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The World of Nightwalkers #5
Releasing Aug 25th, 2015
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes the final chapter in the Nightwalkers saga! As the momentous showdown with a powerful demon unfolds, a passionate encounter breaks the ultimate taboo.
Kamen is a Bodywalker, an ancient soul reborn in one human host after another. He’s also a prisoner of his own kind: for it was Kamen who released Apep, the deadly god who threatens the existence of their world. To atone for this grievous error, Kamen accepts an urgent mission: to convince the other nations of the Nightwalkers to set aside their centuries-old conflicts and band together. If he fails, all will be lost. And no tribe presents a greater challenge than the Wraiths, the spectral beings who are feared and despised for their lethal deathtouch. Kamen makes first contact with a stunning, ghostly pale beauty named Geneviève. Part Wraith and part human, scorned as a half-breed, Viève shares the hunger for redemption—and for connection. Her scintillating touch holds the kiss of death, and yet it makes Kamen feel more alive than ever. Soon his lips are pressed against hers, sending Viève into fits of desire and forging a bond that breaches the divide between them. Now they must unite all the Nightwalkers, from Vampire and Shadowdweller to Djynns, and fast—for Apep is ready for war.
Kamenwati awoke with a sharp intake of breath. He exhaled when he realized that the dream was just that . . . a dream. He sat up in his bed and turned on the light on the nightstand beside him. The room still felt alien to him. Probably because it was not really and it was not meant to be comfortable. It was meant to be something just shy of a prison cell.
So be it. Considering the unforgivable nature of his crimes against his hosts and against humanity in general, he should have gotten much worse than this comfortable bed, a room of his own, and three exquisite meals a day. In truth, very little had changed about his daily life since coming to this place. He spent his days studying ancient texts, scrolls, and papyrus that were brittle to the touch and on the verge of crumbling to dust. He studied new spells and magic, studied histories and old languages. Just as he had done before.
But while these were things that had once given him great pleasure and devoured much of his time, his pleasure had since crumbled to dust, just like an old parchment. And rightfully so. For it was in one of these scrolls that he’d uncovered the spell that allowed him to inadvertently unleash the deadly and dangerous imp god, Apep.
Intentionally or not, he had done it. He was responsible. And therefore it was he who must find the means to destroy the god he had brought forth. He had walked into the “enemy” camp, the Bodywalker Politic, and thrown himself on their mercy. Then he had thrown himself into studying every piece of ancient text he could find to discover the way to destroy the god. There had to be a way. It was simply a matter of whether they could find the solution.
Kamen turned and threw his legs over the bed. He let the sheets pull away, leaving his bare legs exposed to the chill air. The inside of the New Mexico stronghold was climate controlled for the most part, but he always found it to be a little too cold for his liking. But since he was more a prisoner than a guest, it wasn’t as though he could complain. He stood up, feeling the need to move. He had grown very restless of late, which thankfully coincided with his jailors allowing him more freedom to move about. He was no longer confined to his quarters—although that had been a rather loosely adhered to policy from the beginning. In truth, these people were really lucky he was honestly trying to reform himself. He could have caused a great deal of damage to them had he been of a mind to. He knew more than enough spells to wreak havoc if he wished to.
For centuries, he had been gathering spells like a child gathers wildflowers from a field. Each time he was reborn into a new host body, he would learn more, and that knowledge stayed with him throughout his many lives, even in the Ether, that bodiless state of being where a Bodywalker spirit resides for the one hundred years in between lives.
For he was indeed a Bodywalker: a soul that had originated during the long lost dynasties of ancient Egypt. He had been born, he had lived a life, and he had died. And like many noble Egyptians, he had been mummified and buried with all of his wealth, intending to take it with him into the afterlife. But apparently, the hubris of such an act, of trying to force the hand of the powers of life and death, had instead given the Egyptians’ souls life everlasting . . . in the Ether. Knowing no eternal rest, no heaven or hell, no life other than to exist and watch the years unfold on the earthly plane.
Until one day one soul thought to ask a living soul on earth who was on the cusp of death if he wished to share his body in exchange for being returned to full health, as well as having the powers of immortality and extraordinary self-healing. The living man had agreed and both souls returned to the living man’s body. The souls eventually Blended and become as one, harmonious inside the human host. And once one soul was able to do so, all the other souls followed suit and began to share the bodies of human mortals who would have died otherwise.
Only, some Bodywalkers wanted full control without having to answer to the original soul, so they did as little Blending as possible, suppressing the human soul until its voice became nearly nonexistent. These were the Templars. The Politic Bodywalkers were of an opposing mentality. They respected the original soul by sharing its body on equal footing and honoring the agreement they had made.
Kamen had been the second most powerful Templar there was, the favorite of their leader, the most powerful Templar, Odjit. And in turn, Kamen had loved Odjit. Not as a man loves a woman, but as a devoted follower loves his master. He thought it was Odjit’s plan to do away with the animosity between the two sides of the Bodywalker race so they could all live in harmony one day. He had believed in her cause—in cause.
As the ending to the series it fell a bit short for me, it felt like it all wrapped up too easily. There are so many characters that if you've read the previous books, you'll find yourself skimming through the descriptions, and if you're new to the series, you might feel overwhelmed. Overall the story is good and Kamen and Viève's romance is both sweet and hot. I highly recommend reading this as part of the series instead of as a standalone.
I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.