Books : reviews

Jacqueline Carey.
Dark Currents.
Roc. 2012

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 2 April 2014

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload—not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres, and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

A new urban fantasy series in a fairly conventional vein: Daisy Johanssen is a young woman who is a bridge between human and eldritch, discovering that life gets ever more complicated.

Here we have a world where the eldritch exists only in fairly isolated communities, and on sufferance of the majority humans. Daisy has to help solve a murder before the humans decide the eldritch are more trouble than they are worth.

This starts off fairly slowly, painting in the background of werewolves, fairies, vampires, ghouls, and more esoteric characters. It gets more active towards the end, as all the different factions clash. I’ll be checking out the next in the series, to see where it goes.

Jacqueline Carey.
Autumn Bones.
Roc. 2013

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 30 July 2015

Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.

Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer; she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.

He’s descended from obeah sorcerers, and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything…

Daisy Johansen, half human, half devil-spawn, is the relocated Norse goddess Hel’s liaison between human and eldritch in Pemkowet. She’s started dating Sinclair Palmer, who runs the local tour bus, and is getting along fine, except for a jealous fairy, a crush on the local werewolf, and attention from the boss ghoul. Then Sinclair’s twin sister comes to town, to get him to return home. Trouble is, Daisy didn’t even know he had a twin sister. Wait til she meets his mother.

Again, this has a rather slow start, as we are treated to small town life enlivened by the odd fairy and hobgoblin and satyr. And again, it gets more active towards the end, as Daisy and her Scooby Gang (she actually calls them that) fight foreign magic and lay the ghosts. A good way to pass the time.

Jacqueline Carey.
Poison Fruit.
Roc. 2014

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 20 September 2019

Daisy Johanssen, Hel’s liaison, is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control—except a new predator is in town, making her job difficult and feeding on the town’s most deadly nightmares.

As the creature racks up victims, Daisy and her sometime lover, werewolf Cody Fairfax, are hot on the trail. But an even greater danger looms on Pemkowet’s horizon: After a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.

The stakes are at their highest for Daisy Johanssen. A Night Hag is feeding off nightmares, and Daisy must stop it before it kills, but has to pay a high price to do so. Meanwhile, a lawsuit against the town brought on by the events in the previous book is only the cover for a deeper, darker plot, that threatens Hel’s very existence. And Daisy is closer than ever to giving in to a temptation that threatens the entire world.

This is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. The base of colleagues, friends, and sometime lovers that Daisy has been building up all come together in the final showdown, and all the loose ends are tied up nicely. The resolution of the love triangle is a little too convenient, maybe, but at least it is resolved. Life should be easier for Daisy in the future.