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Review: Black Fallen by Elle Jasper

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Black Fallen
Author: Elle Jasper  
Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012
Publisher: Signet
The Dark Ink Chronicles #4
ISBN: 978-0451413529
Genre: Urban Fantasy, romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley

About the book:

      After surviving life-threatening bites from three powerful strigoi vampires, tattoo artist Riley Poe has absorbed their powers and is stronger than ever. Just as she’s learning to harness her newfound abilities, she and her vampire guardian fiancé, Eli Dupré, agree to join the elite Worldwide Unexplained Phenomena team. 
      This task force, composed of vampires, druids, werewolves, and otherbeings, has been assigned to take down the Black Fallen, a powerful race of fallen angels consumed by the darkest magic. These dangerous creatures are searching for the ultimate source of power in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Riley will be the WUP team’s secret weapon to take them down. She must be careful, though, or their dark power could engulf her—and her heart, too….  

What VampBards talking about:
      Oh. My. Word.  As I sit, rocking in the fetal position, I want to beg Ms. Jasper to allow me to read even the ROUGH DRAFT for the next title in the Dark Ink Chronicles series.  Black Fallen, the newest title in the series, takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions and a flurry of activity.  While we do learn more about the characters we’ve come to love, we meet more characters, and (temporarily?) say goodbye to others.  While this is the fourth title in the series, I think Ms. Jasper does a wonderful job with backstory in the first part of the book, and one could begin with this title, although reading prior books would help with the deeper understanding of the culture, and the interplay between characters.
      There’s no tap-dancing around this.  There’s a major plot point involving Eligius Dupre.  Seriously.  I had to figure out whether Ms. Jasper would resolve it prior to the end of the book, or move it out to the next book (Please, tell me this major point resolves well…).  I could have consumed this title in one sitting, if I’d had the time.
      Eli is described by Riley as, “Deadly predator.  Violent vampire.  Fiercely loyal … My sensitive, hot, kick-ass vampire fiance.”  I think that this description is extremely telling as foreshadowing in the story.  OMG!  Y’all need to hurry up and read this book so I can talk about it with someone!  There really isn’t a lot I can say about Eli without spoilering.  **covers mouth with duct tape**  Moving on…
      Our secondary characters were pretty important in this story.  Jake, Gabriel & Darius, long-time natives of the area, are part of the WUP that brought Riley and her group to Edinburgh, Scotland.  I am ALWAYS excited when a story is set in Scotland.  I think the countryside is breathtaking, there’s room for much description of the surroundings, including the air, smells, and mood driven by the weather.  I was also geeked that there was Celtic, Gaelic and Pict lore mentioned.
      In the first 5% of the story, Jasper brings us this excellent description  – foreshadowing again, methinks – of a statue:  “…a derelict angel, wings hanging limply behind him, his hands raised and cupped over his mouth as if shouting something at the top of his lungs.  Water spurts from his hands and washes over him into the fountain’s pond.  For some reason, the statue chills me.”  This statue seems to have a pull for Riley, and shouldn’t be discounted through the reading of this title.
      So.  The Black Fallen are fallen angels, as the title would imply.  I like the lore behind them.  Canthor, Danu and Athios.  “…Two have been condemned for some time.  But we know very little about the youngest one, Athios.”  They can create minions, known as Jodis, to do their dirty work. The Fallen feed from the souls of the innocent, which irks Riley and other WUP members.
      Riley Poe, owner of Inksomnia, a tattoo parlor in Georgia, has been bitten by 4 vampires.  She’s sort-of like a vampire superhero.  She’s got these abilities, and they’re the best of what the four vamps that bit her have/had.  She’s still learning to hone her skills, and keep her talents under control.  It’s with Riley’s talent for seeing the past of a person with a mere touch that we get to know new characters in the story, via Riley’s flashbacks.
      I **really** feel for Riley.  I got to know her a little better than in the last book, and she went through a gut-wrenching emotional trauma that would have sent me running for the hills, sobbing like a baby.  I admire Riley.  She compartmentalizes her emotions, only letting out what is needed for the vengeance she seeks.  She seems to take everything in-stride.  Even at the 72% mark…she seemed to simply go with the flow, trusting all would work out.  This is the ONE thing that I struggle with about Riley.  She is really intense, and I don’t think she would simply roll with the punches on this SPECIFIC thing.  I got hung up on it for a few minutes, and decided that I would turn into a simpering idiot if the secondary conflict didn’t resolve by the end of the book. **Runs around room, ‘Bbbbbbbbbth!  Bbbbbbbbbth!’**
      At the end of Black Fallen, we do have a resolution to one conflict arc, but a second must be important to the next title in Ms. Jasper’s Dark Ink Chronicles series.  I’m sure she didn’t leave the massive cliffhanger to simply wreak havoc on my emotions…  I cannot wait for the next book in this series!

VampBards Rating:

Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
 
 
Purchase Info:

Black Fallen: The Dark Ink Chronicles Book 4

Reviews in the Series:
Eventide: The Dark Ink Chronicles Book 3 
  • I’ve got books 1-3 looking at me from my bookshelf. I plan to read them (at least 1st one)before AADSAV.

  • Thanks for such a fantastic review!!!!!!! Much appreciated!!!

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