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Dark Currents: Agent of Hel Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Agent of Hel Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Agent of Hel (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451464788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464781
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,280,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Jacqueline Carey is one of my favourite authors - her ability to weave an intricate plot with character development and emotional turmoil and romance astound me. I have read the Kushiel series many times (Phedre and Imriel), the Naamah's series (Moirin), and Sainta Olivia. In my opinion, Dark Currents is no where near the same quality as these. If you are looking for an urban fantasy or mystery novel that is a fun and easy read, you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for an epic story of a hero's journey like Kushiel's Avatar, you will be left wanting more.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Dark Currents" is paint-by-numbers Urban Fantasy: there is a not too hard to figure out mystery, a pretty and somewhat outcast half-breed for a heroine, and multiple love interests.
Carey's writing style does not do "Dark Currents" any favors. It is simplistic, overly repetitive, and totally indistinct from the hundreds of other Urban Fantasy novels out there. In fact, the writing feels pretty lazy. The reader frequently gets told what Daisy, the protagonist, is wearing (either directly or using the "character stands in front of the mirror and describes themselves" routine) and, when something makes her angry or aroused, her tail twitches. Her tail twitches a lot throughout the book. Pop-culture references are common, with mentions of "Twilight" and Sookie Stackhouse. While these references may make Daisy seem more relateable to the reader (look, she sniggers at "Twilight" too!), they also cheapen the work, and will quickly date it.
The mystery is not too much of one. The protagonist's mother has a set of fortune telling cards which spell out what happened all too literally. Because of this, Daisy is not required to think, she just has to follow the images: there is a spider card and there is a guy with a spider tattoo! Maybe he is involved somehow....
"Dark Currents" gives Daisy not just two love interests but three -- all of which are totally hot in different ways. There is the dark, sexy, and mysterious ghoul, the hot boy-scout werewolf, and the flirtatious and friendly tour-bus driver who can see auras. The reader is constantly told that they are hot. Constantly. If you did not get the idea that they were hot the first three times they were mentioned, that is okay, because Carey will tell you again, and again.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book from my local library instead of buying it, and for that I am grateful, because it was just awful. I have been a fan of Carey for a long time and I normally love her writing--with the exception of one other book, she always has interesting and unique concepts, well-developed and relatable characters, and paints vivid settings that feel wonderfully real.

Dark Currents, on the other hand, has none of these positive attributes. Everything about it fell short: the setting is not well-developed, the main character Daisy is not especially loveable (I was totally ambivalent toward her), and everything from the love interests to the humor felt incredibly recycled. I felt like Carey's incredible writer's voice had been lost in this stupid main character, who says "Gah!" when she's upset and talks way too much about her tail, which she hides between her legs when she wears jeans. The first-person narration was full of random and often juvenile asides to the reader that were supposed to be funny but just came off as strange--for example, at one point Daisy interrupts the storyline to say of her tail being between her legs, "And yeah, in case you were wondering, it does feel kind of good tucked up there" (paraphrasing). Ugh.

But my biggest problem with the book was that there was no character development whatsoever! I mean, AT ALL! The saddest thing was that I could tell Carey was trying, and there were lines now and again that implied she was trying to make Daisy grow in some way, but at the end of the book, Daisy was exactly the same as when she started. For example, the last line of the book (don't worry it's not a spoiler) is something about how she's okay with being "just nice"--and that's supposed to be some huge revelation for her character.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jacqueline Carey's impressive resume and the blurb on the back of this book convinced me that Dark Currents would be a fresh and engaging read. Alas, this was not the case. After setting up such a fantastic concept Carey appeared to do everything to ensure that her story could not rise to the great heights the concept and her beautiful writing style promised.

The best thing I can say about this book is that it is mediocre. There is a lack of world building, a predictable plot and underdeveloped and unengaging characters. By far the worst aspect of the book is the main character, Daisy. Among Daisy's many faults is that she is incredibly emotionally immature and juvenile, to the point where you have to constantly remind yourself that you are not reading a YA novel. This immaturity combined with Daisy's consistently stupid decisions and lack of personal growth make her a character I cannot empathise with.

This book could have been so much better than this with a different main character.
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