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Dark Currents: Agent of Hel (edition 2012)

by Jacqueline Carey

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2853439,557 (3.81)18
Member:krau0098
Title:Dark Currents: Agent of Hel
Authors:Jacqueline Carey
Info:Roc Hardcover (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Already Read, Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:demons, fantasy, ghouls, urban fantasy, vampires, werewovles, mythology

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Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Another very well written and enjoyable book by Carey. Even if the target audience seemed a bit younger than for previous books, the characters were interesting with a lot of depth as usual. ( )
  Guide2 | Mar 12, 2015 |
It might be a bit trash, but it was definitely fun and hard to put down. It was thrilling and adventurous and emotional without being girly or chick-lit. I was drawn into the character's world, and didn't want to leave. Synopsis: Daisy is a hell-spawn trying to make her way in the world. She works as a part-time clerk at the local police department in Pemkowet, Michigan. But this isn't any Midwestern town. It also has a functioning underworld, ruled over by the Norse goddess of the dead, Hel. Daisy is also a half-breed. Her mother is an amazing human... Her father is Belphegor, lesser demon and sometimes incubus. There was an ... incident. Then came Daisy. She works now as part-time clerk in the local police station. She's also Hel's (goddess, not underworld) enforcer and eldritch liaison. When a frat boy is found drowned under suspicious, magical-tainted circumstances, Daisy is called in to help alongside her long-time crush, Cody, a police officer and closeted werewolf. Also on the scene is Stefan, a long-not-quite-dead ghoul. And is hit on by her babysitter, but it's cool cuz she attracted to her... Lurline, the lamia who found fame as a B-movie star. There are vampires, ghouls, fairies, naiads, ogres, undines, and at least three references to Princess Bride. I read this at the exact perfect time. If you are looking for a fun read, with a great urban fantasy feel, a bit of romance and a strong female lead, I'd recommend it. ( )
  pegasus.rose.99 | Jan 29, 2015 |
This novel demonstrates the flexibility of Carey's storytelling abilities as she moves seamlessly from the high medieval fantasy she's known for to a modern urban fantasy setting. As always with Carey's work, this book is well-written, reflecting the author's extensive vocabulary and skill at composing prose. The mystery plot is reasonably compelling and the relationships between the characters hold the potential for intriguing developments in the next installments. The various supernatural inhabitants of Carey's world are convincingly portrayed, and I look forward to learning more about the functioning of the eldritch community as Daisy continues to grow into her role as Hel's liason. ( )
  brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
Daisy is the child of a demon, which means she has a constant temptation to embrace her vast potential power – and possibly end the world. This would be a bad thing

Unfortunately her job as Hel’s (that would be the Norse goddess Hel, not Hell) liaison to the Midwestern Eldritch resort town of Pemkowet gives her a lot of temptation – especially when the children of some angry right wingers get themselves killed and the grieving parents use it as a weapon to try and drive the Eldritch out of town.



This book is a classic “everything is real” Urban Fantasy world – so we have vampires, ghouls, werewolves, demons, angels and just about everything else. This is always a tick in the plus column for me as they’re my preferred kind – so long as enough effort is put in to build the world, make it original and do something with the creatures. As I’ve said before, there’s no point in having a hundred mythical creatures in your story if I can replace half of them with werecucumbers and it not make any difference to the plot.

Which isn’t the case here – we have a definite sense of culture and distinct nature for each of the prominent supernatural beings – the vampires (however briefly appearing), the werewolves and some of the Norse critters as well as the Ghouls (which have a really fascinating and completely unique concept that I really liked). There’s also some nice research there fleshing out some of the mythology

The world itself is also really unique. We have the supernatural (or the Eldritch as they’re called here) that can only exist without fading in places with a working underworld – places where a mighty supernatural being has taken up residence and created a zone where supernatural beings can exist in great numbers; in this case we have Hel. That in turn means the supernatural being sets the rules and power of the place – in this case the Norse goddess Hel who acts through her representative (Daisy) to keep her realm in order

In turn this creates an inherent vulnerability – the Eldritch are dependent on this location to exist and to thrive, making them both subject to Hel and exposed to human wrath – humanity, if sufficiently enraged, could dig out or drive off Hel, they could destroy the underworld and drive them out. This makes for a nice underlying conflict that unites the supernatural population. It also puts an extra edge on the problems of human bigotry and human public opinion, especially as the right wing is doing what it can to pass laws against the Eldritch and drive them out. It puts an edge on the PR battle.

I also like Daisy’s own struggle when added to this world. She’s the child of a demon (and I think it’s a bad idea to have used the term “incubus” because it suggests that the story is far more sex focused than it actually is) and that represents a constant source of temptation for her – because she has no power, or very little. But she could – at any time she can accept her birthright and have amazing power. Her demonic father is always lurking around waiting to pounce on her in a moment of weakness to offer her this legacy – and I like how that temptation is done; it’s not the usually sexy sexy lust, it’s a child being at risk, it’s facing the death of someone she cares about – it’s the temptation to gain power to defend the helpless. It’s a constant pressure and adds in to another interesting part of Daisy’s character – strong emotional states attract her father, tap into her power and tempt her to giving in which puts her in a difficult position. The world building complicates this by the fact her being demonic and on Earth could trigger an actual apocalypse.


It’s the foundation of a really excellent concept – a great world and a great plan for a character.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | Jan 25, 2015 |
This book made it up to three stars at times. In fact, I probably would have given it three stars if I had read it instead of listened to it. If I had read it, I could've skimmed over the little things that drove me insane. Also, it wouldn't have taken me 10 hours to read.

Dark Currents reminded me of a less interesting version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer structured around a police procedural instead of a high school drama. The plot was interesting, and I especially liked the Norse elements, Stefan in general, and Carey's really interesting take on ghouls/the outcast. Daisy's relationship with her mother and her devotion to her friend Jen were other highlights.

However, not only was there a love triangle (my biggest literary stumbling block), but then an additional guy was thrown in for good measure at the end. Also, Carey relied way too much on Daisy's tail to demonstrate any sort of emotional reaction. And every time Daisy lost her temper, I swear the text was copied and pasted in. Scent of ozone? Check. Mention of tail twitching? Check. Things rattling? Check. Also, the dialogue was not great, especially any sort of police-related dialogue (WAY over the top) and the constant "Gah!" from Daisy. What was with the "Gah!"? ( )
  knsievert | Nov 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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It was an idyllic summer evening in Pemkowet the night the Vanderhei kid died.
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Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn…

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.
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"Small town Pemkowet, Mich., is a popular tourist destination for humans. It's also home to a thriving 'eldritch community' of supernatural entities, thanks to the presence of the local underworld controlled by the Norse goddess Hel. Daisy Johanssen, a half-demon trying to dodge her innate attraction to the 'Seven Deadlies' while functioning as Hel's agent on Earth and the local link between the eldritch community and the human police, is called in to help investigate the drowning of a local college boy when signs of both foul play and magical residue are found on the body."… (more)

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