Author: Elle Jasper (aka Cindy Miles)
Series: DARK INK CHRONICLES
The story follows Elle and Noah as they join up with the Ness boys, a band of young, male, mostly human vampire hunters, and try to kill off the murderous vamps and rescue Eli from his captor. Here, Noah introduces Elle to Rhine MacLeod, the leader of the Ness boys: "Besides having the DNA of four vampires, along with newly acquired traits of a fallen angel, she can move faster than any vampie….She can scale a three-story building in under ten seconds. Her fighting skills are unmatched. Lethal. And she can read minds at will. Her fiancé is being controlled by the witchpire, Carrine, who has decided to crawl into her brain and try and drive her crazier than what she already is." (p. 161) And one more thing: "She unexpectedly falls into a narcoleptic coma every few days or so." So…other than staying awake long enough to take down the rogue vamps, Elle's major task is to save Eli. But the problem is that Eli is in deep blood lust, so he may be too far gone to save, and Elle might have to kill him.
I was hoping that we would learn a bit more about Eli's family members, in book 2, but no...all we hear about is their hot good looks and their laid-back attitudes. And don't forget their incessant slang, which is apparently supposed to give them street cred. It's a bit silly for the repartee of centuries-old vampires to be peppered with dated teen-age slang like "bro" and "sick" and "wicked" and "sweet"—and they talk like this all the time. And what's with the inconsistent mind reading? Sometimes the vamps can read Riley's mind, but other times it doesn't work, depending on the plot twist going on at the time. That's the problem with introducing mind-reading into a story. You have to be consistent with it because if you don't, it just weakens the plot and annoys the reader.
For me, this book is a disappointment. The first half consists of Riley's extremely repetitive hallucinations, and the second half dumps this whole new cast of characters into the mix for unknown reasons and with no noticeable effect on the plot of this book. The WUP members are introduced, and then they just come along for the ride. The one and only strong scene in the book is the climactic confrontation between Riley and Victorian near the end.
I hate to see what is happening to this series because it started off so well. The author began with a fresh urban setting, plenty of local color, quirky characters, and endless possibilities for story lines. The tattoo shop alone could have been a great source of material. But instead of developing the series along that track, the author has chosen to put all that behind her by adopting an entirely new mythology (the Pict Druthans, who seem to be connected in some way with the ancient Celts). Instead of fleshing out the back stories of the supporting cast of the first three books, she leaves them unexamined and turns to this new group. In all honesty, I don't have much hope that this change in direction is going to improve the series. In the next book, Riley and Eli head to Scotland with the WUP group to hunt down some Black Fallen (angels). Farewell Savannah, we'll miss you.