Poor Mira, tasked with saving the world yet again. Our story starts a day or two after the end of Nightwalker and Mira and Danaus are in Venice to see the Coven who've summoned her. They have a couple days until the naturi will atempt to brake open the seals in place against them. And they hope that the mighty Coven will offer some relief and have some much-needed answers.
Drake does an amazing job of relaying Mira's somber state throughout the book. Mira is very low, and at times I wanted to close the book in frustration because of all the bull-shit she's up against. She has lost one of her gardiaun angels, Michael, and has charged herself responsible for now watching over Tristan as a means of redemption. But the interactions aren't the same. And without either of her friendly guardians present, Mira came off very lonely. Danaus is still her confidant but they're both so stressed out the entire time, that there was no friendly banter much like in the previous book.
The majority of the middle was all about the coven's politics and about each elder's end-game. You discover a little bit about their goals for humans, the naturi, and even their master; their Liege. Unforunately, the Liege still has yet to appear but, I fell safe in saying that once the curtain is pulled back and the wizard is revealed we'll wish for the stories when he was only in the background. Each elder was a unique addition to the story and to Mira's character background.
The story-line was a bit sluggish, and the whole book felt almost like Act II of the previous book; a second half of the same story if you will. Granted it's a unique approach to story telling, but it did make me wonder through the slow bits thinking "we sure are going back and forth with the same characters and locations a lot". Now, it's all very important to the overall series, and by the end of the story I was very happy with all the incites I've made, I just wanted...I don't even know what I wanted.
I'm still thoroughly enjoying Drake's writing style. She really has a way with scenes and the players involved in them. Her crafty ways keep even the repetitive locations mysterious and interesting. Venice is painted in splashes of grey and charcoal instead of it's usual blues and oranges. I thought this new take on a stereotypically serene destination appealing. I'll never think of Venice quite the same again.
Bottom Line: Not quite the same magic but, an important part of the Dark Days series