Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Darkling

Posted June 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Yasmine Galenorn’s Darkling



Yasmine Galenorn

urban fantasy that was published by Berkley on January 2, 2008 and has 281 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Hexed, Witchling, Changeling, Never After, Demon Mistress, Dragon Wytch, Bone Magic, Night Huntress, Harvest Hunting, Blood Wyne, Courting Darkness, Shaded Vision, Shadow Rising, Haunted Moon, Night Myst, Night Veil, Night Seeker, Autumn Whispers, Night Vision, Night’s End, Priestess Dreaming, Panther Prowling, "Flight From Hell", Flight From Death, Souljacker

Third in the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon paranormal-romance series based in Seattle and revolving around three half-human, half-fae sisters charged with preventing Storm Wing from overthrowing the world even as the Otherworld takes sides in a civil war. The point of view here is from Mennolly.

My Take

One of the interesting aspects of this series is that there is no settled love interest. While one sister provides the main point of view in each book and they end up with a lover or three, they don’t end up with their forever soulmate. Camille simply accumulates lover after lover while Delilah has the option of two, and Mennolly is still exploring although Nerissa and Roz have possibilities. It creates a livelier interaction in the series with each sister fully engaged.

Darkling is told from Mennolly’s point of view with a more detailed focus on her love life, and we learn what happened, how she was turned, and, just barely, of the events that followed. It’s not as funny as the earlier books, although I think Galenorn’s writing has improved. Now if she could just put the two together…

So some Old Fae show up. So what? Just how does that make Mennolly think they have to cancel the meeting?? The same issues are still there. So Grandmother Coyote doesn’t want them to speak of the greater evil. Dredge and all the new vamps being created are still the primary problem and the reason that first made the girls think of calling the meeting. Galenorn needs to pay attention to what she’s writing and not just run off at tangents.

There was a decided lack of drama in Mennolly’s facedown with her sire. So much build-up and so little savoring. Just in, out, and done. And probably not forever. I did enjoy the whole “But you like pain”. It was so sweet.

The Story

Something, someone, is turning humans into vampires. Night after night. And Mennolly fears it’s the Elwing Blood Clan. It’s a turn she wouldn’t wish on her worst enemy. There is so much “action”, that the girls decide to pull together a voluntary supernatural coalition to brainstorm AND provide a wider area of watching coverage for threats to any supernaturals.

It’s that delicate dance of finding a safe home for a troubled and too-knowing teen that makes Anna-Linda a supernatural problem. And brings Nerissa to Mennolly’s home. But it’s the sudden upsurge in new little vampires that sets off the call to arms and brings the supernatural community together — the good and the bad. New allies from Queen Asteria and an extremely painful, but thorough therapy session for Mennolly. Getting through it is the only chance she has of facing down her sire.

The Characters

Menolly D’Artigo is a vampire (tortured and turned by the Elwing Blood Clan) who has taken over ownership of the Wayfarer Bar & Grill, her former cover when she and her sisters were still affiliated with the OIA.

The other two D’Artigo sisters are employed in no-longer-OIA-owned enterprises also — with the civil war, the OIA has broken off all contact and the sisters have simply taken over: Camille, a magically-challenged witch with a connection to the Moon Mother, runs the Indigo Crescent bookstore and only seems to excel at death spells and Delilah who is a werecat with her own private detective agency. Any kind of upsets trigger her change response and she shifts into a house kitty. Iris Kuusi is a Finnish house sprite, a Talon-haltija, who has come to work at the bookstore and lives in the old Victorian along with the girls. Maggie is a baby gargoyle Camille rescued from being Harpy snack food.

Chase Johnson is an FBH, a full-blooded human, who works for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIA) along with the sisters and created the Faerie-Human Crime Scene Investigations (FH-CSI) team — the fae version of CSI. He’s currently seeing Delilah. Trillian is a Svartan whose king has allied with Tanaquar and Asteria. He’s also one of Camille’s boyfriends and, now, a lot more than simply accepting of the other “men” in her life including Morio, a kitsune, sent by Grandmother Coyote to help them and Smoky the dragon. Rozurial is a bounty-hunting incubus with a plan of revenge and a mandate from Queen Asteria.

Their father Sephreh ob Tanu and Aunt Rythwar are still in hiding from the queen. Their cousin Shamas was convicted of treason against Queen Lethesanar, but escaped her custody. Sharah, Queen Asteria’s niece, and Mallen are both elvish medics with FH-CSI.

Cleo Blanco, a.k.a., Tim Winthrop, is a drag queen and computer geek about to be drafted to the OIA. He has a daughter with his ex-wife and is currently engaged to Jason Binds, the girls’ mechanic. Erin Mathews owns Camille’s favorite clothing store, the Scarlot Harlot, and their friendship has placed Erin in great danger. Siobhan Morgan is a wereselkie and provides Delilah with background information on the were packs in the area.

Civil war has broken out in OW: Tanaquar, Queen Lethesanar of Y’Elestrial’s sister has challenged her for the throne.

The girls now report to Asteria, the Elfin Queen. Trenyth is the Queen’s assistant and the girls’ liaison with the elfin court. Jareth is a seer, a priest of sorts. One with the experience to help Mennolly conquer her past.

The Autumn Lord is an Elemental who has “married” Delilah and she’s added to her “repertoire” as a Death Maiden.

Otherworld (OW) is the land of all the fae. Grandmother Coyote is an Elemental spirit bound to Earth; she can’t be charmed, harmed, or killed. Wade Stevens runs Vampires Anonymous and was Mennolly’s first vampire contact. Well, friendly vampire contact. He and Mennolly had dated, but his mother, Mrs. Belinda Stevens, soon ended it. Sassy Branson, a wealthy socialite, was turned into a vampire some time ago but she’s managed to keep it secret. Now, she comes in handy. Morgaine, Mordred, and Arturo are very Old Fae and have shown up for the first all-supernatural meeting. They, however, seem to have their own agenda.

Zachary Lyonnesse is a werepuma and his Rainier Puma Pride needs Delilah’s help with finding the serial killer murdering his pridemates. Venus the Moon Child is the pride shaman (see Changeling). Nerissa is a social worker who aids troubled kids. And very attracted to Mennolly. Anna-Linda is a runaway whom Mennolly befriends.

Shadow Wing is a powerful demon overlord planning to destroy both Earth and the Otherworld. In preparation for that event, he keeps sending demon scout crews, Degath Squads, through. The Elwing Blood Clan is the group of vampires whose leader, Dredge, a former high priest of Jakaris, the Svartan god of vice and torture. He tortured and turned Mennolly. It seems they’re about to enter the action — on the wrong side, naturally. Wisteria is a floraed fae, an enemy, and the rumor is that she has joined up with the Elwings.

The Cover and Title

It’s a rocky textured green and yellow wall with Mennolly squatting on a blue floor. She’s wearing gray jeans, a low-scooped T, and a velvety looking blue jacket, the many long beaded braids of her hair dangling like sprays of water around her head. With that look on her face, on
e of calculating menace, I do not want to make her angry with me!

The title has me confused. The best I can imagine is that Mennolly is the Darkling