(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Forever is a long time.
The life of a hunter is a lonely one. Perhaps more for Dakota than others in her line of work. Not only is she better than anyone else at chasing down the things that go bump in the night, but her past chases her with the same tenacity.
She’s built walls around her solitary existence and that’s the way she likes it, but the past never sleeps. When she’s hired to hunt an ex-lover for murder, it’s just the first in a string of memories that will bring Dakota’s past, present and future into a collision course.
And when she agrees to take on a second case and hunt down an Ancient, a vampire over one thousand years old, it unleashes circumstances onto that collision that will shake the foundation of everything she’s built and force her, for the first time in a long while, to look to others.
Can she survive it, like she’s survived these past four centuries? Or will the weight of it all finally crush her?
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]
Dakota was one of the secondary characters that really intrigued me in the first book of the Adelheid series, Cameron’s Law. That was from Sadie’s point of view and in When Forever Died we learn that Sadie has hired Dakota as a freelance hunter to work on a job-by-job basis. But what happens when a job comes across Dakota’s desk that brings her long-suppressed past back to the surface?
Even though we met Dakota briefly in the first book I was extremely excited to read about her adventures in this second book and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Dakota has had a hard life as we learn through various flashbacks and her powers have not made life easy for her. Even though it would be pretty cool to morph into anything or anyone you’d like it doesn’t solve all of your problems—sometimes it even causes them as she learns when she starts tracking down a rogue Ancient. When she discovers that a former lover of hers and someone even closer to her are involved with this Ancient and his mysterious but clearly nefarious plans, things definitely get interesting. It’s very gratifying to see Dakota change throughout the course of the story as she learns more about herself and her past but also begins to look more to the present and begins to appreciate the people around her. She’ll never be the life of the party by any stretch of the imagination but it was nice to see her begin to realize that maybe people aren’t so bad at all.
Even if the plot sucked, Dakota would have carried the day and still made this a good book. However, the plot was awesome as well. Tracking an Ancient isn’t easy, particularly when they don’t want to be found and they have immensely powerful beings helping them. Add into that a seemingly insane secret society of supposedly reincarnated figures from Norse legends and you’ve got a very interesting and extremely fast-paced plot. Nothing is as it seems and of course nothing is simple in Adelheid’s supernatural community.
Speaking of the supernatural community, I absolutely love Mia Darien’s world-building. In Cameron’s Law we mainly see the world of vampires and werewolves as well as the human opposition to the fact that they are now considered human beings with full legal rights. Here in When Forever Died we see Dakota’s extremely rare species of shapeshifter, one that can turn into whatever they like whereas normal shapeshifters are restricted to one animal form like Sadie’s weretiger boyfriend Vance. Just because almost a year has passed since the events of the first book doesn’t mean that humans are more accepting of the supernatural community, though. And just because the supernatural community is ecstatic that they’re allowed to live in the open doesn’t mean some of them bear any less hatred of humans than before. Mia Darien is good at not only creating unique species of supernatural creatures but also creating complex and believable political systems within and without the supernatural community.
Even if you haven’t read the first book, you can certainly start the series at When Forever Died or any of the other books in the series because each stands alone quite well. They’re all interconnected in fascinating ways but you don’t have to start right at the beginning because they all feature different characters. It’s a great way to go about a series like this and I have to say that I can’t wait to read the other three books.
I give this book 5/5 stars.