Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Dark Man's Son by Meg Whitlock

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Jason Latimer is saved by a young woman, Alex, one night when he is attacked by muggers. The muggers, however, are demons, and his green-eyed (or is she gold-eyed?) saviour is rather older than she looks. Quite a bit older. She’s been around since the year dot, pretty much. She wants to protect Jason—she is a Guardian, she is Light representing goodness; she wants to protect him from the evil Guardians who are Dark and from Lucifer in particular. Jason believes she’s quite simply deranged, but some unanswered questions pertaining to his recently deceased grandfather and his mother’s reticence about his own father lead him to uncover some extraordinary facts about himself, why Lucifer is so intent on seeking him out and why Alex is committed to protecting him. Alex has to do everything in her power to keep Jason out of his reach.

This was probably a fantasy tale on the border of my limits of the genre, but I did like the veil of wry humour embracing the story. The dialogue was sharp, witty and modern—streetwise almost. I got a little dizzy with the leaps into different time frames. Alex is immortal, so she’s been around quite a bit, and the story jumps into different centuries. Confusing also is the fact she has different monikers.  However, these kangaroo hops were well done, with famous names like Botticelli being characterised, and their relevance soon becomes evident.  Meg’s characters were meaty and substantial; Jason is suitably good-looking and takes his parentage and his new future in his stride; Alex is Light and Goodness in a neat, attractive little package—positive, caring, and well-intentioned. Cassius, her brother, and Rorik, her trusted friend, have their own demons within their demon souls and have their consciences to fight as well as their foes.

What I also liked was that although this is the first in a series, the ending was solid enough to end the book without unanswered questions, but with just a smidgeon of a hint that there is more to come.

I’m still a little on the fence with this genre, although some recent books have been moving it up my hit charts, and Meg has certainly helped push it along upwards.  Aficionados of the genre will certainly get their money’s worth with this one.

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