I really, really wanted to LOVE this book. I loved the concept of the Mayan Prophecy. But I was disappointed. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what didn't grab me about this book - but I think it's that I really didn't connect with any of the characters (and there were a lot of them!). I thought the hero was selfish and a bit whiny - and yes, I know he was on a journey to embrace his kingness - but I still wasn't that impressed. There was a big climactic battle at the end that I skimmed. Even now, I probably could not explain to anyone what actually happened. And there was a death at the end that kind of surprised me since I was led to believe throughout the whole book that this characters had secrets in the past but now that character is dead and the secrets as well. I didn't hate the book but I read it because I felt I needed to finish it. I may give the next book a chance - when it comes to my local library.
I thought I would enjoy this series---the premise of the Mayan Final Prophesy, but honestly, it was just too much. I didn't care too much about the characters (and there were many). I was 'blah' about the entire book. I can't put my finger on exactly why this book dragged for me, maybe because it had too many story lines to follow or because the story skips around from one character's perspective to another. I had to FORCE myself to finish this book. I wanted to give the series a chance so I picked up the second book and I am at chapter 8 and I am forcing myself to read it. My friend on the other hand loved this series, she has read up to the third book but I don't think I will get that far.
I happened to really like this book. It was different in the paranormal genre in that it did not deal with witches, vampire & shape shifters.... It dealt with a real part of history...the Mayans and the 2012 prophecy. Which is very interesting without the Nightkeeper fiction aspect! I enjoyed the book but could tell it was a 1st effort by a 1st time author. There were a few cliches here and there but nothing that turned me off or doesn't have me waiting for the next book....which I hope will be even better. I definately think it is worth the read! Not your run of the mill paranormal romance!
I found this book to be confusing from the start. I couldn't get into the characters & I didn't even finish it.
interesting storyline and likable characters. Lots of detail.
While I don't believe that the world is going to end in 2012, author Jessica Andersen, puts a good spin on this theory. There are a lot of characters in this story but they do not get in the way of what is going on. There is just enough romance, science fiction and action to keep you turning the pages long into the night. Who says that magic won't save the world?
Quoted from my review @ http://babblingbookreviews.com
This is the first book in a new series based on the Mayan belief that the world will end in 2012, on the Winter solstice. It's labeled as a romance, but if you like your hero and heroine to spend most of the book together, and be the focal point of the story, this may not work for you.
Strike's first responsibility is to his gods and to his people. After rescuing Leah, he reluctantly returns her to Miami, accepting the fact she will be safer there than with him. Jox, Strike's winikin (mentor/guardian/servant), is a traditionalist and agrees that Leah, a regular human and NOT a Nightkeeper, has no business in their world. But the gods must have a different opinion on that, because Strike and Leah have been dreaming of each other. If the gods didn't want her to be his queen, Strike reasons, why is she constantly in his thoughts? That line of reasoning doesn't help him convince Jox that Leah belongs with the Nightkeepers. Given the fact that King Scarred Jaguar - Strike's father - had visions that led his people into near annihilation, Strike meets with resistance to this idea. Jox is hoping one of the female Nightkeepers will interest him enough to forget the outsider. After coming to Leah's aid for the third time, Strike's had enough and insists that Leah is staying with the Nightkeepers whether the others like it or not.
Leah is a cop, trying to take down what she thinks is a serial killer. She doesn't know magic exists or that the Mayan end-time prophecy is real and not something a bunch of cultists - led by a guy calling himself Zipacna - latched onto in order to justify their actions. After being rescued the first time, Strike had her memory altered so she wouldn't remember the horror of almost being sacrificed. Because Leah's a cop, she still pursues the case. But even if she didn't, Zipacna would still be after her. The gods HAVE a purpose for Leah. A purpose she learns about, once her memories are restored at the Nightkeeper compound: if she's sacrificed by the Nightkeepers, and not Zipacna, the end-time clock will stop, the demons will not be released, and there will be life after December 21, 2012. Strike's having none of that. He still contends that his visions suggest that they are meant to be together.
Not only is he coping with the possibility of sacrificing the woman he's falling in love with, Strike's also dealing with the other inexperienced Nightkeepers. For the most part, they are a group of twenty-somethings, babies or toddlers when their parents were killed in the massacre. Most of the winikin raised their charges as godchildren, telling them stories of the Nightkeepers, without revealing their link to those stories. All of them had "normal" lives that got interrupted when Strike summoned them. Several of them don't even want to be there, including Strike's older sister Anna, who went away to college and never came back. As the autumnal equinox approaches, the group is still not functioning as a team. Strike, who hasn't officially taken on the roll of king, is more interested in finding an answer to Leah's problem and leaving the training to the others. It takes Leah's outsider perspective to finally move things in the right direction.
Since this is a romance, I never doubted that Strike would refuse to sacrifice Leah. And since this is a series with a battle between the forces of good and evil for the fate of the world, I knew up front that the end-time countdown wasn't going to be stopped in this book. I really enjoyed the mythology, the world building, and the epic feel of the story. Besides Strike's and Leah's point of view, the author gave us several other perspectives. We get inside the heads of Jox, Anna, and Anna's grad student Lucius - who I think will play a larger roll at some point. We also got the POVs of the other Nighkeepers and some of the winikins. There are two Nightkeepers at the compound, Michael and Jade, who are mysteries because the author did not give us their perspective. And then there is Sven. Some tantalizing tidbits were revealed, but they weren't developed further. I'm interested to see how that's going to play out. There are a lot of characters and I can understand that not all of them could be developed in the first book.
Included is a preview of the second book, Dawnkeepers.
Jessica Andersen also writes for the Harlequin Intrigue line.
I really enjoyed this book. I haven't been this engrossed into a book for a long time. A definite read for anyone looking for a great romance.
Well done! Lots of twists and turns and unexpected action. Not so heavy into the sex that it's all there is. I definitely will hunt the rest of this series.
A different take on the 2012 issue.
I loved the concept of the Mayan Prophecy, and once I picked this book up I couldn't put it down. The main reason was that I had to find out what happens. There are so many things and characters that pissed me off. I had to know if they died or became smarter or something!!! I hated that it switched back and forth between different characters too. If you read this book, you're going to hate Anna and Rabbit!
One of the worst books ever. I started reading it and couldn't even get past chapter one. The writing sounds like some high school student wrote it freshman year - yeesh! :(
There were some good ideas in this book but it was just really long-winded. I ended up skim reading it a lot. I wished she spent more time developing the relationships and the characters rather than on several pages of what minor characters were doing. Some of the actions scenes were convoluted and the big battle scene at the end was a bit of a disappointment.
As a Miami narcotics detective, Leah Daniels never knows how her day will turn out. But she certainly doesn't expect to be strapped to a stone altar as the human sacrifice in an ancient Mayan ritual meant to coax a demon from the underworld--or to be saved by a handsome warrior priest king, who claims to recognize her from his visions.
Striking Jaguar thinks he is the last of the Nightkeeper warrior priests, but as the end-time approaches, his mentor reveals there are 12 others. In reuniting them, Strike--king by birthright--gains the power to summon a Mayan god to combat the demons. But the woman of his visions is the gods' chosen sacrifice. Now he must decide b/t love and duty...or find another way to invoke otherworldly magic in a death-defying race against the end of time.
I was waiting for a series like this to come along. Paranormal romance so often just misses the bar when it comes to original and well thought out world building. I liked that Andersen took Mayan mythology and astronomy, added a dash of astrology and new age thought and came up with an intricate and well written world. I am so sick of poorly constructed books about (now) boring angels and demons or vampires and werewolves. So Andersen's Nightkeepers novels are truly a breath of fresh air in that they are not only original and logically consistent, but also well written too. I can't stress enough how much I appreciate that.
However, and this is the big problem that ultimately sunk the book back into mediocre reading instead of the can't-stop-reading-thriller I was expecting, I just couldn't get into the romance. Despite the fact that Nightkeepers get their powers from ritual blood-letting, sacrifice, and sex magic, every single relationship in this book felt ridiculously devoid of passion. And since passion is what initially drives our main couple to want to be together after being forced into sex magic on their very first meeting, I can't help but feel jarred out of the flow of the story. I'm supposed to believe that these two just can't stay away from each other and that they have this soul connection but their sex scenes are borderline rape (dubious consent at the very least) and I never truly feel the passion and love I'm told they feel for each other. This is a huge problem for me because I want to believe the romance or have it completely out of the book entirely. This book would have been much stronger had it focused on the mythology and adventure aspect more than the romance. For me the romance is too removed and clinical to be successful. And I spent way too long slogging through this book trying to enjoy the world building while feeling desperately uncomfortable about the dispassionate relationships of the characters.
I give this 3 1/2 stars for ingenuity. I will keep reading the novels in the hope that they get better (mostly because I already own the first 5 in the series), but I fear that these are the kinds of books that make reading quickly difficult because you're too detached from the plight of the characters to care to keep reading. I really forced myself to finish this.