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Dark Currents (Agent of Hel #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,682 Ratings  ·  823 Reviews
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 peopl
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Roc Hardcover
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

I read Jacqueline Carey’s Phèdre Trilogy when I was in the midst of my “Give me High Fantasy, or give me DEATH” phase about ten years ago. It was strange and dark and sexy and disturbing. Only twice in my entire life has a book been so bleak for so long that I was compelled to skip ahead. One of those times was a Phèdre book. I only skimmed enough text to glean that, yes, the end of the pain and suffering was in sight, and once more reassured, I continued reading, pretend
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with my MacHalo Freaks starting February 15, 2016.

This review is dedicated to barnacles everywhere.

It worked! It worked! The preemptive, Super Powerful, Anti-Crap Spell my Awesome Anti-Crap Wizard cast on this book worked! Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Gustav, aka my savior.

Damn, I love this little guy! He waves his magic Anti-Crap Wand and boom! 4-star rating on the way!

Given my recent winning streak UF-wise this might be a slightly ironic statement, I fully expected this book to suck
Oct 31, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
If Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison had a baby and if that baby were slightly less concerned with who the main character was currently bedding and if the entire attitude of the baby was slightly less morose and dark and instead highly readable, entertaining, funny and yet steeped in really cool, old mythology, solid writing and a female lead who actually enjoys the power she has? The baby would look a lot like "Dark Currents" the first in what I hope will be a long series in the "Agent of Hel" ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Choko rated it really liked it
*** 4 ***

A fun buddy read with my Ghoul loving friends at the MacHalos!

This was much more fun than I expected. Urban Fantasies tend to be very hit and miss, but this one was one of the good ones:)

A Demon Spawn, literally, half human on her mother's side, lives in a small town on Lake Michigan within a community which is uniquely positioned on top of a shallow border with the underworld, thus being able to support many paranormal creatures and menagerie of mythological persons and gods... This
Oct 08, 2012 Felicia rated it really liked it
OKAY so one of my FAVE authors delves into one of my FAVE genres! Result? Mmm, I liked it a lot, not a rave for me, but certainly enough that I really wanna know more and will be in for whatever she writes in this world!

I mean, not to say it's not well-executed, nicely written, good characters, but I feel like I've read SO MUCH in the genre, that I gotta be knocked out with something super different to really have it stand out. And I kinda expected the sexy-stuff factor to be higher, and this w
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
Buddy read with the Machalos

Okay. Some books just "get me", where I have instant fall-in-love right away chemistry. This was one of those books that charmed me first sight, no questions needed later. Clearly it's not that perfect for every one, but it was so up my alley it needs to rent a permanent parking space in there.

The book has cute humor, but to me this wasn't overbearing - I generally dislike books that lean too far in the cutesy direction to where they become fluffy stories and lack any
Jan 15, 2015 Brigid rated it really liked it
Recommended to Brigid by: Kat Kennedy
Why did I try out Dark Currents, you ask? Because of a little comment dearest Kat made:

Thanks to Kat, I picked up this glory of urban fantasy novelization (It's a word. I'm sure of it).

I now bow to your great scepter-ness (according to my mind, this is also a word. I dare you to defy me) Kat. Your welcome.

*Kat and her sceptor-ness take no prisoners.*

She's really a nice person, ignore Katy Perry's bitch glare.


A half-demon.

A mermaid.

A goddess of the Nors
Dec 14, 2012 new_user rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I don't know why I liked this. LOL. A murder mystery, a supernatural-ridden city, and even a love triangle- Dark Currents resembles every urban fantasy we've read. Though Jacqueline Carey does differentiate hers in some ways: supes attract tourists, and protagonist Daisy confesses to her crush instead of waiting five books.

But hellspawn Daisy's also a goody two-shoes. If she gives into her baser urges -the "Seven Deadlies" provide her moral compass; talk about a bandaid- she'll trigger Armagedd

If you’re vacationing in Pemkowet, or anywhere on the planet with a functioning underworld, do not mess around with a Ouija board. The spirit you summon might just pay a visit. Mom learned that the hard way, and I’m living proof of it.
Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn. That’s me

Le iba a poner 3,5 estrellas, pero considerando el buen rato que pasé leyendolo, lo dejo así.

Pemkowet es un pueblo pequeño a lo Bon Temps (versión TrueBlood), con una variada (enfasis en variada) comunidad paranormal
This was one of the best UF books I’ve read in a long time. It was engaging and original. For once it didn’t feel like I was reading about the same old regurgitated tropes. Best of all it didn’t have a special snowflake, and it easily could have gone in that direction since Daisy is half human and half demon.

The world was unique. Random places around the world have pockets of hell that overlap with Earth. Supernatural creatures gathered in those places because their magic didn’t last long outsid
Feb 07, 2016 Alexa rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Let me start by saying that this is NOTHING like Jacqueline Carey's other books. If you're reading this for the intrigue and the politics, you'll be sorely disappointed. This is light Urban Fantasy at its best.

Daisy, our MC, is the daughter of a human and a demon/incubus. As a result Daise has a tail (A TAIL!), a terrible temper, and has to carefully control herself to not fall for the seven deadly sins. I really really liked her; she's so... nice. So refreshing! She doesn't have all the answer
Khanh (the Grinch)
This got off to a slow start, but ended up being a lot better than I expected. The first 50 pages of the book were slooooooooooow. It took me around a month, reading a page at a time, because it got off to such a bad start, and the premise didn't seem as promising as the blurb read.

Daisy is the daughter of a minor demon and a human woman whom it sounded like he raped. She lives in the town of Pemkowet, which exists in a world that knows of the existence of supernatural creatures. It's not an alt
Oct 12, 2012 Kimberly rated it did not like it
What happened to the eloquent style of Jacqueline Carey? Where is the intricate character development? Where is the world-building? The political intrigue? Where is the attention to detail?

Daisy the "heroine" is a flat, pathetic shadow of Anastasia Steele from the Shades of Grey trilogy (the only positive comment I can make about Shades of Grey is that the sentence structure was decent). The language is simplistic and repetitive. Daisy's dialog is particularly annoying, littered with clichés and
Jacqueline Carey doing urban fantasy. I'm intrigued. Wish it was out sooner ....

This series introduces a new open urban fantasy universe, where members of the eldritch community tend to cluster above cities and towns with functioning underworlds. Pemkowet is a Midwestern resort town that is ruled by Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead.

Daisy Johanssen, the lead female point of view character is Hel's enforcer. Her mother is fully human. Her father an incubus. As such, Daisy has a hell-spawn herit
Oct 29, 2012 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Pemkowet is the setting of Jaqueline Carey's very entertaining urban fantasy murder mystery. The setting and backdrop for the story is very strong. There is a thin line in Pemkowett between the Underworld and our world. A werewolf pack has a home in the forested area out outside the town. Fairy's are attracted to spells. Naiad's inhabit the rivers, a ghoul biker gang that feeds on human emotion is a major criminal element and there is even a vampire house where bespelled humans are the fodder fo ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
Sadly disappointing. I wanted to like it so much better than I actually did, but such is life.

1. The plot is... sparse. There's not a whole lot too it.
2. That would be ok if the novel were more of a character study. I love those! But it wasn't. We get to know Daisy decently well, but she's sweet and boring, and we don't get too much in depth with the others.
3. It feels like Carey just decided "Hell with it, paranormal romance is raking it in, I need a paycheck" and chucked this out.
4. I hate to
All Things Urban Fantasy
Oct 10, 2012 All Things Urban Fantasy rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy See site review for similar titles

Full of unexpected twists, cliche-free characters, and a fantasy infused Midwestern town shaped by Norse mythology, DARK CURRENTS (Agent of Hel #1) is a fantastically fun paranormal crime thriller that brought to mind several of my favorite urban fantasy series including Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs and Rachel Morgan/The Hollows by Kim Harrison.

The story centers around Daisy Johanssen, half-breed demon who works a
In a nutshell: If you like urban fantasy and need a new, quick read, I'd grab this one from the library and wait to see if later volumes in the series improve. If you want something more substantial, re-read Emma Bull's War for the Oaks.

I kept on wanting to not be disappointed by this book, but it just got more and more mediocre as it went on. Now, since it's Jacqueline Carey, her mediocre still trumps a lot of what's out on the shelves, but it's absolutely the weakest book of hers I've read (I'
Carolyn F.
Dec 04, 2015 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it
I tried to read this author's Kuschiel's series and it was just too much for me and I read erotica. So I thought I wasn't going to be fooled by this book's blurb and while I was reading it I kept expecting any minute some intense sex scene. Didn't happen. In fact although there was violence against a female in the book, none of the details were discussed. So now I'm thinking maybe it was a little too tame. (Just call me Goldilocks - I'm rarely satisfied.)

The story itself was good. I'm planning
Didn't work for me. Read like a YA Charley Davidson. Silly, punny, and the snark just wasn't sharp enough. Not horrible, I just can't spare a care for any of the characters.
I have mixed feelings about this book. At the very least it held my attention and I pretty much read it in all of one sitting. On the other hand, I don't feel all that emotionally invested in the characters or what's going on in their world. There's a great deal of distance felt between myself and the characters, which is sad because I want to be invested in them. I want to love them and root for them. Instead, I just sort of like them.

One of the issues is that Daisy, the main character, needs
Nov 20, 2012 Abby rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
(NOTE: this review is from a pre-pub galley.)

Official Review Title: Fifty Shades of Gah!

Gah ... this book was, OMG .... gah ... GAH! Annoyed yet? Yeah, so I was while reading this otherwise awesome book. Carey has an EXTREME verbal tic here with the word "gah". It's uttered out loud or in the heroine head every other page. Gah! It really is that prevalent and that distracting. Which is a crying shame, because otherwise this is damn near perfect book.

In brief: Daisy Johansson, half-breed human/he
Dec 27, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who have seen Thor
While this does make use of some of the same tropes and motifs found in too much Urban Fantasy today, it is a cut above. If you are thinking it will be like Carey's Kushiel books, think again. There is a hint at a romantic many sided figure, but just a hint, the main focus is a mystery. So while the heroine, Daisy, feels lust, she doesn't act on it.

So Daisy is a special girl because she is the offspring of a human mother and demon father. I have to say that as much I as enjoy Armstrong's Women o
Throw your idea of the normal supernatural regulars out with this book. There are more varieties and they are unique; Werewolves, Brownies, Vampires, Ghouls, Mermaids and more. The head Ghoul, is sexy with a beating heart and blood in his veins. Hel is a Norse goddess who rules supreme over the edritch (supernatural others) that live there.
Daisy is a half demon and agent of Hel. She was raised by her mother, and taught to be 'good.' She has to avoid temptation, called the seven deadlies. If n
Jan 19, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
I was so excited for this book. Jacqueline Carey writing an urban fantasy involving Norse mythology, how could that not be amazing? Well, it's really not. If Robin McKinley were to write a reboot of the Anita Blake books, this is what you would get. A female cop who specializes in the fantastic elements (because of her demon ancestry), solving a murder mystery, even with the setup of a love triangle with a were and a ghoul (which are just a variation on the standard urban vampire). Again, why do ...more
Paper Droids
Oct 12, 2012 Paper Droids rated it really liked it
Say what you will about Jacqueline Carey, but I will argue in her favour as a literary heavy-hitter until the cows come home and, if I’m feeling argumentative, I might argue with some cows, too. Yes, her Kushiel’s Legacy series is pretty sexy. And sure, the premise of her Phedre trilogy (the adventures of a courtesan-spy who is cursed to find sexual pleasure in pain) reaches Ed Wood levels of cheesiness. But Carey is such a master at what she does that she elevates what ought to be a guilty, smu ...more
Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)
4.5 stars

This review was posted at Under the Covers

I have wanted to read a Jacqueline Carey book in what seems like forever. I've been attracted to and purchased quite a few of them, but never managed to set aside the time to read them. Then this book comes along with this beautiful and fun cover and I just caved and had to read it.

I think I'm in love. This book is not the dark and gritty urban fantasy I thought I would get by reading a Jacqueline Carey book and for me, in this story, it worked
Apr 30, 2013 Brittany rated it it was ok
I expected so much more from Jacqueline Carey. She's already proven that she can create compelling characters with her other series, which is why I'm baffled as to how she found it completely impossible here. Her main character, Daisy, is a 14 year old goth chick's Mary Sue wet dream--all she needs is violet eyes that change color and we're set. In an attempt to make the character 'modern', the page is peppered with really offputting turns-of-phrase; she constantly refers to the 'Seven Deadlies' ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Nic rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This book is nothing like Kushiel. It lacks the beauty and elegance of those books, which I suppose makes sense because it's an entirely different setting, but the writing suffers for it. It's fun in its own way, and it's a very intriguing world and premise, but I came out of it a little bit disappointed, especially after all the hype.

For one, the writing style can be very annoying. Every other page the protagonist, Daisy, is thinking "oh crap!" or "gah!" OK, I exaggerate, but there are a lot of
Rhonda Stees-marcial
This book was solid. The world building wasn't a large info-dump, which was nice. The mystery keeps you coming back. And little romance. Although, she did get asked out on a date. I will be coming back for more of the fun.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jacqueline Carey (born 1964 in Highland Park, Illinois) is an author and novelist, primarily of fantasy fiction.

She attended Lake Forest College, receiving B.A.'s in psychology and English literature. During college, she spent 6 months working in a bookstore as part of a wo
More about Jacqueline Carey...

Other Books in the Series

Agent of Hel (3 books)
  • Autumn Bones (Agent of Hel, #2)
  • Poison Fruit (Agent of Hel, #3)

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“There's some sort of Soothsayers' Code that prevents soothsayers from soothsaying on a day-to-day basis, when it might, you know, avert this kind of ordinary, everyday tragedy. Something about the laws of causality being broken and the order of creation overturned, resulting in a world run amok, river running backwards, the run rising in the west, cats and dogs getting married...

I don't know; don't ask me.

I don't pretend to understand (...) But I guess it didn't rise to the standard required to break the Soothsayers' Code since no sooth was said.”
“By the way, if you're ever conversing with an actual vampire, do not refer to the House of Shadows as Twilight Manor. There's a reason vampires aren't known for their senses of humour.

If you accidentally do so, I'd say run, but it's probably already too late.”
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