When Forever Died 

By Mia Darien

Reviewed by Dariel Raye

Author Mia Darien has woven a fascinating tapestry of characters – mostly supernatural with a few humans thrown in – into a well-written, action-packed thriller perfect for paranormal, fantasy, and action lovers. Reminiscent of the great, gritty detective novels, Dakota tells her story in first person. She’s a shifter, and we meet her as a panther, chasing her quarry. Yes, she’s a contracted bounty hunter sent out to catch the supernatural bad guys, and she can shift into any human or animal form she’s familiar with.

Dakota wins me over when she catches her prey, grumbles about it, then lifts him onto her shoulder to carry back to Darien’s version of a holding cell. Throughout the story, Dakota entertains us with her irreverent, loveable personality with comments like “vampires are creepy-ass-fuckers.” Her co-workers are an interesting menagerie of weres and vamps, and Dakota thinks she’s fine without them when the story opens, but as the action heats up and the plot thickens, if you will, she realizes more and more that their help could be useful and possibly necessary.

Contracted to work on two jobs at once, both personally charged and interrelated, Dakota finds herself drawn to a human officer while hunting an ex-lover thought to be involved in a number of brutal murders. The fact that Dakota’s long lost baby sister is also involved in the murders coupled with unresolved baggage from her past, perpetuates Dakota’s evolution into, let’s say, a better socialized antisocial.

Add an ancient vampire, Amazon warrior women, humans housing Norse Gods, Thor’s hammer, and a giant snake with steel-like scales, and you have an action-packed, yet character-driven read. I didn’t want to miss anything, because new twists kept popping up. Despite the wild characters, Darien managed to keep it believable due to her subtle world-building, and Dakota’s character is so strong that she was always the star. When I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. Highly recommended 4 ½ stars!