Marissa Dobson's Reviews > Stay the Night

Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl
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Feb 23, 2010

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bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read from February 23 to 24, 2010

I was very much looking forward to reading Robin's story in Stay the Night. I was also sad to hear that this was the last book in the series and I was curious as to how it would all end.

Robin of Locksley has been stealing from the rich for the last 700 years. With the help of his Darkyn powers, he can charm just about anyone into handing over anything. The FBI dubbed him The Magician for his most recent larcenous exploits involving the theft of priceless works of art.

Chris Renshaw is a special agent for the FBI. She was recently transferred to the Chicago office amid a scandal involving her partner's firing and subsequent suicide. Chris knows that the Magician is somehow involved and is more determined than ever to bring this thief to justice. She leads the operation to find him and goes undercover as an arts dealer.

The Feds decide to exhibit The Maiden's Book of Hours, an ancient manuscript that Robin has been coveting for hundreds of years. Unbeknownst to him, someone else wants that book even more and will stop at nothing to get it. When the book is stolen and humans and Darkyn lives are held hostage, Chris and Robin go to Rome to recover the book.

Like all the Darkyn novels, Stay the Night is told in multiple points of view. Besides Chris and Robin, the book shifts to at least 10 other characters including the series protagonists- Alex and Michael Cyprien. On the one hand, it's nice to see a hero and heroine get a continuing story that goes beyond theirs. I like Alex and Cyprien and enjoy reading about their romance and seeing their relationship grow in each book.

Viehl tries to sets up some relationship conflict by pairing Robin- the ultimate thief- with an upstanding law abiding federal agent. Chris blames Robin for her partner's death. She is also frequently upset with him and his ability to charm random bystanders into handing over whatever he wants. But besides some mild protestations, she never forces the issue and her ethical code and any possible conflict therewith eventually just takes a back seat to the rest of the action.

There are also some annoying scene changes just when things start to get good. Rather than creating any suspense, I grew frustrated with the numerous shifts in point of view. It happened again and again thereby stopping the action each time it starts picks up. Other readers certainly may have no problem with this and instead consider it to be skillful plotting, but basically it made me want to throw the book against the wall.

I did enjoy the story more towards the end. We find out the significance of The Maiden's Book of Hours and the true purpose for which the villain intends it to be used. It's purpose is intriguing and made for some tense moments when we discover just how far a certain character will go to exact his or her revenge. Ultimately, though, it wasn't enough to make me love this novel. I was definitely expecting more especially in light of it being the final book in your series.

Stay the Night is not exactly the novel I was hoping it would be. Viehl did create several very interesting moments towards the end and while I enjoyed the ongoing story with Alex and Michael and appreciated the rich and solid world that the author created and continued to develop here.
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02/23/2010 page 74
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