Series: A Novel of the Final Prophecy, Book 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) May 2009, Signet, Penguin Putnam
"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!
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