I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Night Season by Eileen Wilks
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by Berkley on January 1, 2008
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: Unbinding, Mind Magic, Dragon Spawn, Dragon Blood, "Good Counsel", "Cyncerely Yours", "The New Kid", "Brownies", Tempting Danger, Mortal Danger, Blood Lines, Mortal Sins, Blood Magic
Fourth in the World of the Lupi paranormal fantasy series and revolving around magic and an alternate world. The couple focus is on Cynna Weaver and Cullen Seabrooke with Kai and Nathan a secondary focus. It’s been five weeks since Tempting Danger, 1.
Night Season starts with Cynna shopping. With Lily. And Cynna is wondering whatever possessed her, lol!
Wilks uses third person global subjective point-of-view, primarily from Cynna’s and Cullen’s perspectives with other characters experiencing their own moments. Besides the usual, it does allow us to listen in on Cullen’s back history, on being kicked out of Etorri — and I don’t think much of his father! His mother on the other hand . . . Cynna has her own issues to think on, and we also learn some of her back history. Gan has her own character boost — as well as a status boost!
There are some interesting conflicts in Night Season, including the government’s approach to lupi. Even though they are now considered full citizens, it’s still legal to shoot one in wolf form. Ick. The conflict with Toby’s mother and his life with his grandmother continues. The mate bond that circumscribes Lily’s and Rule’s movements. Cullen’s new and improved shields (Cravings: “Originally Human”, 1.5). The lupi fertility issue that may change. And Brooks discovers what’s been killing him!
Wilks has some interesting notes on what demons are and how they subsist. Her description of Edge (through Cynna’s thoughts) are a fantastic melange of Star Wars, Camelot, and an old Sherlock Holmes movie, lol, with architecture that’s Art Deco meeting the Arabian Nights. That certainly brings up some interesting images, lol.
That medallion is scary and creates a LOT of issues for Edge AND for people. Of course, Edge has plenty of its own issues. Jeez, humans are the lowest of the low, and some of this realm’s rules about fertility, okay, they do make sense, but they’re still tacky! There’s an interesting note about why Daniel Weaver, a human, is valued. Oy. Greed is the same in every race. As for the sidhe, they consider themselves so very superior to everyone. Yeah, that last is certainly consistent with almost every other tale about elves.
Wilks’ explanation of Cynna’s relatives is rather convoluted. I still haven’t figured out who Aunt Pat is or who’s the bastard child.
Surviving Edge and the sidhe provides plenty of drama besides the tension created by the gnomes! The story, however, comes off cartoonish, if only because Wilks takes it to this other realm with all these strange characters. Dis, in Mortal Danger, 2, felt more real but still verging on the weird.
I like Wilks’ definition of meanness! It sure explains a LOT.
It’s characters and culture that drive most of the action and leaves me with more questions than answers. Between this and Mika, who wants an invite to the wedding, I gotta read “Cyncerely Yours“, 4.5, and Mortal Sins, 5.
Edge in danger and those lying gnomes are intent on enticing Lily and Cynna to their realm to find a critical artifact. The only way the gnomes can save their world.
But, god forbid they explain anything!
Special Agent (SA) Cynna Weaver, a former Dizzy, is a Finder (who can see Patterns) with an unexpected “secret” and a sword of Damocles in the form of being the next Nokolai Rhej! Mary Weaver had been Cynna’s mother who fell apart when Daniel disappeared. Aunt Pat. Great-aunt Meggie, Mary’s aunt, raised Cynna. Daniel Weaver is the father who left when Cynna was three.
The very non-traditional Cullen Seabourne, a former Etorri lupus, a sorcerer who can see sorcéri, and an incredibly gorgeous stripper, was recently adopted into the clan. He’s a great friend of Rule’s. He’s also managing to regrow his ankle and foot from Tempting Danger.
Unit 12, Magical Crimes Division (MCD), FBI
The Unit’s personnel are primarily Gifted and operate independently of MCD. Ruben Brooks, a precog, is in charge of Unit 12; Deborah Brooks is his wife. SA Steve Timms, is passionate about weapons, hates magic, but bonded with Cullen in Blood Lines, 3. He’s now Brooks’ bodyguard. SA Baxter is a jerk who needs to be gone. SA Carter is supposedly okay. The bigoted Director Hayes had been acting for Brooks last month. SA Croft is a top agent.
SA Lily Yu is a former homicide detective and touch sensitive, coopted into MCD-Unit 12, and the Chosen of Rule Turner, a two-mantled lupus, Lu Nuncio of the Nokolai and Leidolf, and father to Toby. Dirty Harry is Lily’s cat. Alicia is Toby’s absentee mother, an Associated Press reporter who refuses to allow Rule to have custody of Toby; Mrs Asteglio is Alicia’s mother, Toby’s grandmother, who has had the raising of Toby.
Adam McClosky is the Assistant Undersecretary of Commerce. Marilyn Wright is a presidential advisor. Sherry O’Shaunessy is the high priestess for the oldest and largest Wiccan coven in the country. Fagin, a top-notch scholar, is the head of the Presidential Task Force dealing with the Turning.
Mika, based in Washington D.C., is one of the twenty-two dragons who came back to earth in Blood Lines and are saving earth. Sam, a.k.a. Sun Mzao, is a black dragon and appears to be their leader. He’s great friends with Madam Yu, Lily’s grandmother. The Dragon Accords are a treaty between humans and dragons to absorb magic.
Kai Tallman Michalski, a former physical therapist, is a type of binder, slated for death by the Winter Queen, if she can’t prove herself (On the Prowl: “Inhuman”, 3.5). Dell is a huge gray chameleon cat and Kai’s familiar who can shift into a woman. Nathan Hound is actually a hellhound for the Winter Queen tasked with a particular undercover mission. Ginger is a friend of Kai’s.
Edge, a.k.a. Dsighliai, is . . .
. . . an alternate high-magic realm given to the gnomes (who evolved from demons!) who have raised lying to an art form, but with the fae the true power. Queens’ law does not apply here. The City is their capitol.
Gan is a s/he demon now growing a soul whom we first met in Tempting Danger whose ability allows her to move across realms. Ymu is life energy and sustains demons.
The councilor, a.k.a. Bilbo, who is hiding quite a bit; Wen of Ekiba; and, Tash, a half-breed Ahk-human, who is actually captain of the Guard in Edge, are the initial embassy to our world. Harry is one of their guards in the Edge expedition.
The Hragash are a gnomish people with whom Gan has been staying in Edge while she prepares for her testing. Jenek is a gnomish elder and Gan’s minder. The Harazeed are another gnomish people. Their Elder, a.k.a. First Councilor, appears to be in charge of everything. Adrienne will be Cynna’s maid. Sean is Cullen’s servant. “Huey” is the captain of the chancellor’s barge and either “Dewey” or “Louie” is a magical baker.
Kryl is an Ekiba healer. The Ekiba are all mindspeakers and like gypsies with some permanent camps; they are supposedly neutral. Theilo is the term applied to people who fall through cracks into Edge. The dondredii are ape-like predators with a hive mind when they are a group. The oba are a poisonous, slug-like people. Shuva is a small village in the mountains in Hoko‘s lands. Michael is a child there. Derreck is the man the village elected as their sheriff. Seventeen-year-old?? Bell Hammond does odd jobs. Chulak is the leader of the attacking Ahks, who worship Hrvash of the Ninety Names, and Tash’s uncle. Arkhar and Sithell are some of Chulak’s idiot men.
Theera is a half-elven spy whose half-sister, Thiel Ná Rohen, rules Rohen. Gabotá, Fa Nioth, and Leerahan are the other major sidhe estates in Edge. Arduello rules in Leerahan. Raellian is his brother. Ertho is one of Arduello’s men.
The Lupi are . . .
. . . wolf shifters who worship the Lady, a goddess who created them to battle Her. In general, the lupi do not, cannot, marry but do their best to sire as many children as possible…because it is so difficult for them to have children. The exception is when the Lady picks a Chosen for one of them. A Lu Nuncio is the acknowledged heir to the Rho.
Nokolai are . . .
. . . a wolf shifter clan based outside San Diego. A Rhej is the clan priestess. Nettie Two-Horses is their physician-shaman.
Cousin Jeremy once shoplifted. Cousin Freddy likes proposing to Lily.
Members of the Msaidizi movement, a.k.a. Dizzies, are a quasi-religious group based on African shamanistic practices who ride demons and apply tattoos to their skin — kilingo that store spells and kielezo that are core patterns. Jiri, a patterner, had been Cynna’s mentor.
The Turning brought magic back to earth, which plays havoc with technology. Shauna and Deanna freak out at the Fashion Center. The Most Reverend Patrick Harlowe had served the Great Bitch, a.k.a. Her, the great enemy of the Lady, in Tempting Danger and Mortal Danger. Dis is what we know as Hell. Dashtu is a type of magic that allows Gan to go invisible. Of the Blood means a person is innately magical with a Gift but usually can’t work spells. Max, a grumpy, crude, ill-tempered gnome who owns Club Hell where Cullen performs, is a friend of Rule’s. Fathers Jacobs and Michaels are helping Cynna understand Catholicism. Turns out the illegal sorcery and Wiccan magics are both sourced from outside the person. A full draw pulls on all four elements; a balanced draw is an attempt to pull equally from all four. The Chancellor’s Medallion is a Great Artifact that brings order. Maria is/was a childhood friend of Cynna’s. Ashwa is an agreement to sterilize Gifted humans.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a black border at the top, which forms the background for the author’s name in white. The majority of the background is a smoky haze of blues against black with the almost naked Cynna facing us with her tattooed arms crossed in front of her, her right hand cocked under her chin. Her short, choppy white hair is spotlighted while she holds the shining Medallion with its green central gem gleaming in its gold frame. To Cynna’s right at her elbow (the cover’s left) is a testimonial in white. The title is at the bottom in a gradated pink to white.
The title is the Night Season in which Edge may be trapped forever.