The fifth book in Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series is a very different beast to what has gone before. This was a nice surprise, just an unexpected one.
In the previous books, all the characters are fully part of the ‘Lore’. They’re all aware of the different aspects from valkyries and vampires, demons to witches and the lykae. However, the heroine in Dark Needs at Night’s Edge; Néomi Laress whilst a ghost, was a human prior to her death.
However, she begins to learn about the Lore when Conrad Wroth is dumped in her old mansion that she currently haunts by his brothers, Nikolai, Sebastian and Murdoch. Even Conrad, whilst yet another Wroth, is very different to the previous heroes. Even though he is a vampire like his brothers having been turned by Nikolai very much against his will just like Sebastian he’s not just ‘bad’ but actually begins as the villain of the piece.
So we have a clueless ghost who cannot be seen by anyone and a vampire who just wants to kill his brothers. And actually, as has been the case every time so far, the wild mismatch works wonderfully well.
For all his power, strength and rage with quite a bit of madness thrown in, Conrad can’t harm Néomi, can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do herself and basically can’t touch. However, he can see, hear and talk to this indescribable beauty whose presence makes him more lucid.
On Néomi’s side, having been unseen and unheard since her death in the 1920s, to be able to simply interact with anyone, even a madman, is a pleasure. Obviously though, there is still the issue that whilst he can’t touch her, she can only manipulate anything via telekinesis and not actually feel anything herself.
At the point where their relationship needs to take the next step is when this story becomes a lore story replete with the aforementioned valkyries, demons, witches and lykae in the form of the wonderful Nucking Futs Nix, Cade, Mariketa and Bowen.
I did enjoy the mystery of how Néomi and Conrad were eventually going to become a couple even when it was stressed that the only really viable solution was a temporary measure which would give them a year together at most. It’s not until the final few pages that the problem has been solved in an unexpected way.
So, five books in Dark Needs at Night’s Edge maintains the thorough enjoyment of the Immortals After Dark series. Nothing for it now but to dive straight into the next one!