Review: Dark Currents (Agent of Hel #1) by Jacqueline Carey

October 10, 2012 Review 2

Art by Juliana Kolesova

Dark Currents

(Agent of Hel, #1)
by Jacqueline Carey

Genre: Urban Fantasy |
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Hardcover (October 2, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0451464788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464781


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Multiple references to rape and sexual slavery


The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly. But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.


Full of unexpected twists, cliche-free characters, and a fantasy infused Midwestern town shaped by Norse mythology, DARK CURRENTS (Agent of Hel #1) is a fantastically fun paranormal crime thriller that brought to mind several of my favorite urban fantasy series including Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs and Rachel Morgan/The Hollows by Kim Harrison.

The story centers around Daisy Johanssen, half-breed demon who works as the eldritch (supernatural) community consultant with the local police department, and moonlights as the enforcer of Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld.  When werewolves, fey, ghouls, or vampires break the rules, Daisy is the one they have to answer to.  She’s a busy, busy girl.  She’s also really brave and laid back.  Her fun asides as the narrator let readers in on her charming freak out moments, like when she’s tempted to succumb to one of the Seven Deadly sins (very bad things would happen if she did).

I did get distracted by the many references to her little tail (it lashes when she’s angry etc., and how she tucks is in like a drag queen), but it by no means ruined the book for me.  I will say that there are multiple, unsettling references to rape and sexual slavery.  Nothing graphic, but it’s a significant part of the story and some details do emerge.   Because of that subject matter, the low key romance was very appropriate.  It’s little more than flirting and unrequited feelings.  But a very intriguing and volatile love triangle begins to take shape that has more than piqued curiosity for the next book. According to Jacqueline Carey’s website, there are currently two more books planned in the Agent of Hel series.  I’m more than ready to jump back into this world as soon as possible.

Titles in Series

  1. Dark Currents

Similar Titles

  • Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  • Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

Would you like to be reviewed on All Things Urban Fantasy? Request a Review

2 Responses to “Review: Dark Currents (Agent of Hel #1) by Jacqueline Carey”

  1. Restiva

    I actually really liked the references to her tail. It felt like a very Jacqueline Carey thing to write: a bit frank, a bit sexual… plus most of the tail asides were hilarious. I actually thought the comments Daisy made about preferring skirts to jeans because of it said a lot about her as a character too, not to mention it was an easy way of showing that she was comfortable living in own skin, despite the hell-spawn business. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

    Nice review anyway. I can’t wait to read the next one either.

    • Abigail

      It was a minor annoyance for me, but you are totally right about it showing how comfortable Daisy was in her own skin. That really worked well.