In the DarkWorld the things that go bump in the night are most likely true. And the problem is they are probably not sticking to bumping around in the night. They are everywhere. Your work colleagues, your teachers, even your friends. They’ve been living that way for a long time. And you haven’t noticed because they don’t want you to. You’re much better off not asking any questions.
The DarkWorld Universe has taken on a life of its own.
We’ve set up the timeline as the suggested reading order, though each of the SoulTracker books is best read after reading the case related SkinWalker novel. The Irin series can be read as standalone, and you’d only need to consider the timeline later in the series.
When I first wrote Skin Deep (Book 1 in the SkinWalker series), I didn’t have a predetermined plan to write more than just Kailin’s story. She had so much to tell, with her rebellion against her Alpha heritage, her reluctance to shift to her Panther form, and her exploration of her Wraith-Hunting abilities, not to mention her tentative relationship with super-hot Fire Mage Logan Westin.
As Kailin grew through each of the SkinWalker books, so did the world: the Immortals, the Titans, the Ancients, the Angels, the Gods. And then we met the Mages, the various intelligence agencies, the supernaturals from other planes who travel through the Veil to Kai’s world. And of course, we were introduced to the Odels, both good and bad, the rest of the walker races, as well as Kai’s adorable snarky sidekicks, Anjelo and Lily. The SkinWalker series will see book 7 releasing in 2018.
Then, when Logan and Jess (aka Jacinta, the Titan) needed help with communicating with a walker victim of a serial killer, quiet, reserved Nerina came into the picture. She’s a DeathTalker and can communicate with the dead. A handy talent, and one that Kai finds useful on more than one occasion.
Nerina’s youth and inexperience was never an issue for Kai, and they slowly developed a relationship that turned into a lasting friendship. Nerina, in turn, learns more about herself as she befriends the other women of the DarkWorld, and slowly comes into her own. Nerina’s life began to grow, and more questions arose: how did Nerina become a DeathTalker, what is the Lady Kira-Nerina dynamic, does Nerina’s subdued meekness hide a different young woman? Oh and, what exactly is a DeathTalker? All questions which will be expanded upon once the DeathTalker Series is released later in 2019.
Along with Nerina, Kai uses the services of a SoulTracker, namely Melisande Morgan. All Mel had to do was appear in one scene with Kai, waaaay back in 2012, and the stars aligned. Mel demanded her own story, her turbulent life begging to be explored, and so many aspects of her life to understand: the role that the disappearance of her sister Ari played in molding Mel’s life, Chloe Murdoch’s hand in guiding the lost Tracker, Storm’s role in Mel’s life, the strong bonds between Mel and her friends, White Witch Natasha, Gargoyle Drake and Hacker Steph. And then there was uber-delish Saleem, undercover djinn, who steals the Tracker’s heart. Five books in the SoulTracker Series are out at the moment.
Still, I didn’t release Mel’s first book because I was quite in love with Tara, MetalSinger and Iron Fae royalty, and I played with a few outlines for a series. But I ended up setting MetalSinger aside and readied SoulTracker 1 for publication. But, as seems to be the pattern in the DarkWorld Universe, characters take on a life of their own, and Tara’s story developed as Kai’s story was told. Why is Tara forced to take up the mantle of Queen of the Fae? And will she be ensnared in Fae Court intrigue forever? Questions which will be addressed when the MetalSinger Series is released in 2019.
Just before the Blood Magic release, Kailin received a copy of the prophecy (keeping it spoiler free just in case). By that time, a few more characters had come into play. None of whom were planned, that much I can confirm. They tended to just arrive on the page where needed.
Darcy showed up, her history intertwined with Logan’s, her MindMelder abilities posing a hundred new questions, her eyes guarding secrets of her past with Omega. Her ability to change the memories of a person, to remove entire lives from the mind of s subject, made her a valuable commodity, one easily manipulated. Darcy’s secrets are yet to be revealed, her ugly past yet to be told. Even as we watch Kai’s brother Iain, and Darcy dance around each other in a tentative romance, we still need to know more about her and the secrets she dared not reveal. The MindMelder series will hopefully begin in 2019.
Kai’s trip to the Wraith plane, Wrythiin, brings a new character to the DarkWorld. Enter Cassandra Monteith, ShapeChanger, Sentinel agent and friend of Grandma Ivy. She and Kailin hit it off, and before I knew it, the cast was expanding. Cass’s life is shrouded in mystery, her ability to reshape her face and form, to assume the identity of anyone she chooses, is a marketable commodity. One that makes her particularly vulnerable, not to mention dangerous. We’ll see more of Cass when ShapeChanger releases in 2019.
Beyond the Chicago-based drama, things were also happening in Boston, things that had a lot to do with a certain white-winged, sword-wielding child of an archangel. Enter Evangeline, and the Brotherhood of the Irin. The Irin worked in secret, but they do belong in the DarkWorld, only existing on a somewhat secret level, something that became clearer as Kailin’s and Mel’s stories developed. Though Evie crosses paths with Kai much later in the SkinWalker series, she does feature in the lives of a few other characters, like Darcy, Jess, and Storm.
In Retribution, Evie begins to question the work she’s been doing under Irin orders. In doing so, she stumbles upon a secret that could change the world: The Seals of Hades is in danger of being stolen. Whoever possesses the Seals becomes the next ruler of the underworld, and Evie must do whatever she can to ensure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Only problem is life never goes to plan for the only Nephilim alive. Retribution (Irin 1) and Requiem (Irin 2) are available now. Resonance (Irin 3) will release soon.
T.G. AyerThe DarkWorld