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Book Review: Dark Time: Sacrifice by Dakota Banks

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In Sacrifice, the second of Dakota Banks’ “Mortal Path” series, Maliha Crayne is continuing her quest to free herself from her demon’s contract by saving as many lives as she has taken.

She is also trying to collect the seven shards of a lens that will enable her to read a tablet that will put an end to the demons’ reign, as well as attempting to prevent the release of deadly toxins into the waters of Africa by a small council of power-seeking masterminds.

Talk about multi-tasking.

At least she is aided in her tasks by the help of her friends, who are a cabal of technological whizzes, superhumans and people with links to underworld and government activities. Yet she is without the help of the man she met in Dark Time and trusted as a friend: Jake Stackman has his own secrets to tell, but Maliha is not quite ready to hear them.

However, Maliha’s progress is hindered by another Ageless being named Lucas, ordered by his demon to stop her getting her hands on the shards — although Lucas himself is starting to question his own loyalty to his demon, as well as his feelings for Maliha.

Her quest takes her across the United States, Europe and Africa, leading her on a trek along the Omo River, and involving her breaking into an underwater laboratory. She leaves a trail of devastation and death in her wake, which in turn brings back her own tortured memories of her previous life and the death of her own child.

While she feels these deaths all the more keenly, she has to carry out her task in the same frame of mind as an Ageless assassin. Her demon Rabishu even offers her that existence back, forcing Maliha to question what she truly wants.

Sacrifice is a whirlwind of action, emotion, passion and intrigue. Surprise and shock lurks on every other page. Like Dark Time it can be devoured hungrily. Sacrifice seems to eclipse its predecessor in both depth and plot. Dakota Banks has created a rare thing: a sequel that is as good as or better than the original.

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