I am really rather surprised by how much I enjoyed Darkness Falls. The first book in the series, Immortal Beloved, was... OK. The overarching plot of the book was a bit of a washout, but I remembered rather enjoying the main character, Nas, who was a tough cookie who had finally managed to check her damaged self into rehab. Her love interest Reyne, on the other hand, I would have paid good money to have killed.
Darkness Falls managed to keep the Nas I had enjoyed in the previous book, while also fixing the things I didn't like! It was rather miraculous. Though I will never be swooning over Reyne, nor will I ever completely understand the draw between him and Nas, I did end this book with a much better understanding of his character. Considering the bounties I'd been putting on his head, that's pretty amazing!
Tiernan added a lot of context to the background stories she introduced in Immortal Beloved and, to my surprise, they actually worked. Reyne was still the "Butcher of Winter" from the first book, but he was also the nice guy who helped out on the farm. Tiernan showed that the two identities could coexist, but cleverly she did it through another character (who I actually liked to start off with).
Also, as if by request, Darkness Falls featured a lot of Nas' former-BFF Incy... who was just fabulous. He certainly lived up to be dark, unhinged party boy Tiernan had described. But like all her characters, he wasn't completely past redemption. While I doubt we will see it in the final book, I really hope that Incy and Nas manage to reconnect at some point in the future. Sure, they were overly codependent for almost a century, but I don't think they were altogether terrible for each other.
But I have to warn you, the book does begin with some of the terrible premises that were in Immortal Beloved. A couple of lines at the start turned my stomach, as Nas practically swooned "you murderer! I want you!". But stick it out. It gets better and less rape-apologetic, I promise.Bottom line?
Darkness Falls has a tough heroine, a murderous villain, a brilliant betrayal, a bunch of unanswered questions... the works. I thoroughly enjoyed it.Received for review from Hodder & Stoughton