Nightwalker (Dark Days Series #1)

Nightwalker (Dark Days Series #1)

4.2 219
by Jocelynn Drake
     
 

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For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called

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Overview

For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.

The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted.

Editorial Reviews

Jeaniene Frost
“NIGHTWALKER is an action-packed, stellar debut. Jocelynn Drake will have you coming back for more.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061983016
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Dark Days Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
55,589
File size:
1 MB

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Read an Excerpt

Nightwalker

One

His name was Danaus. And what I remember most were his eyes. I saw them first by lamplight; a flicker of dark cobalt as he paused a distance from me. His eyes were the color sapphires were meant to be, a grim sparkle of pigment. I stared at those eyes, willing time to slow down as I slipped into those still, stygian depths. But it wasn't the waters of the Styx I swam in, but a cool lagoon of Lethe where I bathed in a moment of oblivion.

He stopped on the deserted street outside the edge of a pale pool of light thrown down by a wrought-iron lamp, his eyes darting up and down the empty expanse. He drew in a deep breath. I think he could sense me watching from some perch but could not peg my exact location. His right hand flexed once at his side, and to my surprise he stepped forward into the light, his night vision momentarily destroyed; taunting me with the bait he dangled before my eyes.

I slowly ran my tongue over my teeth. Not only was he impressive to look at, but there was a confidence about him that begged my attention. I was half tempted to step away from the shadow of the chimney and allow the moon to outline my slim form. But I hadn't survived for more than six centuries by making careless mistakes. Balanced on the ridgepole of the three-story house across from him, I watched as he continued down the street. His black leather duster flared as he walked, snapping at his heels like a chained wolf forced to follow its master.

The truth was, I had watched him for more than a month. He'd blown into my territory like a cold wind and wasted no time destroying my kind. In the past weeks he had killed nearly half adozen of my brethren. Almost all had been fledglings, with less than a century to cut their teeth upon, but it was still more than any other had dared.

And these killings had not been spineless daylight stakings. He hunted each nightwalker under the caress of moonlight. I had even watched some of these battles from a hidden perch and barely kept from applauding when he knelt, bloody, over each of his prey, cutting out the heart. He was speed and cunning. And the nightwalkers were bloated on their own inflated sense of power. I was the Keeper of this domain, entrusted with protecting our secret; not protecting those who could not protect themselves.

After weeks of watching my would-be prey, I thought it was time for formal introductions. I knew who he was. More than just another Nosferatu hunter. Something wonderfully more, with a vibrant power all his own. I wanted a taste of that power before he died.

And he knew of me. In their final seconds some of the weak ones had mewled my name, hoping my identity would buy them a last second reprieve. It hadn't. I sped silently along the rooftops, leaping over the gaps and landing with the sure-footed grace of a cat. Slipping past him and down two more blocks to the outer edge of the historic district, I stopped at an abandoned home with a widow's walk and worn red brick that would serve as a nice meeting place. Its single turret and dark windows gazed out toward the river like a silent soldier.

The night air was warm and thick despite the fact that we hadn't had any rain for more than two weeks, leaving the brown lawns struggling from yet another rough summer. Even the crickets seemed to put forth only a halfhearted effort with their chirping, burdened by the oppressive heat. The light breeze that blew in from the sea carried with it more moisture, thickening the air until it carried a weight all its own. I had come to Savannah more than a century ago, seeking anonymity, an escape from the world that had consumed me for nearly five hundred years. I loved Savannah's grace and history, the ghosts that seemed to haunt every shadowy corner and rambling house. Yet I could do without her oppressive summers. I'd spent too many years in cooler climes.

The abandoned house was half hidden behind enormous oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, as if guarded by a pair of grand dames swathed in antique lace. The front of the property was lined with a tall, spike iron fence ending in a pair of stone pillars that flanked the path up to the house. I sat on the top of the left pillar with my legs crossed, waiting for him. The subtle throb of my powers tumbled from my body. I wanted him to follow the trail until he came to me, like the pied piper trilling his merry tune for the children of Hamelin.

Danaus stopped when he reached the edge of the property to my left and stared at me. Yes, it was brazen, and maybe even a little overconfident on my part, but I didn't want him to grow too sure of himself. He would have to work for his blood tonight.

With a slow smile, I rolled off the pillar, disappearing behind the spike fence and into the deeper shadows of the overgrown yard. I cut through the air as if I were made of the night, disappearing through an open window on the second floor at the back of the house.

Waiting in a former bedroom, I listened. Anticipation coiled in my stomach, my body tingling with the thrill of the hunt, so rarely had I the chance to pit myself against something that could actually destroy me. I'd killed my share of human hunters, but they hadn't been a real challenge, waving their silver crosses about and praying to a god they had abandoned until that moment of final judgment. After so many long centuries, there were too few ways in which to feel that rush, to dance along the razor's edge and remember, even if only for a breath, what it had meant to be alive. Danaus would help me remember.

Nightwalker. Copyright © by Jocelynn Drake. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Jeaniene Frost
“NIGHTWALKER is an action-packed, stellar debut. Jocelynn Drake will have you coming back for more.”

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