Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One by Dakota BanksDark Time: Mortal Path Book One by Dakota Banks

Dark Time: Mortal Path Book One

byDakota Banks

Mass Market Paperback | July 28, 2009

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Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.

For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life—as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.

But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.

Growing up in a converted 1890s funeral home, complete with blood gutters in the basement floor, fueled Dakota Banks' interest in the paranormal. She's no ghost whisperer, but she keeps an open mind. She's fascinated with both archaeology and the paranormal, especially when the two intersect, as they do inMortal Path.Dakota is a member...
Title:Dark Time: Mortal Path Book OneFormat:Mass Market PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 0.8 inShipping dimensions:6.75 × 4.19 × 0.8 inPublished:July 28, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061687308

ISBN - 13:9780061687303


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Female assasin! great book, really enjoyed the introduction to the character. Dark and gritty!
Date published: 2014-01-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable! (In the event the Chapters-Indigo site elects to delete my rating, I mention here that I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars/leaves.) Overall I enjoyed this book, though there a few flaws which I found somewhat grating. Good points: The world building was interesting -I liked the idea of an immortal assassin wanting to take a different path. The mythos of this novel was based on Sumarian mythology -I'm certainly no expert on this so I can't speak the accuracy of this aspect of the novel. It was somewhat different from what I've encountered so far in urban fantasy however, which was refreshing. The main character was likeable, as were her close friends. The plot moved along very well and was one of the definite strengths of this novel. Bad/not so good points/constructive criticism: there were a few elements which I found rather jarring as I read the book. In some cases, they seemed to be definite 'mistakes' on the author's and/or the editor's part (Are there ANY editors these days? I truly wonder.). NB: The following discussion contains SPOILERS for the book. * * * * (i) Problem the first. The main character breaks into a particular company's offices. Her breaking in causes the activation of certain alarms, which result in several security personnel trying to ambush her. She manages to break out and runs through some woods surrounding the grounds. Once she has traversed the woods, it is mentioned that she calls a friend to have him pick her up. She is later questioned by the police who try to ascertain her whereabouts in order to determine whether or not she was the person responsible for the break in. Er... What seems wrong with this picture??? If I had just broken into a place and was anxious NOT to have the police pin it on me, I (1) wouldn't use my cellphone to call my friend to have him pick me up, (2) I also wouldn't carry the cellphone with me at all. The book however does not mention her using a disposable cellphone or a payphone (=landline). I found this to be just a teeny bit sloppy on the part of the author. Disclaimer: I have never, and have no intention of, committing any criminal acts. Thank you! LOL. (i) Problem the second. The initial part of the book describes the character's change of direction from an assassin working for a demon, to someone trying to win or earn their redemption by saving lives to compensate for those she was responsible for cutting short. During the process leading up to this decision on her part, she is sent by her demon master to kill a three month-old baby girl. After sitting in a chair with a knife to the baby's throat, she comes to reconsider her entire life and realizes that she does not want to continue as an assassin, in large part because she feels guilt for all the lives she has ruined or snuffed out. She fully expects her master to be angry with her and punish her and goes to await her fate -yet when he shows up her first thought is that she should have 'slit that baby's throat', which makes her guilt seem short lived and transitory (I found this particular example to be quite jarring, and it 'threw me out' of the story). In fact, the book frequently emphasizes her fear of divine retribution for her actions while downplaying her guilt, so that one might almost wonder why she left her master's service, since that retribution would come about mainly as a decision to leave his service (i.e. the demon protected her while she served him). It also could make it more difficult for readers to care about the main character, which I couldn't help but feel was NOT the author's intent (although this is admittedly simply a 'subjective' feeling I had, but one which was reinforced by the fact that the book seemed to go back and forth between putting her guilt vs. her doing what she did out of fear at the forefront of her motivations), so that this feels a bit clumsy on the author's part. (iii) Problem the third. There are several instances of grammatical issues in the book. This is rather distracting and annoying for readers. (iv) Problem the fourth. I LOATHE cliffhangers. In many instances cliffhanger endings imply that the author, rather than carefully crafting a long-term storyline involving all the planned books, has opted to end the book prematurely in order to 'rope' readers into reading the sequel (i.e. so as to be able to find out what happens in the end). In this case, I felt the ending of the book came out of nowhere, or 'left field'. (I hope this is because I missed clues in the book, but so far I'm not so sure of this.) I did enjoy the book despite this -I thought these might perhaps be 'rookie' mistakes on the part of the author? I do intend to read the sequel. (Also, FWIW, I do realize my reviews seem rather critical on the whole. I am aware that a lot of effort goes into writing a novel and my intention is certainly not to belittle this. This is JMHO.) For other books I recommend, please refer to my 'best of' lists.
Date published: 2012-08-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting concept I did enjoy this book. There was a lot of action, and the ending really gets you thinking and wanting to learn more. I found it a little long, but will definately be getting the next in the series
Date published: 2010-03-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow Start but Grows on You... Dark Time is the first book in Banks' Mortal Path series. It offers an interesting twist to the supernatural theme. Susannah Layhem was burned at the stake in 1692 when a jealous and spiteful woman accused her of being a witch. In the throes of death, Susannah calls out for help and gets it from a very unexpected source. The demon Rabishu offers her a deal, her life for her service. Needless to say, she chooses life over being a cripsy critter and she spends the next 300 or so years as an ageless assassin doing the demon's bidding. Despite being ageless, all the years and endless deaths take their toll on Susannah and she begins to rebel. Finally, she is offered an 'out'. She must save as many souls as she has murdered, but there's a catch - she will no longer be immortal and it will be up to the god Anu to decide how much each life is worth. It won't necessarily be a life for a life. As well, with each life she saves she will age a little bit more, how much more will be decided by Anu. Despite these provisions, Susannah jumps at the chance of redemption and reinvents herself as Maliha Crayne. While the premise is fresh and original, I couldn't help but wonder how there could ever be any sort of final closure for Maliha's character. After all, she must have murdered hundreds, if not thousands over the course of her 300+ years of enslavement to Rabishu. I don't think I could be commited to read a series that long. But, there is one futher wild card, that makes things seem more do-able. I don't want to go into all the details, but to make things short, there is a tablet that contains information Maliha can use to end Rabishu's hold over her sooner. To read the tablet you need a crystal decoder. The decoder was broken into seven pieces and the pieces scattered across the globe. Having found the tablet already, if Maliha can collect the seven pieces she will free herself forever. There is a lot packed into this book. The storyline jumps back and forth in time to give you plenty of back story on Maliha and the supporting characters that are part of her life. Maliha is an interesting heroine - kind of Lara Croft-ish. She tries to have a semblance of a real life, and poses as a mystery writer. The plot moves along briskly, despite jumping around in time a bit. While the main story arc comes to a satisfying conclusion, there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending. Since I ended the book liking Maliha way more than when I started, I will be picking up the next in the series when it comes out next year (2010).
Date published: 2009-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW I really enjoyed this book. Really loved the concept Dakota Banks had for the heroine of this novel. Nothing like other books and I would recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2009-09-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great action, a few setbacks Dark Time, the first book of Mortal Path by Dakota Banks features a woman named Susannah who after a very traumatic event and death, is resurrected back to life and given immortality, super human abilities, and becomes an unstoppable killing machine by the demon Rabishu in exchange for doing his bidding on Earth. She changes her name to Maliha Crayne and after numerous errands ordered by Rabishu, she gets tired of killing aimlessly and decides to take her life in her own hands. Going against Rabishu, she makes another deal; if she saves a life for every one taken, she'll be free if not she'll be damned to long eternal torment by Rabishu. However with every life saved, she ages and her abilities are not as good as it used to be. The action bits were great. The beginning of the novel grabbed my attention right away and I was engrossed with it. I loved how she became this assassin but with a conscience. The plot is really good. Maliha is something comparable to Lara Croft mixed with Xena Warrior Princess. She seriously knows how to kick some serious booty. She could be a super hero you see on TV shows, complete with "normal" friends who each had a history with her in the past (hence why they're friends), a potential boyfriend, and a never ending arsenal of weapons. I liked this character a lot then again, I'm always for women characters who know how to pack a punch. The plot flows with several chapters in between that feature flashbacks of Maliha and how she came to befriend some of her friends in the past. I like them, as it explains a bit of the background story some may find it not necessary, but the little chapters give the story a little more form and depth. Which is great. The ending was a good cliffhanger, it's making me grind my teeth now that I have to wait for the next one to come out. There's a few problems with this book that I have. Maliha is gorgeous. Yes. I realize that. Do we have to be reminded of her gorgeous butt every other chapter? do we have to be reminded that every man she meets wants to jump into the sack with her? (and she wants to jump in nearly every sack she finds with a man in it?) that gets really irritating and got in the way of the plot, I think. Another thing, she meets up with a nemesis who's "Ageless" like she is. Yet somehow this one managed to sneak into her ultra high security place and managed to fondle her body parts. She didn't feel that? after how many centuries of training? sure, she's lost some of her ability but is it that bad that she can't feel someone's hand down her underwear? that irked me. A LOT. Of course, you get the romance in this book but it's not that explicit and I managed to just skim through that (as I don't care for that stuff much). Overall, a good book packed with action, with a few details overlooked and a few irritations along the way. Nothing so major (or maybe not) to get in the way of enjoying the novel.
Date published: 2009-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ooohh. Dark and Sexy 300+ years ago a Massachusetts house wife was accused, tried, and found guilty of witch craft. Of course she was innocent of the charges. She was then burned at the stake. She awoke in a foggy nowhere bitter at her death. A demon from the sumar mythos comes to her and makes a deal. He can send her back to Earth whole, powerful, and immortal. In repayment she has to be his agent on earth. She agrees and inacts instant revenge on her accusers. 300 years pass and, finally, her concious is start to come back online. She spent the last 300 years learning to kill and killing for the demon. Eventually she turns down an assignment. Knowing that she'll be killed. She's surprised when the demon gives her a chance to be free of him. Turns out the sumerian head honcho god made a few rules to protect humans. If she want to be free of the demon and go on to paradise all she has to do is balance her karmic scales. She gets a magical tattoo that depicts her balance. There is a couple of catches though. One life saved does not necessarily equal one of the lives taken. Personally I think the effects the lives she took are taken into consideration, compared to the effects the lives she saves. ie: saving the life of a future stewardess compared to taking the life of a future president. Oh and she's no longer immortal. She ages for every person she saves. And if she dies before the balance is achieved she goes straight to hell and becomes the personal torture toy for the demon she served. It's the start of a good series. Although I don't think i've ever seen a book set up so deliberately for a sequel. And the villian was so ...... James Bondy villiany. A master plan to take control of the etc. etc. Sell it off terrorist. Make mint.
Date published: 2009-08-23

Editorial Reviews

"THE MORTAL PATH is a novel to be savored for both its edge of suspense and the pure joy of its storytelling. Part immortal, all human, Maliha is a heroine who will leave readers breathless and craving more. Not to be missed!"