Just did my first beta read of Fallen Eyes by J. K. Walker. I can’t tell you how excited I am. It is always such a thrill when I can follow the career of new writers and watch them grow. Especially when they grow into wonderful storytellers!
I first found J. K. Walker when he asked for a review of his first book in his Salt Lake After Dark series, Glacial Eyes (Salt Lake After Dark, #1). Anyone who knows me and my reading style knows that I love a strong, thoughtfully designed female character, and Jazz most certainly met that requirement. An orphan, Jazz is putting herself through school, sharing an apartment with her best friend and her gray tomcat Loki. An attempted rape at an outdoor party leads to Jazz discovering she is much more than what she thought – in more ways than one.
Unlike a lot of female ‘heroines’ Jazz was neither whiny nor an unbelievable super-heroine. Instead, her strength is tempered by a knowledge of how much she doesn’t know, and how much she still has to learn about who, and what, she is. Yep, I was absolutely HOOKED on the characters and storyline of what goes on in Salt Lake After Dark!
The second book, Hollow Eyes continued the series, as Jazz became more knowledgeable about her new condition and about the strange new world she now inhabits. Now a supernatural problem solver, Jazz has a new and difficult life, a new boyfriend who is far from being a “real boy” and a cannibal running the streets of Salt Lake City that she is expected to find and destroy. Wow. A bit of a change, from simple college student to supernatural enforcer!
I have to admit, as much as I loved the first two books, I held out a star, giving them four-stars in my reviews. Bad Leiah – I was holding out to see where the series went, and by this time I was talking with J. K. Walker about his series and characters and truly beginning to love the stories he was writing.
Then came the third book, Sanguine Eyes. Now, finally, that final star comes out, a five-star read. Up until now, Jazz has faced a serial killer, a berserker, a wendigo, and even a zombie invasion. Damn, girl! That is a LOT to ask from a college girl, wouldn’t you say? And yet, now things get even stranger, as a mystical drug called Sanguine drives human addicts to have the horrifying strength and speed of vampires – and even less control.
Now, J. K. Walker is well on his way to delivering Fallen Eyes, the fourth in the series – and this one is all set to blow even the excellence of the last three out of the water. Jazz has grown, mentally, emotionally, and physically through the last three books, and this installment is pulling her character development together, bringing her knowledge, her strength, and her pain, into sharp focus. Currently loosely scheduled for a January release, you have to put this on your “must purchase” list if you are at all interested in a brilliant urban fantasy world. You will not be disappointed. Walker is fast approaching the strength of some of my favorite authors, such as Charles deLint and the team of Ilona Andrews.
Check out the two short-stories by Walker set in the Salt Lake After Dark world. In My Time of Dying, an Amazon Freebie the heartbreaking and hopeful story of David and Angel, and Frat House of the Dead, which gives you more background on one of my favorite secondary characters, Rachel the Technowitch.
This series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
J. K. Walker is a Utah native that has been telling stories since he was first able to talk. Author of the “Salt Lake After Dark” series that follows Jasmine Bedeau and her friends, both normal and supernatural, through their adventures in a paranormal world hidden within our own.