Wendy O'connell's Reviews > Darklands

Darklands by Nancy Holzner
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Jul 31, 12

bookshelves: to-read
Read in July, 2012

This is the second book I’ve read in Nancy Holzner’s Deadtown Novel Series books and let me say, it just keeps getting better. For me, it starts with Holzner’s brilliant characterization and unfolds from there. Victory Vaughn isn’t exactly human in the sense she’s a shapeshifter, but she is human in every other way – in the ways that count. I would follow her through ten more books. She’s that good of a character. She’s not just a little hookish with a bit of voice. Victory is the whole package. Let me give you one of her dimensions - her soft side. This is Victory thinking backing on her dad. This is also, a chick that wields a heavy sword with ease.
“Memories rushed back. When I was a little girl, jolted awake by a nightmare, and my father’s arms felt like a fortress against the terrors of the night.”
This is Victory can taking care of herself, as in this graph. She doesn’t even have to shapeshift into a ferocious beast to do so.
“I checked the weapons I already wore – knives in thigh and ankle sheathes, pistol in a shoulder holster, another at my hip. All set. Good to be prepared, but I didn’t expect to use any weapons here.”
In other words, she can fight. She can feel, but that last part can sometimes flaw her, which often makes for a more interesting story. In this particular one, it brought in a delightful new character known as Butterfly. This character makes me rethink my own flaws such as should I really eat that fat, piece of cake? You’ll have to read and find out who Butterfly is in the book. The rest of Victory’s supporting cast did a great job, but the one that stood out the most to me was Kane. I like nice guys, and for a werewolf Kane is a great example of one. Let me give you one and then I’ll close the door on quotes.
“I’ve fought by your side before, and I’m always ready to do it again. Always. Don’t go alone – wait until I can be with you….”
There’s more to this, but I’m afraid of giving too much away. Mostly, Kane is willing to be with Victory anywhere and he allows her to be who she is without trying to make her into something she is not, or own her. Like I said, he is a nice guy in every sense of the word.
Now, a word on the plot of this book which was put together like a master craftsman. I believe Holzner must carefully plan her books out like a professor does a college classroom using a syllabus. It would impossible not to do so. Her ideas are anything but simple, but how she unfolds them to the reader make it easy to understand. The background research involving things like Arthurian Legends, and Welsh Mythology had to be enormous on top of the writing itself. The hard work and dedication has paid off in this series, and I for one plan to pass it around. I highly recommend, not just Darklands but Bloodstone, the book before it. I would also recommend reading it slow. This is not easy with good books.
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