Series: Nikki and Michael series – Book 1
Author: Keri Arthur
Blurb: BEYOND THE SHADOWS
Private Investigator Nikki James grew up on the tough streets of Lyndhurst and believes there’s nothing left to surprise her. But all that changes the night she follows a rich man’s daughter into the shadows and finds herself caught in a war between two very different men. One is a madman, intent on destruction. The other has his own heart of darkness.
For three hundred years, Michael Kelly has existed in life’s shadows, gradually learning to control his vampire cravings. He is convinced that no one can breach his formidable barriers—until he meets Nikki. With her powerful psychic abilities, Nikki swiftly invades both his mind and his heart. Nikki knows how dangerous love can be . . . but if she wants to survive, she must place her trust in this man who could easily destroy her. For only together can they overcome the evil threatening to destroy them both.
Includes an excerpt of the next novel in Keri Arthur’s Nikki and Michael series, Hearts in Darkness
Thoughts: This book is actually a re-issue of one of Arthur’s novels that was originally published by ImaJinn Books in March 2001. While I was familiar with many of her other works (Riley Jensen Guardian, Dark Angel, Myth and Magic, etc.), I had not yet read any of the books from this series in particular. Having loved her other novels, I was very excited and anxious to begin this series! However, going in with such high expectations, I did find myself a little disappointed.
If you’ve read Arthur before, I think you’ll find this book gives you just a touch and a promise of the talent we are accustomed to in her other books. I think it’s important to remember that this book came out a full five – almost six – years before the first Riley Jensen novel, Full Moon Rising. However, it is interesting to see how far she’s come and how much she’s grown as an author.
If your new reader of Keri Arthur, this book gives you a great taste of what’s to come. It’s a great story that is well-written and intriguing, but don’t judge all of her works by this one book alone. While the book is good, it’s not her strongest – and doesn’t really compare to some of her other series titles.
The story was very eloquent and thoughtfully written, with a good overall storyline. Nikki is an interesting character who spent much of her teenage years on the streets. She has very intriguing psychic abilities that allow her track people through objects, sense darkness and evil around her, and physically use her abilities almost like telekinesis. Michael is a vampire who has chosen not to feed on humans, and instead chooses to work alongside other supernatural members of a group called the Damask Circle, who chose to fight others of their kind who choose the path of darkness.
While the book was skillfully told, I just couldn’t feel the connection between Nikki and Michael. I wasn’t caught up in the outcome of these characters, or swept away and unable to put it down for hours on end. You could put it down and not find yourself called back to it with the irresistible desire to find out what happens next. I wanted to have a deeper connection with the characters and the book, but it just fell a little flat for me. The end also seemed abrupt and…well, unfinished. While, understandably, I know that it is book one in a four book series, it should provide a end that is questionable while still leaving us waiting with bated breath for the next title without just dropping us off at the end feeling flabbergasted. All in all, it was simply that – a pleasant tale by a great author.