REVIEW – Dawnkeepers
Author: Jessica Andersen
Copyright: 2009 (Signet); pgs. 455
Series: 2nd in The Final Prophecy
Who: Alexis Gray and Nathan Blackhawk
Dawnkeepers is the second book in Jessica Andersen’s epic, paranormal/Mayan doomsday series, The Final Prophecy. Like the first one, I would say that this book is more “paranormal with really strong romantic elements” than a traditional “paranormal romance”. However, of the two, this one leans more toward the romance part mainly because Alexis and Nate spend more time together, interacting, than Strike and Leah. Plus, there isn’t as much head hopping: Anna; her grad student, Lucius Hunt; and Rabbit are the other “main characters”.
First there’s Nate. Nate isn’t buying into the destiny thing. He’s the Nightkeeper whose winikin lived long enough to get him to safety before dying of wounds received during the massacre. Raised in the foster system and run-ins with the law — which he did time for — Nate could have ended up differently. Instead, he straightened himself out and started his own video game company. To him, the past holds no other value than a reminder to not make the same mistakes twice. He has no intentions of staying with the Nightkeepers passed the December 2012 end-date should they succeed; and if he had his way, the Nightkeepers would be saving the world sooner rather than later so he can get back to his real life. He’s definitely not interested in hearing about his parents from his substitute winikin, Carlos, nor does he want to follow his father’s footsteps and become Strike’s adviser. From his perspective — raised “human” — the “destined mate” thing isn’t about love, it’s about sex as a commodity, using it to obtain a higher position in the hierarchy. A mated Nightkeeper pair is stronger than any one Nightkeeper, and mated females are potential Godkeepers. Nate always expected he’d have to woo the woman he loved, not have her assigned to him by the gods. Though he doesn’t realize it, Nate has a deeply buried need to be loved for himself.
Unlike Nate, Alexis was raised with the stories of the Nightkeepers, always wishing the stories were true and never knowing she was one herself. Her mother was Scarred-Jaguar’s other royal adviser, and Alexis feels that she must live up to her bloodline and follow her mother’s footsteps. But with her mediocre talents, she feels she will never live up to her expectations. Alexis also has a history of being dumped by boyfriends who lose interest in her. Being dumped by Nate after the talent ceremony the previous year was just another repeat in the pattern of her love life. Except the gods have decided that they should be a mated pair, and the Nightkeepers are desperate for another Godkeeper (Leah is only powerful four times a year). Even though Alexis is now living the life she was meant to, she’s miserable because she loves a man who won’t accept his destiny.
While Nate and Alexis are sorting out their personal lives and the Nightkeepers are hunting down important artifacts, Anna is back in Texas trying repair her marriage and get back to a normal life. It’s not going as well as she hoped. One of the issues she’s dealing with is Lucius and the aftermath of what happened to him in the first book. Also, Lucius presents his thesis, which doesn’t go well at all. In an attempt to salvage his future, Lucius sets out to track down Sasha Ledbetter and ends up finding more than he bargained for.
Then there’s Rabbit. He plays a major role in this book, plus he falls in love. I really started to like him. He tries so hard and I think, of all the character, he truly needs to have good things happen to him.
The bad guys in this book will be around for awhile. It appears the Order of Xibalba, an ancient organization of rogue Nightkeepers, has their own agenda. More organized and better prepared, their actions hamper the Nightkeepers. For every success Strike and the others have, there are several costly setbacks.
I really love this series. I liked this book more than the first. The story starts about four months after the first ended, so it can’t really be read as a stand alone. With most of the important stuff dished out in the first book, the author was able to spend more time on the romance, giving it just as much weight as the saving the world plot. If you’re going to read this series, definitely keep a note of who’s who. I got Izzy the winikin mixed up with Hannah the winikin, and couldn’t understand why Izzy wasn’t scarred. And it looks like we might see Snake Mendez, the Nightkeeper captured by a bounty hunter in the first book, again — maybe in Skykeepers.
Speaking of Skykeepers, there was great sneak peek for it in the book. I’m pretty sure I know who gets attack with the spork (gross, by the way). I hope he’s not permanently damaged. And we get a glimpse of the main couple — I think. I hope so, because I was surprised and pleased when I read it, and I’m looking forward to reading the book even more than this one.
Started: 7 January 2009
Finished: 15 January 2009