Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Dark Time by Dakota Banks

Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.
For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life - as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.
But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.

Harper Voyager


Rosy's scrawlings on Dark Time
I picked up Dark Time when it first came out mainly because the cover, while portraying a woman wearing leather, didn't portray the main character as "sexy and she knows it" while the blurb on the back had nothing to do with such things. Upfront honesty in a book cover is always appreciated, plus the accurate portrayal of the mood of a book. So for those reasons I picked up this book while it was still the only Dakota Banks book printed.
The first thing I'd like to point out about the story is that it truly shouldn't be read only by women. Yes, the main character is a woman but this isn't a dreamy, waffly romance that will get most men's back up about how high the expectations of them are or how nonsensical the love is. Instead, what you get is a hefty dose of dark, bloody and intriguing along with a pretty original concept of how a person must gain redemption/freedom and just what the costs are. There is no standard sexy demon with black wings or even scaly demon and nor is there a look into the heavenly side of things. What you get instead is a demon that's almost intangible and undefinable, a past filled with human jealousy, greed and rage and a future that looks to be short and rather uncomfortable.
Otherwise, there's a mystery for Maliha to solve, people's lives to save and a clock that's ticking away. There's plenty of weaponry and strategies and one of the most horrible scenes I've read in a while. I won't say what it is but I will say it wasn't horrible due to shock value or gore but rather the level of cruelty and disregard given to one character. Let's just say the scene has since been stuck in my mind. The mood also remains intense throughout and it along with the ticking clock (as it were - if I say too much I'll just be spoiling your fun) compels you to read on.
I'm pretty sure that this book will exceed your expectations for a first publication. The writing style is smooth and the atmosphere created tense and dark. There isn't any section you could point to and say it could have been left out and there's plenty of complexity in the plot and character motivations. The characters, while mostly on the cynical and dark side of things are believable within the bounds of dark fantasy/horror. And there's nary a gushing heroine in sight. All in all, it reads as though it isn't Dakota Banks' first publication.
And I have to add again, the cover for this one is really well done.

I'd recommend this book to: anyone interested in gritty dark fantasy or horror and anyone interested in an intense read. I'd like to also recommend Dark Time those men out there looking to read books with serious female leads that aren't entirely romance driven and can fight with the best of them.

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