When I received my copy of Jessica Andersen's new book, Nightkeepers I was thrilled! I'd discovered a brand new author and a brand new series that has me so hooked, I can't wait for the next book. Nightkeepers is not just another paranormal romance. Not by a long shot. It's fresh, compelling, surprising, intricate and beautifully written.
Nightkeepers is the first book in The Novels of the Final Prophecy. Sounds like doom and gloom; the world coming to an end - well, yes, in fact that's what it's all about. In Jessica Andersen's first book, based on Mayan mythology, we find out that " Every twenty-six years, the earth, sun and moon align at the exact center of the Milky Way. . . and all hell breaks loose. " This is called the Great Conjunction. The last time this happened was in 24,000 B. C. and demons broke out of the underworld and destroyed civilization. The only thing standing between us and the end of the world are the Night Keepers. Guess what? The next Great Conjunction is scheduled for December 21, 2012. Oh yes, four years from now civilization as we know it will be in a fight for its life. And the Night Keepers, who are few and far between, are the only one's who can stop it.
Ms. Andersen has created a series with a definite end point - 2012. I was intrigued. She has created an incredible world and introduced a host of characters who will have 4 years to resolve the conflicts she has created. By creating an endpoint, she ratchets up the tension and allows for a whole host of story lines and characters that must contribute to the whole in a meaningful, right now, way. I say, bravo!
Twenty years ago most of the Night Keepers were massacred when they were fighting the ultimate evil. The few surviving Night Keepers scattered to the corners of the earth with most of them being raised with no notion of who and what they are. Now, they must come together and learn their heritage, purpose and how to become a unit if they are going to save the world. You are immediately drawn into the premise. We find the hero - Strike Jaguar , working in a garden center when he is plummeted to a time and place not of his making. The heroine, Leah Daniels, a Miami narcotics detective, finds her self naked and strapped to an altar. She's about to become a human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual. And so the story begins.
Ms. Andersen's pacing is spot on, the dialogue and quick banter are believable, humorous and illuminating, the action sequences are fast paced and exciting, the characters are intriguing and the world building fresh, impeccable and fascinating. There wasn't a false note in this book. I applaud her heroine, Leah, a woman who can take care of herself and others and still have a hot romance with out diminishing who and what she is. I found her hero, Strike Jaguar, just as intriguing, strong yet flawed with the literal weight of the world on his shoulders; resilient enough to question himself and his actions and eventually not only listen to others but to trust himself.
I'm on board, I'm ready for the ride and excited about this new series The Novels of the Final Prophecy. So will I be a rabid fan - you betcha. Well rabid may not be the right word; but I'll tell you this, next book? I'm so there. This is a definite Recommended Read!
Marisa is Vice President of Programming at Romance Novel TV