Nick Littman is a professor by day, teaching mythos and the arcane. At night, he’s a necromancer. The power that surges through his bloodline gives him the magic, but he’s resistant to taking his seat for The Order. Instead, he forges his own path and repeatedly ignores their missives. When a spell goes awry, Nick barely contains the carnage. And that’s just the beginning of his trouble.
His TA, Josiah Wexler, suddenly looks the worse for wear. And he keeps showing up at Nick’s house. Josiah is not forthcoming as to his troubles, and Nick wants to help the younger man. But he’s got more than enough on his plate. The Order isn’t the only thing plaguing him it seems.
When Josiah shows up yet again, and finally the root of his trouble is revealed, Nick does what he can to help. But with the Night Women showing up in town and The Order getting even more persistent–not to mention a disaster in his own home–Nick is in over his head, even if he won’t admit it. Nick needs to make a deal, and do the one thing he really doesn’t want to do, in order to make things right.
The writing in Death Days is smooth and flowing, poetic at times, and fitting to the story that’s being told. I had a few issues with this book, but the writing wasn’t one of them. The author has a talent for weaving words that elevated my opinion of this book. However, the actual telling of the story left a bit to be desired for me.
Nick is a great character. His necromancy talent leaves him alienated from other practitioners, but that doesn’t stop The Order—an ancient group of practitioners that dates back to the time of the crusades—from wanting him, needing him even, to take his place among them. He’s the last remaining heir to one of the old families. Or at least, the only one with power. And an ancient covenant means he has to fill the seat. But Nick hates The Order and wants no part of them. He has his own agenda (though to be honest, I wasn’t quite clear what that was) and he is his own man. I thought he was a great choice as the narrator of the story. His knowledge filled the pages well. That being said, I didn’t see a lot of growth from him throughout the story, and I was looking for a bit more in that regard.
The pacing of this story, especially in the first half, didn’t work well for me. It’s slow. Very slow. A lot of what happens is repetitive. After a bit of action toward the very beginning, nothing really moves forward until about half way through the book. At that point, things pick up and the story was much more engaging to me. But the first half, at times, felt like a slog and I had to force myself to keep going. Things were dragged out too long before they were revealed and this didn’t work for me. I felt like I was missing key components of the story. Nick didn’t have all the facts, of course. But there was a lot he didn’t share with the reader and that left me feeling lost at times, especially in regards to his motivation. In the end, I was glad I read on, as the action and movement in the second half of the book really worked.
The romance side of things here was a little sparse and it worked all right for the story. I would have liked to see a bit more tension between the MCs in the book, to make that moment when they got together (which came late in the story) to feel a bit more like a payoff. But don’t go into this one thinking it’s a true romance. Romance is part of it, sure, but it’s a minor storyline
The ending felt a bit strange to me. On the one hand, it was a complete story when the book finished, albeit slightly abrupt. On the other, it could be setting up for a sequel. I can see that there’s more story to tell, but I don’t know if the author intends to do that.
So this book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked the twist on Nick’s power and lineage; it isn’t something we see all that often. But there were also parts that were too slow for my liking, and definitely things that weren’t explained fully enough for total comprehension. In the end, I would only recommend this to diehard paranormal fans looking for something different and not needing the romance to be the central story line.