Release Date: Oct. 11, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (376 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
Stormwalker Janet Begay, proprietor of the Crossroads Hotel, a place where the paranormal stop for a safe night’s rest, discovers the hard way that a slayer is targeting Ansel, a Nightwalker who’s become a more-or-less permanent resident.
When Janet and her lover Mick intervene to save Ansel’s un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet has her hands full already with the upcoming marriage of her father, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote’s wife, her crazy half-sister, a couple dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who’s behaving strangely again.
But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel, or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.
Nightwalker is the fourth installment of Allyson James’ excellent Stormwalker urban fantasy series centering around Native American Janet Begay, born from half evil goddess and half storm magic. This series is one of my absolute favorites, and while you could start with Nightwalker, I highly recommend you start at the beginning. The overarching plot development and detailed character growth over the first three stories is phenomenal, making each story richer than the previous.
Our current story opens with Janet’s friend and resident nightwalker (vampire), Ansel, under attack from a professional slayer. It appears that Ansel may have killed his human girlfriend while in a blood frenzy, and now her sister has placed a bounty on Ansel’s head. And per usual, poor Janet can’t catch a break. As she takes off on her brand new motorcycle to investigate a lead, her bike becomes possessed, carrying her at high speeds down the highway. And to top it off, her magic mirror is broken – all darkened and unresponsive.
Nightwalker, like each book before it, had me hooked from the very start. First, the overall mystery is engrossing. Janet and her fiancé Mick work together to figure out if Ansel did kill his girlfriend, or if not him, who is hiding the truth. Along the way they uncover a web of secret magic and a battle to control ultimate power.
Janet is a strong woman, who unfortunately has a lot of negative things happen around her. She’s matured a great deal since the first book – coming into her magic and accepting it all as part of her. With each story, Janet learns more about her magics – both the “evil” beneath and the Native American stormwalker magic, and she continues to embrace both sides of her nature. She continues to grow stronger as she battles darker, more menacing threats. I love reading the story from her POV; she’s knowledgable, intuitive, smart and sensitive. She cares deeply for her friends and the world around her.
To make the great story even richer, there is a cast of diverse characters that I have grown to adore. Mick, Janet’s true love, is strong, sexy, and oh so good. He has come to love Janet with such fierceness, which is detailed more in Nightwalker. In addition, the cast of side characters who are always front and center, play important rolls throughout the story. Although Ansel is a focal point in the story, he never takes over the book. We learn more about his past and current life, creating a deeper connection with the reader.
I do adore Janet and Mick. I also love Janet’s evolving relationship with her family, especially her sister and grandmother. However, I started to get a little annoyed with the continuing secretive attitude that both Mick and Grandmother display around Janet. It comes across that they don’t trust Janet or that they are treating her like a young child. But I do like Janet’s attitude, especially with Mick. They have a solid relationship and she understands his need to sometimes be secretive. They trust each other completely, which is a wonderful thing to have when their world is constantly in peril.
In conclusion, it’s a bit difficult to write a review for the fourth excellent book in one of my favorite series. I feel like I’ve said it all before, but it’s worth repeating. Overall, Nightwalker is full of heart-stopping action, superb storytelling and marvelous characters. Each book builds upon revelations from the previous book, but you could get away with reading Nightwalker as a stand alone novel. But seriously, they are each so good, you wouldn’t want to! The story line keeps strong throughout each book, and although each contains similar components, every story is unique and exciting.
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
Reviews in the Series: