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Dark Currents: Agent of Hel by Jacqueline…

Dark Currents: Agent of Hel (edition 2012)

by Jacqueline Carey

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215None54,080 (3.84)12
Title:Dark Currents: Agent of Hel
Authors:Jacqueline Carey
Info:Roc Hardcover (2012), Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Already Read, Read but unowned
Tags:demons, fantasy, ghouls, urban fantasy, vampires, werewovles, mythology

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Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey (Author)

2012 (6) 2013 (5) Agent of Hel (6) demons (8) fae (2) faerie (3) fairies (3) fantasy (31) fiction (18) ghouls (6) hardcover (3) HEL (2) library (2) maybe (2) mermaids (2) mystery (5) mythology (5) Norse mythology (2) own (3) paranormal (8) read (5) signed (3) speculative fiction (3) to-read (34) unread (3) urban (2) urban fantasy (31) vampires (10) werewolves (9) wishlist (4)



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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I'll admit that the main reason I bought this book was because I had a store credit at Porter Sq Books for almost exactly the cover price, but I really enjoyed it. The protagonist is irreverant and fallible and snarky and quite good at her supplementary job of investigating supernatural aspects of small town crime (her main job is as a file clerk at the police station). A rich young visitor is found drowned in the river and his conservative family is trying to ruin the tourist trade by saying that the supernatural beings who live in the small Michigan town are a dire threat. Daisy's a half demon and is working with an in the closet werewolf on this case, and there's a new ghoul in town who's helping out. I'm fairly sick of the love triangle thing, if her werewolf partner can stay friendly (hints point to no), and the ghoul is the temptation/bad boy, okay, but then near the end a new mostly human guy is added to the mix (his Jamaican heritage and easy going attitude were interesting, but Carey seems to be conflating Rastafarian with Jamaican). New guy is going to feature in the next book in the series, so we'll see. There's also some best friend drama, a lamia as a godmother, tempation from her demon father (that's the main special snowflake bit, she has the potential to bring on Armageddon *sigh*), and a good mother/daughter relationship that reminds me of Vicky and her mom from the Blood books (hope things don't end the same way!). ( )
  silentq | Mar 19, 2014 |
I originally got this without even reading the summary, because it's Jacqueline Carey and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna follow wherever her writing career takes her. This was different from everything else she's written -- less dense, less lush in terms of prose, and less complicated in terms of plot. Basically all you need to know is: supernatural community in small-town USA, boy turns up drowned with signs of magic around the circumstances, our heroine investigates. The rest is, at least at this point, mostly set dressing.

I did like that the heroine has several strong female friendships, and a strong relationship with her mother, and she cops to her daddy issues too. I'm not sure where this is going in terms of which guy/s she dates, and I'm not that invested in the question, but I'm not completely bored by any of her potential relationships either.

I do agree with some of the more negative reviews that a bit baffled that Carey went from the lush prose of the Kushiel and Naamah books to "gah!" and "ummm" and "totally" and so on. Once I figured out it was in a whole different register, style-wise, I just read it as I would any urban fantasy.

The world building is interesting, and not fully explained. This bothers some people; it doesn't bother me. There's a sense of a fragmented community here, supernatural beings-wise, and that they just pull together where they can and try to eke things out for themselves. It doesn't seem like it's some kind of easy co-existence: there's hate and fear as well as fascination and tourist attractions.

I liked this well enough, but I don't know that I found it special. I'm going to try the next book and see what that does for me. ( )
  shanaqui | Mar 15, 2014 |
The best thing about this book is the world building and secondary characters. The town in which the story takes place is fleshed out and the various magical creatures are not uniform or without flaws. There is a diversity of beings introduced. Presumably, different characters will be used as the series continues.

The central figure, Daisy, is half-demon. She's young and living in a small town in Michigan known for it's supernatural residents. A young man from a rich family is found drowned and there is a race to find the murderer before his family successfully punishes Daisy's hometown for his death. Daisy is a part-time file clerk for the police and serves as Hel's (the Norse goddess of death)liaison to the human world.

There are elements of romance as Daisy deals with her feelings for her childhood friend, Cody, and her attraction to the new leader of the ghouls, Stefan. However, it's not a romance in the strict sense of the term. It's a cozy sort of mystery matched up with an urban fantasy. Fans of Kushiel's Dart looking for another high fantasy will not find it here but it's a fun read.

There are strong female friendships presented and valued which is a nice change.

Fans of Sookie Stackhouse, small town mysteries, and lighter urban fantasies would enjoy this book. ( )
  Vantine | Mar 14, 2014 |
What a story! I love the world Jacqueline Carey has created. The lead female character is awesome and I can't wait to see what else she is going to be doing in the next book. The magical community that she uses is so awesome. The story was interesting thoughout the whole book. The murder mystery was a little shocking. Can't wait to read the next book. ( )
  Kr15tina | Feb 15, 2014 |
Improbably soap-operatic plot, but well-written and diverting and enough character development that I'm very much going to read the next one, in no small part due to the excellent world-building.

I feel like there's some weird cultural appropriation things going on here, but I was not reading this with the most critical of eyes. (In fact, I bought it explicitly for a book to read in the bath).
  omnia_mutantur | Feb 5, 2014 |
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Book description
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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