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Dark time by Dakota Banks
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Dark time (edition 2009)

by Dakota Banks

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1771967,048 (3.02)5
Member:Athabasca
Title:Dark time
Authors:Dakota Banks
Info:Eos (2009), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:urban fantasy, Mortal path

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Dark Time by Dakota Banks

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
What started out as a fairly nifty idea was then ruined by cliché after cliché. As the book developed, so did the plot holes. I'm being generous giving it 2 stars because younger readers might enjoy it. There is a lot of action. Unfortunately, most of it seems to have been cribbed out of other bad action novels.

I didn't mind the time jumps, which I noticed some others complained about. Because of how they are done (our heroine is supposed to be remembering as she meditates or sleep) they are far too serendipitous, but I could forgive that. Otherwise, the mechanics of the writing weren't bad. The dialog was pretty good.

The plot just got worse & worse, though. By the 2/3 mark, I was gritting my teeth. About 3/4 of the way through the book, I just put it down. Hopefully the next book will be better for those who choose to subject themselves to it. I won't.

( )
  jimmaclachlan | Jun 19, 2013 |
In 17th century Massachusetts, pregnant Susannah Leyhem is unjustly accused of witchcraft by a woman who covets her husband. She is convicted, gives birth to a stillborn daughter alone and despairing in prison, and is sentenced to burn at the stake.

Just as the fire is lit under her feet, Susannah is transported to another realm where a monstrous demon offers immortality in return for her promise to be his slave and personal assassin. Susannah is filled with such deep anger and bitterness that she agrees, and her first task is to kill the scheming woman who labeled her as a witch.

These opening scenes of DARK TIME are wrenching and draw the reader in; unfortunately, the author can't keep up the momentum. She skips over Susannah's centuries as a cold-hearted killer, picking up the narrative in the mid-twentieth century when Susannah begins to have a crisis of conscience about all the evil she has done in the name of her demon lord, Rubishu. The author presents several incidents that break the ice surrounding Susannah's heart, quickly arriving at the present when Susannah finally decides that she must break her contract with the demon.

She makes a new deal: she will lose the supernatural abilities that went along with being an immortal assassin and resume her mortality, and she must attempt to save the lives of as many people as she has killed. If she succeeds, she will ascend to heaven; if she fails, she will face a lengthy torment at the hands of her demon lord.

Because we meet Susannah as a naïve, 20-year old healer in the past and, in the present, as a devoted do-gooder, her years as an assassin never quite seem real. In DARK TIME, the primary remnants of those years are her "killing outfit" - a typical ninja suit, with martial art skills to match - and her astronomical wealth. Similarly, we learn that in the bad old days Susannah was quite the heartless seductress, always taking and discarding nameless lovers, but in the present Susannah is pretty sentimental about love. The hook that draws us in, the anger of a woman wronged, and the bulk of her experiences as an assassin seem very separate from the person we get to know in DARK TIME.

There's a lot of Mary Sueing in THE MORTAL PATH - every man who sets eyes on Susannah is in love with her - and a plot involving the execution-style murder of two hackers; Susannah must find out who is responsible before more people die. While the Sumerian mythology in the novel is intriguing, the bad-girl-must-make-good story is nothing new, and DARK TIME simply doesn't stand out. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
Dakota Banks' Dark Time has the flavor of an action thriller urban fantasy novel. There's quite a lot packed into the book as the author sets up the characters and their history and gets the story moving. Susannah is a healer during the 17th century. Accused of witchcraft, she is burned at the stake. An ancient Sumerian demon offers her a deal: immortality with conditions or death by fire. Susannah chooses life at the cost of being bound to the demon and required to do his evil biding. For three hundred years, Susannah kills for Rabishu. She is a master at her art with her supernatural strength and speed and well honed skills. Then, under the weight of the lives she's taken, Susannah rebels against her master, setting in motion a chain of events that could result in her freedom. She must balance the lives she has taken with lives she saves. The catch? She loses her immortality, aging with each life she saves. If she fails, she will forever be the demon's slave.

Susannah becomes Maliha Crayne as she sets out on her new journey. She is tasked with finding the one responsible for the death of two coders. Her investigation opens a can of worms that threatens to destroy more than just the lives already taken. Aided by her trusted friends, Maliha goes on the hunt.

This was quite an interesting novel. I liked it in many ways. The historical aspects and ties to Sumerian legends particularly intrigued me. And I really liked the way the author developed Susannah/Maliha's character. She had the typical earmarks of an urban fantasy heroine--tough and independent--but there is something else to her. As young looking, agile and into high tech as she may be, Maliha comes across as a much older soul. It's easy to believe she is 300+ years old. And I really liked that about her. I appreciated the author taking Maliha there. More importantly, I liked that she was a hot chocolate drinker.

The author spends a lot of time setting up Maliha's background and overall goal to regain her freedom. Very little time is spent exploring the part of Maliha's life in which she establishes her new identity as a crime writer before jumping into her current investigation. The transition is very quick from past to present. I didn't mind so much since I found the background information the most interesting, including the flashbacks to Maliha's past, but it did leave me scratching my head initially. I will be curious to see what direction the author takes in future books of the series.

Overall, I enjoyed Dark Time. The ending is a bit of a cliff hanger, and it was hard not to rush out and buy the next book in the series just so I could find out how . . . well, find out what happens next. I do plan to read more in the series, but I really need to get back to my book club selection for the time being. ( )
  LiteraryFeline | May 17, 2012 |
This is the first novel in the Mortal Path series.

The story starts of in the year 1692 where we meet Susannah. She is accused of witchcraft en sentenced to burn at the stake. While she is burning she calls for help which she finds in a demon named Rabishu he is giving her a choice....die in the flames or he'll grant her with eternal life but has to do his bidding. She becomes ageless and an assassin.

We'll take a few leaps trough time and see Susannah in her new life as an ageless and assassin. After a few hundred years she wants out......wants her soul back. Rabishu offers her that chance. If she saves a life for every life she has taken she gets her soul back. But there is a catch she will become mortal again and with every life she saves she will age.

She still heals faster than a 'normal mortal human' and she can still see aura's which gives her some advantages. She now fights to do some good in the world, begin to right what she has done wrong in the last three hundred years. She even gets a love interest named Jake Stackman, a DEA agent.

The ending made me beg for more.....no seriously it's quite the open ending and you want to know what happens next! Is Jake really who he says he is? And off course what will come on Maliha’s path to her final goal....getting her soul back and be free...... ( )
  KimvA | Aug 23, 2011 |
I found this book incredibly weird and boring at the same time. The main characters name changed so many times I had trouble keeping track of her. Susannah is a herbal healer in the new world around the times of the witch trials. She is accused of being a witch while pregnant and put on trial where she is condemned to die by fire. She delivers her baby the day before her execution but without help the baby dies. They burn her and then a demon offers her the deal of a lifetime revenge and immortality on its not all it’s cracked up to be. Hundreds of years later she is unhappy with herself and must do something about it so she goes back on her deal and has to save a life for every one she has taken before she dies. Ok well not a bad story line I thought. However the book skips around from time period to time period introducing all of the characters as we go letting you know how she met them. Which was totally annoying every time I was getting into the story this would happened and I’d be about to pull my hair. Plus she seems to just sleep around willy nilly with whomever I’m not sure I liked that. I found it hard to get a grip on the story with the time flow though and ended up not enjoying it and the ending what ending! ( )
  lizard_698959 | May 24, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Good and evil are repaid in kind,
just as shadows follow bodies,
and echoes follow sounds.
- Chinese proverb
Dedication
To my husband Dennis,
the wind beneath my wings
First words
It was well after dark, time to set aside the herbs Susanna Layhem was sorting at the table.
Quotations
1)“I love you,” Yanmeng said.

Maliha nearly fell off her camel.

2)Maybe he’s not so horrible. He could just be having a bad aura day.
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Book description
A woman in colonial times is unjustly accused of witchcraft. As she is burned at the stake, a demon from ancient Sumeria rescues her and offers a deal: an immortal life of serving him or going back to the fire and dying. She takes the deal. After 250 years, she breaks her contract, but to redeem her soul she must save as many lives as she's taken. Wrapped up in her quest for redemption is a thriller plot concerning America's energy grid. Full of action, based in Chicago but with travel to exotic locations, some romance, many paranormal elements, but no vampires. This book is the first of the Mortal Path series of urban fantasies/paranormal thrillers.
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"For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life--as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free. But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable...and neverending."--p. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Eos

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