This was meant to be part two of my overall series review, but then I had a lot of thoughts about Evermore and it ended up being a whole review. I will try to post part two (which I guess will just be books 6 and 7) next week though. My review this week got delayed because of some sad personal things that cropped up this week, but I still hope to maintain a regular upload schedule while I move and do house renovations.
The Darkyn books contain content that could be problematic if you are sensitive to topics like racism, homophobia, transphobia, violence, torture, sexual assault, or child abuse.
Book five, Evermore, is a great one in my opinion. Other than Lucan and Samantha, Jayr and Byrne are probably my favourite couple. Maybe even including Lucan and Samantha.
Is it a little romance novel-y, with the medieval castle setting and angsty unrequited love angle? Definitely. Does Alex Keller work perfectly as a side character/comic relief? Yep. Is Jayr a great main character and Byrne a worthy love interest? I think so.I’ll stop with the question-answer format now because even I’m bored by it. This is a good book though, from the simplest both-main-characters-are-vampires angle, (which you don’t see often in fiction unless the woman is newly turned); to Jayr being a respected second-in-command that Byrne’s peers value and respect.
I appreciated the way Byrne and Jayr were both awkward enough around each other, and bad enough at communicating, that they managed not to realise the other was interested/an option for hundreds of years. I also enjoyed the believable reasons that were used (beyond miscommunication) to keep them apart, and it’s always nice to see dumbasses fall in love. The sub-characters included in this book are great, and there’s some gay representation, which I’m always on-board with. Oh, I also liked the way that even characters like Robin who didn’t just view Jayr as ‘one of the guys’ respected her for who she was. Male-female platonic friendships are too rare for my liking, especially in romance, and this book (and series) has a bunch of them.
The plot in this novel is fast-moving and compelling, works in well with the romance, and is something of a break from the brethren/Alexandra focussed plots of the earlier books. Evermore even more than the other novels feels like a standalone, which I think makes for a more engrossing story overall. The folklore touches of Robin Hood and Maid Marian in this book work well (I think) with the mythology created in the series, though I do wish Marian’s ‘madness’ was explored more. I also can’t remember if the revelation at the end of the book is explored in spin-off series, but in isn’t in the Darkyn novels, so I wish it either built to something or wasn’t included. There are a couple of revelations that are explored further, and I like these. They are good.
The villain of this book is pretty despicable, and I enjoyed the twists at the end of this book regarding motives etc. I think the foreshadowing is done well, and there are enough red herrings to make the ending surprising but still satisfying.
In terms of overall series plot, Evermore has an angsty sub-plot with Alexandra and the aftermath of her kidnapping that I don’t enjoy, but I suppose helps cement the fact that she does choose to be in a relationship with Michael, despite the rocky (creepy) start their relationship had. I also liked the way Alexandra was ready to accept and help Jayr achieve the body she wanted when she thought she was a trans man. She wasn’t (hence the pronouns I’m using) but I like that Dr Keller is canonically an ally, especially after some of the offensive language used in earlier books. Mainly to show a character is aggressive/violent in general, but I’m glad that later books have less slurs.
Overall, Evermore is a great entry in a good series, and anyone who enjoys Lynn Viehl, Kim Harrison, Karen Marie Moning or Devon Monk’s writing will find plenty to enjoy here.