Darkwalker by E.L. Tettensor. ★★1/2
Darkwalker is a urban fantasy mystery with a “Victorian London” vibe. Unfortunately, I found it rather boring.
Nicolas Lenoir is a detective in the Metropolitan Police who’s begins with a heavily hinted “dark secret.” While this is thankfully revealed within the scope of the novel, it never made complete sense. Anyway, Lenoir is apathetic about his job in general and is not interested when someone starts stealing the dead bodies of nine year old boys. However, when his favorite street contact, Zach, goes missing, it finally snaps Lenoir out of his daze and gets him to investigate.
Darkwalker just wasn’t that interesting. The characters were forgettable, and I never cared about any of them. The plot was boring and had some issues with it’s set up and conclusion. I totally zoned out during the climax. It’s unclear why the Darkwalker is after Lenoir in the first place given that it only goes after those who disrespect the dead. Does being a dirty cop count as disrespecting the dead? That feels like it’s stretching.
I’m also going to note that there was only reoccurring female character. She had… issues. See the comments sections for spoilers.
Then there’s the whole issue of the Adeli. On one hand, the culture of the Adeli was by far the most interesting thing about the book. They’re nomadic clans with strong kinship ties and the only magic workers in this setting. But, they’re also the only brown people in the book, leading straight into the “magical brown people” trope. They also seemed coded as Roma, and in universe there were a bunch of stereotypes about them being criminals. To the narration’s credit, it dismisses these stereotypes. However, there weren’t any major Adeli characters who weren’t criminals.
Besides it’s problematic race issues, Darkwalker was completely forgettable. I would not recommend it.