Author: Alayna Williams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 02/22/11
THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE, THE MORE THERE MAY BE TO FEAR.
Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around -- and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn’t need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.
Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards -- and Tara’s increasingly ominous dreams -- suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationship with the mysterious order known as Delphi’s Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen...
Plot: 4.5 Stars
I love the mix of science and paranormal that these novels blend together. The first novel dealt with physics, and this novel delved into the history of Chernobyl and the science of nuclear reactors. Add in a bunch of oracles with different skills in divination, and you've got a mix of Urban Fantasy with a touch of Science Fiction. It's not very often I learn a lot (about real, non-paranormal things) from a book, but I learned so much about Chernobyl and the nightmare that followed. I don't want to ruin the big twist of the novel, but the idea revolving around the bad guy was a very unique idea. I had never heard of this specific idea before (although I had seen the word before), and I liked the little bit of science that it was based on. I have a feeling I won't be coming across this specific kind of bad guy all that much in my reading.
Pace: 4 Stars
There were a number of twists and turns in this novel, as well as a number of destinations. As a reader, I love being kept guessing and this novel did just that perfectly. There were a number of changes in points of view throughout the novel, but it was never confusing. It actually worked out very well and flowed together seamlessly. Without the different points of view, there would've been a lot of information either left out or work in awkwardly.
Characters: 4 Stars
Once again, I loved Tara and her Tarot readings. They are so in depth, yet engrossing. And it was interesting to see her bond with a new deck of cards. I wished that the relationship between Tara and Henry could've made more progress, but it made a little. I wasn't expecting certain actions from Henry, and I'm interested to see how that pans out in future novels. I wish Cassie and the animals could've been in the book a bit more, but at least they weren't absent. The side plot of Cassie and the Pythia was definitely not what I expected, but kept me on the edge of my seat. And I can't forget about the Steves. They were two funny yet reliable guys, and I hope they haven't made their only appearance.
Cover: 4 Stars
This cover is such a departure from the last one. Although the first cover wasn't bad, I like the direction the art department went in because I feel this cover model embodied Tara a little more. She looked a little more like how I envisioned Tara, but the expression on her face also fit Tara's character a bit more. I liked the wide variety of colors on the cover. I also liked that they chose to use the same font, that way there was at least a little bit to tie it to the previous cover. And the spine is a bright teal, which actually compliments the bright purple of Dark Oracle's spine. The match quite well when sitting on a bookshelf. My favorite part of the cover is the Tarot cards. On the first cover, the cards had a generic design and could've been anything. But on this cover, specific Tarot cards were used and I felt it brought more depth to the cover. And allowed someone just browsing to know a little bit more about the book without having to read the back cover.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review from the author.