I received this book via the author, Tamara A. Lowery. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Waves of Darkness #2
Length: 236 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
Viktor Brandewyne's search for the second Sister of Power leads him to the bayou country near colonial New Orleans. Along the way, he has his first encounter with vampires not made by him, as well as running afoul of smugglers. The black waters of the bayous hold their own danger as well. An ancient demon guards the way to the Sister. Worse, the siren Belladonna begins to die in the swamps. Should Viktor return the siren to the sea or continue on to the Sister? Without magic from all the Sisters, he won't be able to break the curse that has made him a vampire before it destroys him. Without Belladonna, he cannot find the Sisters.
Demon Bayou by Tamara A. Lowery is book two of the Waves of Darkness series and picks up about a month after the end of book one, Blood Curse. Pirate Vik Brandee is on the hunt for the second sister, and Belladonna leads him to the swamp lands of New Orleans. However a demon and a skirmish with other of his kind block his way to the sister, and the black water of the swamp is poison to Bella and Vik must decide to carry on with his quest or save the siren. Carrying on with his quest will cost him Belladonna and a her visions of the sisters, saving her will mean losing this sister and the ability to break his curse.
Viktor Brandewyne is still the ruthless pirate from book one, but he is starting to get a little soft around the edges and a bit nostalgic for his first mate Jim Rigger, the now cat/raven Lazarus. Many times Vik is caught thinking about the past and his mind wonders more than once if Jim would forgive him his death. Then there’s his growing feelings for Belladonna. Though he doesn’t admit it, it is plainly obvious from the reader’s standpoint that he loves her (no spoilers there, it was plainly obvious by the end of book one). Vik is also growing in his powers. He possesses all the skills and strengths of a vampire, but so far none of their weaknesses, making him extremely powerful and dangerous.
Belladonna is feisty as ever in this book, but the author gives a glimpse into her vulnerable side when she falls ill in the swamps. She doesn’t like to be vulnerable or to feel like prey, being in the captain’s presence makes her feel this way. Vik is stronger than her and she accidentally bound herself to him during the first book, leaving her at the mercy of his will.
Grimm is the new first mate after Vik rescued him during Blood Curse and really I couldn’t ask for a better character to offset and balance Belladonna and Vik. Grimm is level-headed, fiercely loyal, and has a touch of magic thanks to the crazy old Uncle.
Book two of this series deals with three plot lines, one main and two-sub. The main plot centers around the second sister, Gloribeau or Granny Glory as the locals call her, and the quest she sends Vik and his mates on. Granny Glory is possibly the strongest of the seven sisters, she is definitely the strongest Vik has faced to date. She sends him on a quest to capture and bring back to her a demon that is haunting her swamp. While Vik completes this task fairly quickly (within the first 40% of the book), it’s her second request that takes a little longer.
The first sub-plot deals with Jim Rigger and a promise Vik made to him when he first met him. Vik and his crew encounter a ship smuggling emeralds captained by Brumble, a man that tortured Jim when he was a cabin boy. However he isn’t the same Brumble, he his son. Throughout the story, Vik and his crew continue to run into the Brumble family and Vik does a good job of getting the father’s attention. I see another story in the future with this as a main plot (or at least I hope 😀 )
The other sub-plot deals with the vampires of New Orleans. Vik encounters them after his first encounter with Granny Glory and well doesn’t make the best impression. These vampires stalk him the rest of the book, showing up at different times, and eventually challenge him with a quest of their own.
While this story is not my typical read, the characters and intricate plot sucked me. As much as I enjoyed Blood Curse, I enjoyed Demon Bayou even more. Where book one dealt with a lot of character and world-building, this one jumped straight into the plot with little backstory. I found I couldn’t make the pages turn fast enough! The suspense, the action, and the old-world setting kept me guessing to the end. If you enjoy historical fiction, pirates, and a little (or a lot depending on how you look at it) paranormal, then I highly suggest you check out this series!