Book Review: Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey
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Humans, ghouls, vampires, fairies, and others in the eldritch (supernatural) community call the small town of Pemkowet home. When a college student’s death turns out to be more than it first appears, everyone is shocked and the town’s biggest business, tourism, is threatened. Half human, half demon Daisy Johanssen splits her time working at the police department as a file clerk and as a representative of Hel, a Norse goddess and the town’s supernatural authority. With proof of there being eldritch involvement in the human’s death, Daisy works alongside officer Cody Fairfax, her childhood crush and closet werewolf, to uncover the truth before the entire town pays the price.
Daisy loves her mother, hanging out with her best friend and listening to the blues. She’s also a representative of a death goddess and her father is a lesser demon and sometimes incubus and if she decides to embrace her demonic side, she would bring about Armageddon. Not to mention it’s a constant struggle to keep her emotions in check so she doesn’t accidentally hurt someone. Not the responsibility a typical young woman has but she manages to take it all in stride and has a good sense of humor about things. Daisy is easy to like and very caring but there were times I thought she may not have been mature enough to take on this case and the dark, twisted turns that came with it. Luckily, there’s a great supportive cast to help her along the way.
Cody is a police officer and keeps the fact he’s a werewolf a secret. At first he’s not thrilled to work with Daisy but she starts to grow on him as the investigation into what really happened to the drowning college student unfolds. By the end he had feelings for her but he’d be the last to admit it. Cody isn’t a bad character; he just didn’t wow me like Stefan Ludovic did. Stefan is the new head ghoul (eldritch that feed on emotions) in town and Daisy meets him during the investigation when it points to there being ghoul involvement. Powerful, secretive and at times scene stealing, I wouldn’t call Stefan a “good guy” but he lends his help to Daisy and in the end I think cares more about her and is more honest with how he feels than Cody.
Another character that stood out to me was Lurine. A lamia (bottom half turns into a snake) and a B-list actress, Lurine is like a godmother to Daisy and is as powerful and secretive about her past as Stefan. She can be over the top fabulous one minute and then dead serious the next. You’re never quite sure what to expect from her, which is what I enjoyed most.
Dark Currents has an intriguing mystery to it and the story took a very grim turn I didn’t expect. The drowning was just the beginning of the crimes that took place and what it led to, at times, felt too dark for this book. One minute Daisy would be chatting with fairies about driving tourism up and the next she would be discussing sexual abuse. It’s all important to the story but It didn’t always go together smoothly, like two puzzle pieces that are similar yet different but still forced together.
I loved all the detail that went into Dark Currents. Jacqueline Carey paints such a vivid picture that it makes you feel as if a town like Pemkowet, with all its fantastic creatures, could actually exist. A mix of fantasy and urban fantasy, Dark Currents has a lot to offer and I think if you’re a fan of both genres, you should check it out.