When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.First Line: "He didn't look dangerous, not at first glance. Still, a girl can never be too careful on a blind date, and that's why I'd insisted Mr. Sand meet me in a popular steadhouse nestled in a casino dead center on the Las Vegas Strip."
By rights, she should be dead.
Now a photographer by day, she prowls a different Las Vegas after sunset – a grim, secret Sin City where Light battles Shadow – seeking answers to whom or what she really is … and revenge for the horrors she was forced to endure.
But the nightmare is just beginning – for the demons are hunting Joanna, and the powerful Shadows want her for their own…
I gave you the first two sentences. Here's why: First sentence is good, but it's the second that locks everything in place. Plus, I love that she's on a blind date. Not something you'd expect of a bad ass chick in an Urban Fantasy. Also, this is a great beginning; without much telling you're established, just the first two sentences, in most of the Who, What, Where, When, Why.
Brownie Points: This was a long book, and a lot of major plot points happen, but you never feel overwhelmed by what's going on. The characters help a lot with that. Joanna is a very relatable character. And the paranormal stuff is just enough of a twist. Unfortunately, I can't say much more about any specifics because it would completely give everything away.
Recommendation: Looking for something a bit different but with great human emotions and a bunch of crappy things thrown at the main character? Haha, thought so.
Would I represent it? Yes. Here's a nice balance between Dark UF and not so dark (Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris both give blurbs on the cover), while remaining pretty dark. Stuff that happens: dark. Some of the characters and humor: light. Great balance. Loved it!