Josh Reviews: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

Posted July 20, 2013 by Joshua Burns in Josh, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 6 Comments

Josh Reviews: Afterlight by Elle Jasper
Afterlight by Elle Jasper
Series: Dark Ink Chronicles #1
Published by Signet
Published on: November 2nd, 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
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Savannah's most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe, lives on the edge. Now she's put over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister cult led by vampires. Her only ally is the hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley's beauty and rare blood type. To save her brother from certain un-death, Riley faces dangers she's never dreamed of, ruthless bloodthirsty enemies, and an evil of endless hunger that wants to devour it all...

Afterlight shines as a first person narrative with characteristic vocabulary (afterlight, da hell stone, da Island, heiniesca) and variable chronology.   Riley Poe, our vector into this Gothic interior, has been there once before as a devil-may-care youth but when her brother awakens old bloodsuckers, gets bitten, and is quickened, she must go down there to Savannah’s underbelly, its clubs appropriately titled Panic Room and Morgue, to help a brother out.

Her father figure, Preacher or Preacher man, employs a spry Creole dialect that never ages.   Eli or Eligius, the love interest, remains a complete mystery even by Book’s end.

And the ending if I may speak of it leaves much plot to be told.   It is as if the budget for the shading of further monster CGI ran out or that the actors, if this were a movie, could not be paid to act even a scene more.   Although this sounds like the mark of a novice when it comes to pacing, I found this decision to be refreshing as well as the fairly long chapters.

Rather than go the fifty chapter plus route, here we get maybe ten, which one sort of aches for whichever one is in to be done but then one does not.   The ten chapter route, more than likely, increases the suspense or the dread or – and this is a controversial claim – compresses the otherwise profusion of events.   The way I would explain this is since each chapter is much longer, about five times than the usual, each one carries within it more punch or meaning.

This can be most readily seen in the fact that each chapter is headed with both a unique title and frequently an epitaph as well.   In other words, the atmosphere of Afterlight is noticeable, beyond its already colorful main character, a woman with large dragon tattoos on her back and black hair with red highlights, who owns an inking shop.

Her dog I am not as sold on as many of the other characters.   I feel more could have been done with him.   Also the vampire family which Eli comes from is far too large.   Keeping track of their names, let alone genders, I often did not bother doing.

Books in this series:

My Review

Recommended: As diagonal Savannah tourism
Like this, like that: The Dark Forgotten series by Sharon Ashwood and the H & W Investigations series by Jess Haines


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Reviews UF/PR novels with an eye for weres of all kinds.

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6 responses to “Josh Reviews: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

  1. I really enjoyed this book and the rest of the series. I like Riley’s character and Savannah is the perfect setting for this urban fantasy story with gothic elements!

    • Definitely second the setting and Gothic elements. Having begun with book three, though, I did not like the rather spotty narrative. It seemed much less detailed than book one ended up being. I hope book two and four err more on the side of detail like the first one than the third.

    • Yes, I will be reviewing book two and book four in good time. Book three was actually where I started and it was a bit of a spotty read. I can, at least, stand by my recommendation of book one, and, in good time if book two and book four deliver, be able to recommend the series as a whole.