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Dark Time

(Mortal Path #1)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,809 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.

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 sav
Paperback, 306 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Harper Voyager (first published July 16th 2009)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  1,809 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Text Addict
May 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book could actually be worse, if the basic sentence-level writing wasn’t competent.

This is only my perspective, of course; the book may be much more appealing to people other than me. I have never, for example, been a fan of bed-hopping characters of any gender – so that’s a reason for me not to like it right there. Your mileage may vary.

But there’s a lot more to disapprove of in this book than that. I slogged through to the end through sheer willpower (only actually throwing it across the
Cym Lowell
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Imagine this: You are pregnant with your first child, homing with your husband and your fascination with herbal medicines. In the middle of the night, religious zealots drag you from your bed and throw you in a cold, rancid jail cell where you are beaten. Your husband stands by. The baby girl, who you would have named Constanta, is born in the squalor of the floor with your own hands. The zealots burn you at the stake as your husband passively watches along with the rest of the community, hurlin ...more
Aug 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gag-worthy-book
The year is 1692 and Susannah Layhem is expecting her first child with her husband Nathan. The Layhems live in Trenton Village of Essex County. Susannah is worried as any new mother can be. But she is happy as a wife and healer. Late one night some men from the village come and arrest Susannah for witchcraft. She is condemned as a witch based on the testimony of Alice, a young woman of the village who desires Nathan. Because Susannah is placed in a dank, dark jail cell and not taken care of, she ...more
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 fa
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Dark Time by Dakota Banks is a technothriller disguised as an urban fantasy. For it to reach its ideal audience, it should instead be titled something like “The Anu Tablet” and have an ominously lit historic building on its cover.

The story begins in colonial times, when Susannah Layhem is accused of witchcraft and sentenced to burn at the stake. (Never mind that nobody was burned as a witch in the American colonies; they were hanged.) As she is dying, she is whisked away to a strange underworld
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mediocre-writing
This story had a very interesting premise--a supernatural heroine with a dash of action and mystery--but the actual story itself is, well, a mess. There's medical malpractice, drug smuggling, corporate money laundering, and of course, a sinister plan to destroy the United States. Like I said, a mess.
The book starts out with Susana, a pregnant wife in 1697, being wrongfully accused of witchcraft and burnt at the stake. A heart-wrenching tragedy which ends with Susana making a deal with a demon c
Jul 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Dark Time is everything that the debut of a new urban fantasy series should be. Banks deftly employs Sumerian mythology and world history to propel the story of Maliha, a former assassin seeking redemption.

As an Ageless servant of the demon Rabishu, Maliha has lived a long life - from the period of colonization in America up to present day. In order to give a complete picture of her story, Banks uses the first few chapters to jump from one period to the next. Once she hits the present, occasiona
All Things Urban Fantasy
Courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

What do an innocent woman sentenced to burn for practicing witchcraft and a pulp crime novelist moonlighting as an former assassin who now saves the lives she used to take have in common? The answer: nothing. And therein lies the problem with this book.

The main character starts out this book as Susannah Layhem, dutiful 17th century wife, herbalist healer, and expectant mother without a care in the world except how to fend off her overly amorous husband during
Lillie Roberts
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As our story opens, Susannah Layhem of Massachusetts (1692) is a healer and works with herbs, but then she's accused of being a witch and sentenced to burn. She has done nothing but bring good health to her community and for it, she is going to gain death and so will the infant she's carrying. The night before her burning, she gives birth in the dirt and squalor of her cell to her stillborn infant daughter; her body too abused and an damaged to continue supporting the life growing within her. Sh ...more
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
I loved the premise of this book, and I loved the main character for the first few chapters. But then the author pulls the rug out form under the story and skips ahead 300 years in the character's life, with little to no transition. I understand the timefram jump, but I would have liked to see a few more assassinations of supposed innocent people, and her struggle against guilt to justify her choice to retire from being a life-take and become a life-saver.

Even with the jarring transition, the b
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. This is book 1 in the Mortal Path series by Dakota Banks.
The beginning was pretty emotional, it drew me in. I really like how Banks writes. I was drawn in from the first few chapters. In the first 50 pages or so there was only brief conversations with others. She mostly talked of her life and back round. But it ended up working well for the book. I like how it goes from past to present ever few chapters to help you focus on what is happened in the present, and give y
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Dark Time starts out with a woman being hanged for witchcraft. She makes a deal with a demon to return to life in exchange for killing on demand. I loved every page of that section, then the main character decides to redeem herself by saving lives and we skip ahead 300 years. We are thrown in the middle of the life of a character that isn't at all familiar. There appears to be some sort of investigating going on, but the reason why the main character is interested in the case isn't that clear. I ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book, so I have to give it three stars in spite of serious problems that many of the one- and two-star reviews bring up. For one thing, the novel desperately needs editing, not for grammar (the writing is part of why I enjoyed it) but for story structure. So here comes your friendly editorial consultant to the rescue.

First of all, the time leaps from chapter to chapter simply don't work. The effect is to make the whole book seem disjointed and chaotic. Even though some of
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I guest reviewed this book over at Enchanted by Books:

In Dark Time, Dakota Banks gets down to the nitty-gritty. She holds nothing back in the details whether it’s a city Maliha is working in, out on an assassin’s mission or reliving Mahilia’s burning at the stake as an accused witch. This is not a novel that paints a pretty picture but one that is full of the very real complicated feelings of a woman trying to redeem herself for her past sins and working towards ensuring a better future for all
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Courtesy of Amazon

Wow! I loved Dark Time and am very impatient for book two is this fascinating and refreshingly original series.

Over three hundred years ago, Susannah Layhem was wrongly accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Just as she is facing her last moments of life before giving in to the flames, she is whisked to safety and offered a trade. If she agrees to sell her soul to the demon Rabishu, he will save her life. But is it worth it?

Now, Susannah is Maliha Crayne, assassin for R
Yin Chien 인첸
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing

This is my first attempt at reading an urban-fantasy novel, and I'll have to say it's awesome! Dark Time is an action-packed novel which is full of danger and intrigue, in which Maliha strives to achieve a goal that seems impossible to reach. Please be aware that there are some adult contents in this novel.

Maliha is a super-girl. She heals inordinately fast, has looks that kill, is filthy rich, highly-skilled at martial arts and runs at a high speed. Plus, her best friends are a pro-hacker and a
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Many, many centuries ago, Susannah was accused of witchcraft. She was ordered to be burned alive. Susannah was saved by an evil creature but for a price. In exchange for getting to keep her life, Susannah has to serve all of eternity as an assassin.

To present day. Susannah is no longer. She now calls herself Marsha Winters aka Maliha Crayne. By day Susannah goes by Marsha Winters, writer but by night she is Maliha, one deadly assassin. Susannah has killed more people than she can keep count. For
3.5 stars
Although this book had been on my peripheral for quite awhile (thanks to Goodreads's "Readers Also Enjoyed" section), but I didn't want to approach it before. Simply because of the cover. I mean, that woman has no head!! But I was always eager to look for series, so I decided to give this a try.

I was captivated from the earlier chapters. The idea of an ex-demon assassin, who decided to get out from her contract, and now must redeem herself by saving people (and she has timeline!) is sim
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-2015
Boy, this book was BORING. Okay, no, not exactly. But once Susannah becomes Maliha I struggled through the rest of the book and it felt as though it took an eternity to finish.

The first five chapters were quite interesting and captivating, and had the story continued on that trend I would’ve easily given it a four-star rating. As it is, the sudden jumps in the timeline and the unnecessary, pointless name changes of the MC gave me the idea that the author had several ideas for the plot and many
May 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 immorta ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Traci Loya
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won this series in a contest..I entered several blog contests specifically to win these books (became somewhat of a stalker/fangirl)and after much persistence and commitment to winning Dakota's swag bag, I finally won!!! Thanks Dakota, for the oppourtunity to win your books! Now a reveiw....I started reading Dark Time yesterday (Sunday) morning and could not put it down until late last night!!! From the reviews I had previously read, I knew this was gonna be a great read, but it was soo much b ...more
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not quite a 5 star, but is more than a 4 star book and story. Excellent I must say. The lead character is very likable and you get to see her evolution from wide-eyed naive "bleeing heart" innocent who was a victim of her times, to emotionally numb cold assassin, and back full circle to a caring, thinking-of-others person -- yet with the skills and confidence of her assassin life. There are various snippets of her memories revealed throughout the book; some serve to reveal information ab ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Maliha is a fantastic character. The story is amazing and I love how the flashbacks advance the story and Maliha's character. It was a book that I found hard to put down. And if I hadn't started another challenge, I would be jumping into the next book in the series.

I am hoping that Maliha finds redemption and I hope things work out with her love interest, Jake. I love the cast of characters that form her team and am glad she has shared with them her "affliction".

I highly recommend th
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-reads
Dark Time is an excellent start to the Mortal Path series by Banks. Banks does a wonderful job with her character development especially with Maliha by showing her in her innocence through her own harsh death and choice to become a demon slave to her still a work in progress redemption. However Banks also develops the characters that make up Maliha's new family by showing when they came across her path to the relationship they now share. It is these relationships that make Maliha the woman she i ...more
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, pnr-uf, demons-angels
Really ★★★★1/2

I'd give it 5 ★ except for the slow start, cause once it got going it was great. Lots of interesting side characters, lots of evil dudes and dudettes, lots of mayhem and death, just what you want in a book titled Dark Time.

Mahlia is 350 years old and was once an assassin for a demi-god Demon and is trying to win back her soul by saving people.

Not going to say anything else cause it would just be spoilers.....

Except I'm glad I've got the 2nd book cause of a minor cliffhanger in the
Jan 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
I never finished this one. In fact when I stumbled across the picture I recognized it and went to look for it....I had stopped right at the end! There was less than 20 pages to go, and I just stopped. I don't remember why, but that's a good sign that I didn't like it. I remembered that this was one I hadn't liked very much, but didn't realize that I had quite reading so close to the end, lol. I don't usually do that.
SaraS Scott
Jan 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
I don't think there are enough ways for me to express how much I did not like this book. I learnt one thing from it, though. Dakota Banks wants to be a sexy, dark haired vixen who takes on lovers like a crazy cat lady takes on cats.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Couldn't capture my attention. Gave up on Chapter 7.
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A pseudonym used by Shirley Kennett.

I have to believe that growing up in a converted turn-of-the-century funeral home, complete with blood gutters and a drain in the basement floor, warped my mind.

I set aside all those macabre thoughts spawned by reading books in the basement at night with a flashlight and undertook a relatively normal life. College, science fiction, husband, computers, Star Trek

Other books in the series

Mortal Path (4 books)
  • Sacrifice (Mortal Path, #2)
  • Deliverance (Mortal Path, #3)
  • Bloodletting (Mortal Path #4)

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