C2’s review of Canyons of Night (Harmony Series, Book 8; Looking Glass Trilogy, Book 3; Arcane Society, Book 12) by Jayne Castle
Paranormal Romance published by Jove 30 Aug 11
It’s time to return to Harmony – home to cities of glowing green crystal spires and renegade energy “ghosts,” both left over from an ancient mysterious alien civilization. This time we leave the cities behind and head out to Rainshadow Island. A haven for those looking for a more secluded, quiet lifestyle, it was also a haven for pirates and smugglers. Rainshadow has its own secrets – including a mysterious Preserve, controlled by a secretive Foundation and protected by psychic fencing. It is also home to people with some interesting abilities (something about Harmony encourages the development of psychic talents) and some unusual creatures – specter cats and dust bunnies, for example. Who doesn’t love dust bunnies?
Charlotte Enright grew up spending summers on Rainshadow Island with her aunt. Charlotte has recently returned to the island because she inherited Aunt Beatrix’s antique shop. Since Charlotte has her own shop in the city, it’s a pretty easy decision. The city isn’t so far away by ferry and she always enjoyed her time on Rainshadow. Soon after she re-locates, a familiar face arrives.
Slade Attridge briefly lived on Rainshadow Island when he was in his teens. He and Charlotte really had only one encounter, but it was memorable – he rescued her from some bullies and gave her a quick look into the Preserve. Soon after he left to join the FBPI (the Federal Bureau of Psi Investigation) and remained there until an accident. Slade was injured during an investigation. After learning that he might never completely recover, Slade decided he would open a private investigation firm. First, however, he needs some time and extra money to put things into place. When a friend mentions Rainshadow needs a new sheriff, Slade takes the job. And brings along his assistant, a dust bunny named Rex.
Charlotte and Slade both recognize the chemistry they have together. Even his plan to leave after a few months can’t keep them apart. Soon, though, strange occurrences and mysterious deaths make Slade realize there are things happening on Rainshadow Island that can only be a result of some powerful and dangerous Talents. Someone is looking for something and will stop at nothing to get it. But what is it? Who wants it and why? Does it have something to do with Charlotte? Is it connected to the stirring Slade senses in the Preserve? Could it have anything to do with the season’s abundance of zucchini bread?
Some background for those new to Harmony: Psychically gifted people left Earth looking for somewhere where they wouldn’t have to hide their abilities. They found Harmony and began settling the planet. Then something happened that cut them off from Earth – they were unable to get back home – and conditions on Harmony stopped the Earth-manufactured machines they brought along from working properly, so they had to find new ways to survive. At the same time, psychic talents were becoming stronger and more widespread. Now Harmony functions on about the same technological level we do. So, even though the book is set in the future, it doesn’t have a super futuristic feel to it.
This is the second time Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle) has tied stories together across genres and pen-names. The stories written as Amanda Quick also tie to her historical series; the stories written as JAK tie to her contemporary series; the Jayne Castle book ties to her other Harmony-based stories.
I’ll admit I haven’t read either of the connected books. *hangs head in shame* I’ve never really gotten into the stories she writes under her other pseudonyms, but I’ve always enjoyed her Harmony series. So I can say with authority that this book stands alone quite nicely. There are bits of info dropped in that I’m sure would have had greater significance if I had read the connected books, but everything is explained to my satisfaction. I will say that there is a little too much of a “I’m-setting-up-my-new-series” feel in places, but not so much that it became annoying…just noticeable.
The island of Rainshadow is home to the mysterious, privately-owned woods known only as the Preserve. Now, after fifteen years away, both Charlotte Enright and her teen crush, Slade Attridge, have returned. But will their psi talents and Slade’s dust bunny companion be enough to keep them from getting drawn into the darkness at the heart of the Preserve?
No excerpt available.
Other Harmony series books:
Other Arcane Society series books: