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Blood of the Wicked: A Dark Mission Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 31, 2011

Book 1 of 6 in the Dark Mission Series

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Editorial Reviews


4 and 1/2 stars! “An electrifying, very promising start to the new Dark Mission series. Cooper’s world has endless possibilities in her alternate universe where witches...are hunted down for their murderous ways. The characters and plot are expertly woven in with action and steamy romance.” (RT Book Reviews)

“Dark, bloody, and violently descriptive, this steamy romance takes readers on an emotionally wrenching, sometimes gruesome journey into a grimly fascinating futuristic world that will draw readers in and leave them wanting more. Compelling and mesmerizing, this is a stellar start to this new series.” (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

When the world went straight to hell, humanity needed a scapegoat to judge, to blame . . . to burn.

As an independent witch living off the grid, Jessie Leigh has spent her life running, trying to blend in among the faceless drudges in the rebuilt city. She thought she was finally safe, but now she's been found in a New Seattle strip club—by a hard-eyed man on a mission to destroy her kind.

A soldier of the Holy Order, Silas Smith believes in the cause: trawling the fringes of society for the murderous witches who threaten what's left of the world. Forced into a twisting web of half-truths and lies, he has to stay close to the most sensuous and electrifying woman he has ever seen and manipulate her into leading him to the witch he has to kill: her brother. Silas doesn't know that Jessie's his enemy, only that he wants her, needs her, even as he lies to her . . . and must protect her until his final breath.


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Product Details

  • Series: Dark Mission (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062046853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062046857
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,419,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After writing happily ever afters for all of her friends in school, Karina Cooper eventually grew up (sort of), went to work in the real world (kind of), where she decided that making stuff up was way more fun (true!). She is the author of dark and sexy paranormal romances, steampunk adventures, crossover urban fantasy, and continues to write across multiple genres with mad glee. Her award winning steampunk series, The St. Croix Chronicles, is the RT Reviewers Choice Awards recipient for Best Steampunk Novel 2012.

One part glamour, one part dork and all imagination, Karina is also a gamer, an avid reader, a borderline hermit and an activist. She co-exists with a husband, a menagerie and a severe coffee habit. Visit her at, because she says so.

Customer Reviews

Really....if he thinks this is bad, I shouldn't let any of the erotica lay around.
Cocktails and Books
Fans of urban fantasy as well as paranormal romance will love this exciting new series, and Ms. Cooper's writing is not for the faint of heart.
A great story with wonderful twists and turns that keeps you guessing until the end.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) VINE VOICE on June 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can be a sap sometimes, and I confess that a good love story can move me to tears. _Blood of the Wicked_, however, made me cry for all the wrong reasons.

_Blood of the Wicked_ is the first in the Dark Mission paranormal romance series by debut author Karina Cooper. It appears that each installment will be self-contained and focus on a different couple. The setting is an alternate future: witches existed and were known to exist in the story's past, and then when disasters struck the world's cities, the witches were blamed for the cataclysms and are now hunted and burned. In New Seattle, built on the ruins of today's Seattle, we meet our hero and heroine.

Silas is a witch hunter on the trail of a violent coven. To that end, he seeks out Jessie, the sister of one of the coven's witches, Caleb. He finds her tending bar in a strip club and, to make a long story short, the two end up hunting Caleb together. Silas intends to capture Caleb and have him executed, while Jessie believes her brother is innocent and plans to save him instead. But Jessie has a secret: she is also a witch, and if Silas finds out, it will mean a death sentence.

Cooper's writing is for the most part very good. New Seattle and the alternate history are interesting, and Cooper skillfully depicts the wet, cold, bleak, chaotic world her characters live in. You don't even realize how well she describes it until the characters reach a beautiful, wholesome sanctuary that is the polar opposite of the city, and until they are thrust back into New Seattle after that brief idyll. Some of the geographic descriptions and fight scenes can get a little confusing, and Cooper has a few "pet words" that she overuses ("roil" comes to mind), but overall the prose works well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jen (Red Hot Books) TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really wanted to love this book. The prequel novella Before the Witches was awesome. It left me wanting more. I thought Blood of the Wicked would be cut from the same cloth, but it had a very different feel. Don't misunderstand... the book isn't bad. I liked it. But I didn't love it.

The story is set about 50 years after a series of cataclysmic events changed the face of the world. Many blame witches for the near-armageddon. And they are persecuted relentlessly. Jessie is a witch in hiding. Silas is a witch-hunter, determined to find Jessie's brother, Caleb. He targets Jessie, not because she is a witch (he doesn't know that she is), but to help track Caleb.

Silas and Jessie are undeniably drawn to each other. He has been hardened by his life, and is worn down physically and emotionally. He's been off the job for 14 years, doing other things. (And it's never really clear to me how "The Mission" got him to come back to find Caleb.) He thinks all witches are evil and with the exception of Jessie, it looks like he's not entirely wrong. You would think that because he's the heroine's brother, Caleb is really a good guy who has been unfairly targeted. You would be wrong. He is horrible. But Jessie doesn't know that. Just as Silas is using her to track his prey, she is using him, hoping to find her brother and save him.

I think my biggest problem with this book was that I found myself confused by some of the world building. I understand that a new Seattle was built above the rubble of the old, and only the upper class live above ground. After a time, I figured that city below ground was the remnants of the Old Seattle (?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Mueller on August 8, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
(This review was originally published at

Those who read this blog regularly know I flit back-and-forth between obsessions with urban fantasy titles and paranormal romances. I like darkness and grit. I love sizzling chemistry. And, above all else, I love seeing realistic characters, especially realistic relationships. And -- damn -- Karina Cooper hits all of the above and more with her first Dark Mission novel, Blood of the Wicked.

In the strictest sense, Blood of the Wicked is a paranormal romance novel, but I was impressed by the urban fantasy elements. The novel is set in New Seattle. Magic caused a great chasm to take much of the original city into the ocean. Instead of moving in-land, they've build on top of the ruins (again). What has been created is a physical manifestation of the social class structure. A layer cake where the poor and seedy elements live far underground where light can't reach, middle class have the center levels (high enough to get a greyish natural light), and the most wealthy live topside in a world of glass and metal. She's also maintained the ruins of Old Seattle, and diving into that catacomb is dark, nasty and dangerous.

Because witches' magic is blamed for collapses all over the world, The Mission hunters seek out and kill all witches. Their belief is the magic always corrupts, always leads to evil. And magic is in the blood, so as soon as anyone -- man, woman or child -- is identified by blood he or she is executed. So, it's not surprising that Jessie has been on the run her whole life. She does her best to keep the magic locked in, and skips from one strip club bartender gig to another. Her main goal is avoiding attention, but she also has spent years trying to find her little brother Caleb.
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