The Dark Ink Chronicles, Book 1 - Afterlight

Author: Elle Jasper

Publisher: Signet

Release Date: November 2, 2010

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5

Format: PRINT

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Riley Poe is a tattoo artist, recovering addict and currently, a responsible sister to her fifteen-year-old brother, Seth.  Life hasn't been easy since their mother's death, but Riley will do anything for her brother whom she loves more than anyone.  When Riley catches Seth and his friends desecrating the grave that she was warned to avoid by a Gullah root doctor, otherwise known as her hoodoo conjuring, herb wielding, surrogate grandfather, she can't imagine how all their lives will change due to one irresponsible juvenile prank.

Fully aware of the trouble she caused in her own misplaced youth, Riley begins to sense the evil, which her brother and his friends have unleashed...not just upon themselves, but onto the whole city of Savannah, Georgia.  When Seth's behavior becomes more than she can explain or fix, she seeks her surrogate grandparents' help.  Will their answer be more than Riley can cope with, or will she die trying to rescue her brother from an evil she never knew existed?

If a smart-mouthed, kick-ass and take-no-prisoners type of heroine, who can emulate the darkest of evil, aided by her Goth-inspired fashion sense, appeals to your inner bad girl, then you'll love Riley Poe.  She's unique.  She has a tortured past.  She's strong as well as insightfully vulnerable.  She's funny in her approach to life, as well as, in others' reactions to her, and I really couldn't wait for her to fall in love.  Not just with anyone had to be Eli Dupre, an uber-sexy vampire, and he had to love Riley back because they were perfect for one another.  I don't think I need to say much about Eli, other than he's wickedly delicious and French.  He has many talents, but the best one is pushing Riley beyond control.  I have no doubt you'll fall in love with his erotic possession of Riley.  Eli exudes sexuality and might just make you desperate for an Eli of your own.

I've read enough of the vampire sub-genre to know when I've found a series that has taken me prisoner without parole.  Even though I was quite certain I'd be pissed when my advanced reading copy ended too quickly, I couldn't stop my frenzied consumption.  There's a certain thrill that goes with realizing you might have discovered the best book you've read in a long, long time.  Wanting to scream out loud, you possessively read as fast as possible, trying not to miss a word, while hoping it will never end.

There was one particular moment in AFTERLIGHT when I knew Riley Poe would be forever etched within my mind and heart.  At that moment, she seemed like me, or maybe I became her, I'm not sure.  I had become so tightly interwoven with the book that I felt what she felt.  To me, she became every strong woman I have ever known who has faced life with a tough exterior.  When she realized her vulnerability, it was heartbreaking.  Could she be vulnerable enough to love the right person, forever, no matter the cost?  It was at that moment that I cried, which is extremely rare, but AFTERLIGHT spoke to my heart so deeply that it resulted in soul-sucking tears.  I don't think my emotion was accidental, but had been evoked by the layered characterization by author, Elle Jasper.  At that moment, I knew Riley Poe as well as I knew myself.  And have I mentioned the eroticism threaded into all the right places within the book?  Well, let's just say there wasn't much left to the imagination, and I'm not sad about that at all. Whew... smokin' hot!

AFTERLIGHT is beautifully written with mind-numbing possession over the reader.  It's edgy and modern, with just the right amount of good versus evil.  I have no doubt it will envelop your heart and soul with Riley's fascinating world as much as it did mine.  The only thought reverberating through my mind as I read the last page, was how will I ever survive until June 2011, when EVERDARK, the second book in THE DARK INK CHRONICLES continues the story?  I think I'm in dire need of a support group or an intervention, whichever comes first.  AFTERLIGHT and Elle Jasper deserve every bit of Romance Junkies' top rating for the most absorbing, enticing and unique paranormal world I've read in years.  I'm enamored, and I think you will be, too.  Is it June 2011 yet?

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dorine

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