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After Dark by Jayne Castle
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After Dark (edition 2000)

by Jayne Castle

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7521518,535 (3.75)53
Member:bikermice
Title:After Dark
Authors:Jayne Castle
Info:Jove (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:paranormal senses, romance, suspense, Harmony, melt amber, resonance, psychic ghosts

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After Dark by Jayne Castle

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» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
quick read with the type of characters you except from Krentz. ( )
  tabicham | Jul 22, 2017 |
How did it take me so long to find this book?! Paranormal/sci-fi/murder mystery/romance - it has it all. Loved it! ( )
  kristiem75 | Apr 10, 2017 |
What a mixed bag these books are. I came across free secondhand audiobook versions of them, so I figured why not. Although I had a vague association of the author with mediocre romance/PNR, I didn't worry too much about it. Free, after all.

I enjoyed some things. I didn’t mind the characters (except when I did); in some ways the story was pretty well told; I have to say the setting is fairly thorough and deep and well drawn… in places. It's an interesting idea, once exposition is provided. But it doesn't altogether make sense, and information is doled out in dribs and drabs and piecemeal, and a few explanations don't come until late in this first book or even the second. For example, it takes quite a while for the oddities in the story – a pet dust bunny with six legs? Ghosts which aren't really ghosts? – to become clearer: aha. The books aren't contemporary paranormal romance/urban fantasy, they're futuristic (I assume) science fictional urban fantasy/PNR, taking place on another planet which has influenced the genetics of humanity to the point that everyone's a little bit psychic.

The author relies heavily on cliché. If there's a well-worn overused phrase to insert into a given situation, she uses it. Otherwise the writing is tolerable, so once I'd adjusted to rolling my eyes every now and then as she blows the dust off yet another hairy old saying, it was quite readable (listen-to-able). Except for the fact that characters have an obnoxious habit of asking questions that were answered about a minute ago … This is another example of an author who either doesn't trust her own ability or doesn't trust her readers' reading comprehension skills, because it's yet another example of a book in which an occurrence is described, and then a short time later one of the participants talks about it in detail to someone who wasn't there – and then, on really special occasions, it all gets repeated a third time for some insufficient reason – no new information, no new take on the situation, just sheer grinding repetition. I don't understand how such things get past professional editors.

And on the subject of aggravating repetition, if I hear the phrase "lost weekend" one more time there may be consequences. I began to wish I had a digital copy of the book so I could do a count on how often the term is (over)used. And while I'm picking nits, Jayne Castle is also one of those writers who far too often has her characters doing something for "a long moment". It happens a lot, to a lot of writers, to the point that I noticed it when I was about eighteen years old and swore never, ever, ever to use "a long moment" in any form in anything I ever wrote. (Except book reviews.) It's even dustier and more annoying than the rest of the clichés in here.

Regarding the narration: Joyce Bean did a perfectly adequate job … she didn't become a favorite narrator, but she didn't irritate me. However, I don't really understand why Lydia's coworker Melanie has a Southern accent. If this is another planet, colonized by Earth humans long enough ago that their psi abilities have been affected by the environment and they can look back centuries to this huge war of theirs, then … how does someone have an accent from the U.S. 21st century South? Oh – wait. Maybe it's a very, very subtle reference to Doctor Who.

Speaking of that dust bunny, "Fuzz" (which I did a little while ago) … why do people like him? Because from what I've seen in other reviews and from the notes at the beginning of the second book, people do. It puzzles me; the thing has next to no personality. It's something that literally looks like a dust bunny, yet is a predator, yet is content to hang out as a pet; something which spends 90% of the book begging for or eating pretzels (another word I'd like to do a count for – those damn pretzels get more coverage than some characters in the book) and the other ten percent opening its second set of eyes or doing something else to underline the fact that it's not Terran. So … um … where is the entire rest of the animal kingdom of this planet? Does everything have four eyes and six legs? Do people have moronic names like "dust bunny" for everything? Is in fact "dust bunny" the official name for the things, or just a cutesy-ism? There is never to my knowledge a single reference to another native species except the extinct people who left behind the nifty tunnels and whatnot.

Really, I don't quite understand why the author felt the need to place the book, or rather the series, so entirely elsewhere, when so little was done to create this new world. The thing with the "ghosts" was explored a bit, eventually, but otherwise, with a search/replace for all those "rezzes" or whatever it is, it might as well have taken place in Milwaukee.

It's not the worst thing I've ever read or listened to. But, though I also listened to the second book, for the Everest-esque reason that "it was there", it doesn't inspire me to ever read anything else by Castle. ( )
  Stewartry | Dec 29, 2016 |
I'm reading 2 books now that have female archaeologists in some future time dealing with discoveries of alien cultures. This is definitely a more enjoyable read. Although the usual formulaic attraction/repulsion with a male is involved, in general I feel Castle had fun writing this book and the hot-and-heavy is partly tongue in cheek.
This is as more a mystery/who-done-it than a typical scifi, as Lydia, former archaeologist disbarred from research who is starting a business as consultant for hire, tries to find who murdered Chester Brady, why his body was left where she would find it, who is trying to scare her off the case, and how this ties in to her first client's request.
Set in a time/place where people have developed psychic abilities which use amber to tap in to an alien power source which is still poorly understood. ( )
  juniperSun | May 21, 2016 |
The hero hires the heroine to find a stolen heirloom but in the process brings her into a deeper mystery that kicks off with a murder. This book never really had a smooth start off, it just sort of jumped into the action. The hero, almost too calm cool and collected, wants to cancel the contract when it becomes clear that the heroine may be in danger but true to form, the heroine stubbornly refuses to give up the first real opportunity to make a mark for herself in the para-archeology game. She's an outcast in her field because of what she refers to as the 'Lost Weekend' where a boogey trap of sorts stole her memory of 2 days. Because of her suspicions of the involvement of the 2 ghost hunters who were with her, she distrusts all of the hunters. But of course it's soon revealed that not only is the hero one such hunter he was once a blooming chairman! That was a typical theme throughout the book. A secret would come to light in dramatic fashion only to turn out alright very quickly. The hero just calmly stated that he didn't believe it had any standing with their current investigation and the heroine was quick to dismiss it. He also cool informed her that the fact that he was a chairman ghost hunter, besides knowing that she had a bad experience with them, had nothing to do with the present mystery. The hero's confidence and level headed personality was nice and attractive and all, but it voided out the possibility of passion and arguments and all the fun stuff a romance novel should have. Instead it left the two characters just talking to each other for 320 some odd pages. Another thing that caused a disconnect with me was the fact that the romance novel had very little romance. What romance it did have was severely overshadowed by the mystery and intrigue. It wasn't a healthy balance. I didn't love this book but at the same time I can't say that I absolutely hated it either. It was sort of 'meh?' Gray, soggy, lifeless. ( )
  Eden00 | May 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jayne Castleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Merlos, SilvinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If it had not been horribly obvious that Chester Brady was already dead, Lydia Smith might have strangled him herself.
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Book description
Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work in Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn't going well. Stuff keeps happening.

Take the dead body that she discovered in the sarcophagus exhibit. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn't helping matters either. And that's just today's list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don't really heat up until After Dark.

Note: This author writes under three different pen names and has multiple series of books. There are booklists on her website that explain the books, their order, and which pen name.

http://www.jayneannkrentz.com/
Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work in Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn't going well. Stuff keeps happening.
Take the dead body that she discovered in the sarcophagus exhibit. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn't helping matters either. And that's just today's list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don't really heat up until After Dark.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 051512902X, Mass Market Paperback)

A race of aliens once lived on the future Earth colony called Harmony, leaving behind them the ruins of a vast, beautiful, and mysterious culture that is still protected by the psychic illusion traps and eerie ghosts that they created. Lydia Smith is an archaeologist who can resonate and dissolve the illusions, and those talents, combined with her lack of finances and questionable professional reputation, make her the obvious hire for Emmett London, who is trying to track down a lost antique and the nephew who stole it. Lydia's first consulting job quickly turns dangerous, however, as corpses, ghosts, and illusion traps start popping up--not to mention the rather unprofessional electricity between her and her first client.

In After Dark, author Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle, describes a world that delightfully intertwines futuristic ideas like green-glowing marble, psychic amber, and six-legged pets with earthly characters like penny-pinching bosses, absentee landlords, and mafia wives trying to turn into high-society dames. The writing can feel a bit clunky: "The paranormal ability to resonate with amber and use it to focus psychic energy had begun to appear in the human population shortly after the colonists came through the curtain to settle the planet of Harmony," and the final chapters suffer from a similar lack of finesse in the tying up of loose ends, but Krentz's world is fantastical and fascinating, one that will keep you reading and your imagination soaring.--Nancy R.E. O'Brien

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work in Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn't going well. Stuff keeps happening. Take the dead body that she discovered in the sarcophagus exhibit. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn't helping matters either. And that's just today's list of set-backs. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don't really heat up until after dark.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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