A look at Jacquelyn Frank's ELIJAH
Elijah (The Nightwalkers, Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Kindle: 417 KB with est. 383 pages
Zebra/Kensington; First Printing edition (January 1, 2008)
Disclosure: Blog Purchase, read on
Kindle 2nd Generation
Jacquelyn Frank continues to weave her complex Nightwalker world in Elijah, bringing the Lycanthropes and their Queen, Siena into the erotic weft. We had some hints about the Elijah-Siena attraction in Gideon at the Battle of Beltane when several Nightwalker species came together against the threat of stinky necromancers, demented demons bent on revenge and human hunters and magic practitioners. We also gain another species, the Mistrals which roughly correspond to mythological Sirens. Their song hypnotizes all who hear it leaving them at the mercy of the Siren. They can kill or cure.
Purple prose applies to the romantic encounters between Elijah and Siena the Lycanthrope Queen. And, while Frank and Zebra both state online is that the first seven pages of the book, while written into the novel's own story arc, are prologue and back story. Thank goodness, because otherwise the gravely injured Elijah would be mentally and lushly spewing more information than an encyclopaedia even as his life force drains away (ie. he is bleeding out):
QUOTE<<Even without training, at their hearts all Demons were essentially battle ready beasts. He believed that. It was a personal philosophy and he strongly felt that no matter how heavy the veneer of civilization within their race, or within the individual, there were instincts that could not ever be denied. Sure, Demons looked human, although taller and tanner than the average, but they were also considered extraordinarily attractive if in human circles. Elijah knew this was because the elemental and animal genetics within them allowed for heightened pheromones that called out to the opposite sex, a predatory sense of awareness that exuded attractive danger, and the penchant for extraordinary eyes behind which settled equally extraordinary cunning and intelligence. All the qualities of natural born hunters, always seething just beneath the surface, waiting for someone to make themselves prey. Demons were capable of behaviors as untamed as the elements they claimed their great powers from. Behaviors they had embraced and integrated into every skill they cultivated in their long lifetimes, making them formidable opponents should you manage to get on their distant bad sides.
From Excerpt on Frank's Website>>QUOTE
Frank's prose is always super lush and descriptive, often overly so as it is also formal in the way of less contemporary writing. It can be heady or it can be stultifying and wordy, and sometimes it's an obvious info dump. This is curious because Frank's site also states that each series is meant to be read in order from left to right.
There are tense moments in the story, and a twist or two, but in the end it is pretty much the storyline working to it's inevitable conclusion. The characters are either noble and heroic or evil and cowardly.
There is certainly an air of high fantasy or fairy tale; maybe part of the lushness. The complex world building is definitely a big part of the information characters feel they have to offer each other in order for the author to fill the reader in. It is sometimes like an aside or stage whisper to the unseen audience. It really drags down dialogue.
One think I love is the Lycanthropes' prehensile hair that can grip or bind, but which in being bound or shorn leaves the Lycanthrope helpless or can even kill them. It seems at times to know what Siena wants more than her thinking, and Samhain-addled, brain does. What she wants is Elijah. Good thing he wants her back because there is a lot of steamy sex and with the writer's voice being as it is, not much is left out.
On a personal note: Think how handy long prehensile hair could be! It could hold it's own blow dryer, pick up the remote, pull weeds!
What would your prehensile hair do for you?