Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

Dark Currents: Agent of Hel by Jacqueline CareyMeet Daisy Johanssen, part-time file clerk at the local police department, who also happens to be half demon and the agent/enforcer for Hel, the goddess who oversees the eldritch (supernatural) community of the small town of Pemkowet, Michigan. After listening to a band with her friend, Jen, chasing off a fairy attempting to turn a child into a changeling, and a few hours sleep, Daisy gets a call from the police chief to come to a crime scene. The body of a drowned teen-aged boy presents a mystery: the story told by his friends does not feel right to the chief, and the watch Daisy gave him to test with indicates the use of magic.

Given the likelihood of eldritch involvement in the case, and the bigoted views toward that community held by the victim’s parents, the chief wants Daisy to work with Cody, an officer and “private” werewolf, whom Daisy also has a long-term crush on, dating back to when they were kids and he stood up for her. The ensuing investigation involves various segments of the eldritch population, including naiads, undines, ghouls, and vampires, as well as humans. Aside from solving the mystery, Daisy also needs to contain her temper and not call upon her father, an action that would have dire consequences for the eldritch and human communities.

Carey perfectly balances the ongoing mystery with the exploration of the fascinating eldritch world she creates, in which supernatural populations of cities and towns exist due to a literal below-ground realm ruled by a powerful being. Vivid depictions of the eldritch population and their interactions in the human world allow the reader to feel as though they are right there observing the story unfold in front of them. Daisy proves an intriguing and very likable protagonist, with an unusual physical characteristic which shall not get spoiled here. Secondary characters, eldritch and human, all add dimension and in some cases a nice dash of humor to the narrative. Dark Currents, a splendid beginning to the Agent of Hel series, receives this reviewer’s highest recommendation, and will please urban fantasy fans, sending them immediately in search of book two, Autumn Bones.

Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451414837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451414830

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Books in Agents of Hel series in the order in which they should be read:
Dark Currents Autumn Bones

Meet Daisy Johanssen, part-time file clerk at the local police department, who also happens to be half demon and the agent/enforcer for Hel, the goddess who oversees the eldritch (supernatural) community of the small town of Pemkowet, Michigan. After listening to a band with her friend, Jen, chasing off a fairy attempting to turn a …

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About Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.

2 comments

  1. Great review, Carol! This sounds like an intriguing story.
    I enjoy many different types of characters in stories. :)
    Thank you for sharing.

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