After Dark, by Jayne Castle

>> Thursday, August 29, 2002

The next thing I'm reading is a futuristic: After Dark, by Jayne Ann Krentz writting as Jayne Castle. I try not to read the too many books of the same subgenre back to back, but to alternate.


"A race of aliens once lived on the future Earth colony called Harmony, leaving behind them the ruins of a vast, beautiful, and mysterious culture that is still protected by the psychic illusion traps and eerie ghosts that they created. Lydia Smith is an archaeologist who can resonate and dissolve the illusions, and those talents, combined with her lack of finances and questionable professional reputation, make her the obvious hire for Emmett London, who is trying to track down a lost antique and the nephew who stole it. Lydia's first consulting job quickly turns dangerous, however, as corpses, ghosts, and illusion traps start popping up--not to mention the rather unprofessional electricity between her and her first client.
In After Dark, author Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle, describes a world that delightfully intertwines futuristic ideas like green-glowing marble, psychic amber, and six-legged pets with earthly characters like penny-pinching bosses, absentee landlords, and mafia wives trying to turn into high-society dames. The writing can feel a bit clunky: "The paranormal ability to resonate with amber and use it to focus psychic energy had begun to appear in the human population shortly after the colonists came through the curtain to settle the planet of Harmony," and the final chapters suffer from a similar lack of finesse in the tying up of loose ends, but Krentz's world is fantastical and fascinating, one that will keep you reading and your imagination soaring".--Nancy R.E. O'Brien
Posted later...

Finished After Dark. The setting of this book was great, probably an A- The - is because it's too similar yet different to the settings of Orchid, Zinnia and Amaryllis. Since I've read those three, at times I wondered why some things which were a certain way in those weren't that way here. Even with those qualms, the setting was the best part of the book.

The love story, however, had quite a few problems. First off, there was too little of it. What there was was ok, except for the ending. No "I love you"s and no more than a vague talk of further commitment on Emmett's part. There was definitely a chunk missing here. In a sense, to tell you the truth, their not swearing eternal love to each other was more appropiate than their doing so would have been. I remember thinking, as I neared the ending, that no way these two were at a stage where they could really decide to get married or anything. But, while I agree that Castle's ending was the appropriate one, it wasn't one I care for very much. This is romance, after all. I prefer couples to be in love by the end of the book.

The suspense subplot was good, but the final part was a little superfluous.

All in all, a grade of B-. I'm keeping this one, if only for the great setting.

UPDATE: I reread this book on March 2004 and gave it a B+. Read my impressions HERE.

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