero trait (greed/evil) and now the hero in Demonkeepers?

Thanks, Jessica! Awesome series, by the way.

Sunny G said...

Great review, Silver! So now I can pose my question to Jessica, that I asked before on your review of Nightkeepers. :)

Jessica, will we ever know who Rabbit's mother is and what his heritage really is? And I'm pretty sure there was something between Sven and Cara in the past. Right? Right? LOL When will we have their story?

Also, Katrina's question above reminded me of something. In Nightkeepers, I thought a person became a makol after some ceremony, in that the person IS the makol and the makol IS the person. But in Skykeepers, we see the makol as separate from Lucius, and that he even gave it a name, which has slipped my mind. So what's the real score? Or is it that Lucius has a split personality in Skykeepers to protect himself maybe?

Sue A. said...

I forgot to turn on the sound on the first visit to the website. The music is a great touch and works well with the theme of the website.

+ 3 if you're an old follower

alternate email from blogger
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Jessica Andersen said...

Hi all! Sorry to be late to the party-- we got more than a little flooded up here in New England, and things have been a little wild!

Okay, to catch up...

@ Saffron- THANK YOU for loving the stories! As for Rabbit ... I can't honestly answer that yet. I *think* I know what happens with him and Myrinnne, but am not positive. *I* certainly don't trust her!!

@ Robin- Thanks for the thoughts on the website! Next update, I'll ask them to bold-that's an easy fix. Glad the speed is still good, that was definitely a concern, what with all that animation and such.


@ Spav- Thanks, and appreciate you spreading the word!

@ Kayla- Glad you liked it!

@ Katrina- Thanks for being a fan! I'm a big fan of Jade, too-- I really relate to the quiet person who kind of hangs in the background, but has lots going on below the surface.

As for your Lucius question, GOOD CATCH! That's definitely part of his thought process in DemonKeepers. He recognizes that it wasn't an accident that the makol could get into him, and kind of lumps that all in with his overall feeling of being weak (both physically and morally), even after the Prophet's magic begins to change him. It's one of the many things he needs to wrestle with.

Jessica Andersen said...

@ Sunny- Yes, we will absolutely get more info on Rabbit's mother, though not right away. Rabbit's book is the last one in the series, at the end of 2012, so his story has a ways yet to play out.

Re: Sven and Cara, yes they've got a history, and yes we'll be seeing Cara again. But as above, not right away. Of all of the magi, Sven has the most growing up to do before he'll be ready to fight for (and occasionally with) his mate. Look for him in ... er ... late '11 or early '12.

Re: the makol, there isn't really a distinction in the term, which is used for both the disembodied and human-embodied forms.

You'll see something similar in an upcoming Keeper novella (Feb '10, in an anthology with Gena Showalter, Shannon K. Butcher, and Deidre Knight), where the locals call a group of bat-demons 'camazotz', which was also the name of the big, bad-ass bat demon in DawnKeepers.

Language is funny like that, with similar concepts being corralled together and the differences created by context.

(and yes, I really can babble on forever about stuff like this- lolol)

Sue A- LOL on the music! I like running, screaming, and loud noises. What can I say?

Thanks for posting, guys!

Sunny G said...

My comment disappeared...testing...

Sunny G said...

Okay, take two.

Thanks for answering my questions, Jessica! But you only left me with more questions! Like...Cara and Sven...what's their history? What would their story be? Rabbit...who is he? what's his background? Who's his mate? (now that someone has mentioned it, Myrinne does sound fishy. And the fact that she could describe Skywatch down to the details wasn't answered, rather, the question was never asked as to why she was able to do that.) LOL

ANyway, looking forward to Demonkeepers.

Jessica Andersen said...

Hey Sunny!

Sorry about being so vague. But I'm not up to their stories yet, so I don't know all of the details. And even if I wanted to give out spoilers (which some readers hate, so I try to be careful with them), I'm leery of talking about books too far ahead.

Quite often (almost always) what I *think* is going to happen isn't what actually happens when I sit down to write. These characters and stories have a huge potential to surprise the heck out of me!

So I guess the short answer to the above questions is: I don't know yet, but I'm dying to find out! :)

Scorpio M. said...

A little late for the party but I have to say that I really liked how stimulating Jessica's website is. The motions, sounds, vibrant color...all very engaging.

I keep reading great reviews for this series and in particular, Demonkeepers...can't wait to dig in. Thanks for blogging and RR, thx for such great coverage!

+3 old follower of blog
+2 FB follower
+2 Twitter follower (@scorpio1m)
+1 Tweeted!
http://twitter.com/scorpio1m/status/11446889787

jenma76(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jessica Andersen said...

Thanks, Scorpio! Happy to hear there's some buzz for Lucius's book!

To all: I'm off to KY in the morning for a signing (www.radcliffbookstore.com fmi if you're in the area!), so may not be able to check in. I'll hit back on Sunday or Monday, though, to make sure I didn't miss any questions!

Thanks RR-ers :)

 

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