Review of Night Blade by J.C. Daniels
I have an urban fantasy review for you all today. This is the second book in The Colbana Files by J.C. Daniels. If you haven’t read the first novel, Blade Song, you might want to start with it first as my review below will assume you’ve read it. Otherwise, I tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible.
Kit Colbana is always biting off more than she can chew. She has a knack for finding trouble. This time, though, trouble finds her. Someone from her past drops a case into her lap that she just can’t refuse…literally.
People on the Council are dying left and right and she’s been requested to investigate the deaths. The number one suspect? Her lover, Damon. If she doesn’t clear his name, he gets a death sentence. Even if she succeeds? They still might try to execute him. Oh, and she’s not allowed to tell him about the case, either.
The stakes are high this time around, higher than they’ve ever been. Kit may be forced to pay the ultimate price to save her lover’s life…a price that could destroy her and everything she loves.
I have to say I had mixed emotions after the first book in The Colbana Files. It was a compelling read, but had some weak spots. Much of this improved in Night Blade and I was definitely hooked from early on. Kit is the typical urban fantasy heroine in the sense that she is overly sarcastic and rude, has a tragic past that still affects her, thinks she’s tough, and is always taking on more than she can handle. By all rights this type of character should have bored me by now, but J.C. Daniels has a way of making me making me appreciate those qualities more than I thought possible.
One weakness, or strength depending on how you look at it, that Kit has is her need to protect people. The first novel showed the lengths she’d go through to save a kid’s life. This latest one showed what she’d do to protect her boyfriend, Damon, from imminent execution. He’s gotten too powerful as the new Alpha of the cat clan and there are those who would stop at nothing to see him dead. It puts her in a bind, though, because she can’t tell him what she’s up to and he begins to get suspicious of her actions. I really felt Kit’s frustration and loneliness as she tried to get the evidence to save him while he constantly made it difficult for her.
Some people would criticize the way Damon behaved in this novel and the last one. He had some really sweet moments, but he was also overbearing and overprotective at times. I’m a strong woman, but I can appreciate a man who wants to take care of the woman he loves—even if it does get annoying at times. The fact of the matter is, any guy who’s strong and tough is not going to be soft and easy to handle. He’s going to be an ass sometimes and do stupid things to piss his woman off. I honestly thought Kit did a fair job of handling him. Some female readers fail to realize you don’t get it both ways. Guys who always do what their woman says and let her walk all over them tend to be weak and will bore them to tears. Years of being in the testosterone-filled Army taught me this much. There are exceptions to the rule, but they’re rare. Let’s face it, most of us love the bad boys and they are not easily tamed.
The situation with Kit and Damon escalates to levels I never would have predicted and won’t spoil for you, but be prepared for an unlikely outcome with this book. The author didn’t hold back with her imagination. The plot will twist and turn in ways that keep you turning the pages no matter how badly you need to stop for basic bodily functions. My biggest regret is I didn’t realize how much I’d be left hanging in the end. I really wish book three wasn’t so far away from releasing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this latest installment. There were quite a few typos in it that I did my best to ignore and a couple of scenes where I think the author glossed over them when she could have capitalized on their importance more, but otherwise this was a great book. Lovers of urban fantasy should definitely check this one out. I know I’m glad I did. Four Whips for Night Blade!