I was so totally surprised by this series. I kept reading the back cover of Nightkeepers and shaking my head. The whole thing sounded so farfetched to me that I figured that I wouldn't be able to get very far into it, thereby proving myself right and being able to chuck it into my "outbox." I'm an idiot. Here's the description from Andersen's website:
According to the Mayan doomsday prophecy, time ends on December 21, 2012. In Nightkeepers, the last king of an ancient race of magi must team up with a sexy Miami-Dade narcotics detective in order to reunite his scattered warriors and fight the gods of the Mayan underworld. Wielding ancestral blood magic, the king must choose between his duty to avert the 2012 apocalypse and his love for the woman who is the gods' destined sacrifice.
You see? I figured that since their "magic" is sex-based, there would be humping on every other page. Nope. How many series have I read where there's sex scenes a-plenty with little plot crammed in between. I almost thought I was right when Strike ("the last king") and Leah ("sexy Miami-Dade narcotics detective") do the horizontal mambo within minutes of being face-to-face for the first time. Actually, that is also the case of Skykeepers as well. I suppose meeting your fated mate under extreme duress while needing to amp up magic fast (no offense, guys) could be grounds for an exception but only because the parties involved had serious remorse afterward.
As usual, I digress (a little). The Nightkeepers are handed the worst kind of responsibility - saving the world. And since most of the known magi were killed in a massacre twenty-odd years ago by the baddies, there are only a handful of people who have the ability to help. Yikes. This series starts a little over three years before the end-date; the King and his people don't have much time to pull this whole thing off.
That's what I think makes this series a little different than a lot of others - the intensity. These people are compassionate folks and since the whole point of their lives is to save the planet and all its inhabitants, they don't have time to mess around with inactivity or indecision. Sacrifice is everything: their former lives, their friends and families, their own actual lives since they are fighting evil, and the luxury of not having to make life ending decisions. In each of the books, a major character faces certain death at the hand of one of their own; of course, it's pretty obvious that by the end the romantic pair of the book will live and end up together, in love. So you know that no matter what they face, they're going to get through it and live to see tomorrow. (Not necessarily will that fly for the others but since these books aren't George R. R. Martin novels, you can reasonably sure that pretty much everybody is going to make it.)
Of course the intensity also makes these books a little predictable since you know that even though they might hook up at the beginning, somebody is going to punk out for a big chunk of pages, then pull their heads out of their asses and get over themselves. Mushiness ensues. I will say that I haven't been all that surprised by what's happened (there aren't that many twists and turns) but I do like all the characters. I love the romance aspect of this series and that's mainly why I read them. Also, I would like to see Iago bite the big one. HARD.
In conclusion, this has been a pretty interesting trio of reads. A pretty original plot (for romances anyway), good style by the author who obviously likes research, and likeable characters. Demonkeepers, book four, comes out in a few weeks on April 6. I may have to buy this one new since I really want to see what happened with Lucius. That man has had several truly awful months throughout Dawnkeepers and Skykeepers. He needs a happily ever after.