NIGHT MYST (Indigo Court #1)
Cicely Waters has been traveling town to town with her junkie of a mother for years. Born a witch and taught to control wind at a young age by a member of fae royalty, she has struggled to continue learning and utilizing her magic while waiting for her mother to get her next fix. Suddenly, Cicely gets a call from her family home in New Forest, Washington with news that all is not well. A new and frightening force has settled over the town, people are disappearing, and the nights are no longer safe.
Cicely returns home since she no longer is responsible for her mother, who overdosed and passed away, and finds what remains of her family in shambles. Members of her coven of witches are systematically vanishing, with her aunt being the latest victim. The search for the missing is overwhelming on its own, but Cicely is also faced with a reunion with Grieve, a man she has not seen or spoken to in nine long years. Much like the town though, Grieve has changed, emanating a new and terrifying darkness.
In addition to fighting to save her family, Cicely, her cousin Rhiannon, and a couple of allies must uncover the driving force behind New Forest's supernatural threat if they have any hope of surviving. Uncomfortable alliances must be made, and Cicely must call on all the elemental and emotional strength she possesses to wrench those she loves from clutches of a paranormal powerhouse.
I will be honest and say I had a hard time connecting to this story. As is common with the Urban Fantasy genre, there is quite a bit of world-building to introduce readers to the characteristics that define this new preternatural environment. World-building means a plethora of descriptive language. Character descriptions. Landscape descriptions. Histories of the powers and abilities of the protagonists. And while the story is well written, the sheer volume of information imparted slows the plot down.
The story itself is interesting and the world Galenorn's built has a lot of potential. The focus is not on a single group of supernatural beings, but rather is an amalgamation of the most well known of those: vampires, fae and shifters. Cicely herself is a strong protagonist, forced by circumstance into a leadership position in the rescue effort. She's strong mentally, physically, and as the story progresses we are shown that her strengths truly know no bounds.
The relationship between Cicely and Grieve has some nice moments. Though their history together is a bit murky in the beginning, we are given a few select pieces of information toward the end that lead me to believe the complications are just beginning for them. Their future is clearly going to be wrought with innumerable obstacles and potentially insurmountable odds, providing enticement to continue with the next book to see just what might be in store for them.
This novel is the first in a series, and it truly seems to be more of a set-up for future events than a stand-alone story. There's a lot of developing and a lot of creating as Galenorn lays the foundation for the next installments, resulting in a plot that moves forward slowly, piece by piece, letting us discover little snippets of information as we go along. It's a lulling pace, one that doesn't inspire frenzied reading, but still one that weaves a satisfying tale. I will most likely continue the series in the hopes that future books will bring the action and character development into the light, and leave some of the description behind.