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Review: Night Blade by JC Daniels

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Night Blade
Author: JC Daniels (Shiloh Walker)
Release Date: March 4, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Series: Colbana Files #2
ISBN: #978-0615778068
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: NetGalley

About the book:

      Kit Colbana is always biting off more than she can chew. She has a knack for finding trouble. This time, though, trouble finds her. Someone from her past drops a case into her lap that she just can’t refuse…literally.
      People on the Council are dying left and right and she’s been requested to investigate the deaths. The number one suspect? Her lover, Damon. If she doesn’t clear his name, he gets a death sentence. Even if she succeeds? They still might try to execute him. Oh, and she’s not allowed to tell him about the case, either.
      The stakes are high this time around, higher than they’ve ever been. Kit may be forced to pay the ultimate price to save her lover’s life…a price that could destroy her and everything she loves.

What Im talking about:

*Warning: Night Blade is a deeply emotional read; one that has the potential to take you to dark, low places. However, if you are up for the emotional journey, it is WELL WORTH the time, energy and tears.

Kit Colbana, half-human–half-supernatural warrior, runs a detective agency/courier service, and Wolf Alpha Alisdair MacDonald of the East Orlando Pack hires Kit to transport an interesting package with a message to a secluded pack in the hills of Tennessee. However, due to her recent mating with East Orlando Cat Alpha Damon, Alisdair doesn’t want to end up on the bad side of the Cats if something goes wrong. So he sends along his most powerful lieutenant, Megan. Kit and Megan do their job, but not before learning more about this gruesome pack and its tyrannical Alpha. Not only is the pack trying to steal female wolves from the East Orlando pack, but Kit believes this Alpha may be responsible for permanently disabling a close friend.

The opening scenes of Night Blade are filled with high-tension action and excitement. The intensity of the situation drew me in immediately. I enjoyed the interactions between Kit and Megan, especially when Kit let Megan have it for divulging secrets she had no right to tell. It was also a great way to display Kit’s strength, tenacity, and her overwhelming beliefs in what is “right and wrong.” However, once the pair complete their task and go their separate ways, the book does not return to this subplot, which was a little bothersome to me. There are some issues raised that I’d like to see addressed and dealt with in future stories.

The real heart of the book begins when Kit’s ex, Justin, a BANNER agent (cops of the supernatural) recruits Kit to find out why some influential supernatural leaders are being killed. Unfortunately, the evidence overwhelmingly points to Damon, and BANNER will execute him within days unless someone (Kit!) can prove otherwise. And even worse, Justin places a spell on Kit so she cannot tell or even think about telling Damon what’s going on. Yes… I cringed at this point, knowing that a misunderstanding between Kit and Damon would occur at some point due to this.

Although Night Blade is not a romance, a large part of the story revolves around the developing relationship between Damon and Kit. I wasn’t a big fan of Damon at the beginning of the first book, Blade Song, but by the end, I fell for him hard. I love Damon and Kit together. His need and desire to protect her is so alpha-licious. His emotional expressions, especially that he cannot protect Kit from her past, are soulful and swoon-worthy. What makes them a great pair is that Kit is equally strong-willed and tough. She allows him to worry and protect, but doesn’t let him change who she is. Their relationship works because they work at the relationship. And they are both passionate characters, which creates wonderful banter, and even better sexual tension and smokin’ smex scenes.

Night Blade also brings back some of the interesting characters we met in the first book. One such character is Doyle, the young kidnapped wolf who Kit was tasked to save. Doyle has a chip on his shoulder, and is not a fan of Kit. That is until Kit earns his respect as a warrior via her blade handling skills. Each interaction between Doyle and Kit allows for additional growth, and in the end, Doyle becomes one of my favorite characters. There are so many other characters I want to mention (like best friend, Coleen), but there just isn’t enough time and space here (catch me on twitter – we can chat!)

And I believe that the great characters Ms. Walker creates is what makes this book so engrossing. Although there is a lot of action in these pages, I feel it is a character-driven series. Ms. Walker creates characters that encompass all spectrums of good, bad and ugly. Their actions evoke strong reactions and feelings, creating an emotional investment by the reader. And because you come to care so much for them, when something bad happens, well… frankly it breaks your heart.

As I warned up front, if you are an emotional reader like I am, be prepared to shed a tear or twelve. *Potentially spoilerish commentary here* Kit does not have an easy road. First things turn south with her BANNER investigation. Then, a character from Kit’s past makes life a living hell for her. She experiences such horrible acts that she is nearly broken. There were times during the last quarter of the book that I had to take a break because I was overly attached to Kit and crushed by what was happening. But even though things are bleak, I believe the story ends with hope, for which I am thankful. *End of potentially spoilerish comments*

All-in-all, Night Blade is a well-written, gripping story and a very emotional read, which is well worth the journey. I was drawn in from the start because there is just something about Kit. I love her sense of self, wit, dedication, and charisma. I love her and Damon. I love her and Colleen. I love Doyle. The character interactions are beautifully scripted and cause me to care. I am truly invested in these characters and want them to be happy. I like that although there are horrific scenes, there isn’t any graphic or gratuitous violence. And as I’ve harassed mentioned to the author several times on twitter, the next book won’t get here soon enough.


My Rating:

 
Personal favorite – a must read (A+)
 
Purchase Info:
Night Blade (Colbana Files 2)
Reviews in the Series: 

Blade Song (Colbana Files 1)

  • I agree completely with your review. I have some comments to make but they are spoilers, so…. *runs to Twitter*

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