About satilanna

A reader who likes to escape into books. My favorite genres are historical fiction, urban fantasy, and mystery, with some YA and romance thrown in as well.

Review: Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey

Children of the Night (Diana Tregarde, #2)Children of the Night by Mercedes Lackey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book rather like I enjoy B-flicks: entertaining, a little bit cheesy, and somewhat unremarkable in the end. Diana ran the gamut for me, she wasn’t the strong woman I had the idea she’d be, although I wouldn’t categorize her as weak exactly. Unfortunately, it seemed to me that she spent an awful amount of time on either feeling sorry for herself or weeping, sometimes both. Good lord woman! Get it together! I didn’t mind it some much earlier on because I thought she would grow by the last page, but it stayed pretty even throughout.

The book takes place in the seventies, around the Watergate scandal, so there are some major differences in speech and how people act. I get the feeling that even though it wasn’t published until 1990, it might have been written in the seventies. Maybe it wasn’t and I’m wrong, but the book sure feels that way. Anyway, I liked some of the ideas, especially the gaki (although stop calling him the “Oriental!” Gah!!) and dealing with psi-vampires, but I thought they could have been explored in further detail. Instead the book features some odd and goofy exchanges between Diana and Andre, one of which deals with her anxiety attacks in a truly hurried and unrealistic way. I don’t believe in the matter of a few hours they could just disappear like that, it just doesn’t ring true. Almost half the book deals with another character’s side of things, Dave, and while I could have used a trim on his view (he too had a lot of self-pity), surprisingly he turned out to have grown more by the end than Diana did. What really got my goat was the phrase “Christ on a crutch” and “gods” used to the nth degree. At a certain point if I heard one of those one more time, I swear I would have thrown the book across the room. Ugh!

Overall, while it wasn’t the best book I read, it kept me reading and I didn’t hate it. While I felt the short story I read in Trio of Sorcery (Diana Tregarde, #0.5) was stronger, I’d still give the next book Burning Water a go.

View all my reviews

Review: Impostor (Slide, #2) by Jill Hathaway

Impostor
Impostor by Jill Hathaway
Genre: Romance – Young Adult – Mystery, Series
Received: Digital copy borrowed from library
Finished: July 22, 2013
Reviewed: July 23, 2013
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Impostor is a step up in the Slide series, but only slightly. I still feel that the writing is, well, a little basic; it gets the job done, but that’s about it. The main plot is an interesting idea that entertained, yet wasn’t used to its full potential. I expected it to be darker and for there to be more peril involved, what with an “impostor” involved (impostor is a bit of a misnomer, it’s not quite the term I’d use), but it never got close to that point. If there had been more grit and danger, the book could have been a killer sequel instead of disappointing. However, on the plus side, the mystery is tighter and better constructed, and I couldn’t say for certain that I had figured it out, but I did have an idea (I so smart. Not.). The other plots are fine, somewhat predictable or didn’t go as deep as they could have, but they were alright. All the plots are tied up just a little too neatly at the end, not that there isn’t enough of the sliding power to be utilized for future books, but everything ends a little too rosy for the circumstances. Oh well.

In Slide (the first book), I found Vee to be a rather shallow characterization and dim as far as picking up on clues. I’m happy to say that changed in this book. Sure, she said/did stupid things, not because she was dumb, but because people do say and do stupid things, no matter their intelligence. It’s a fact (okay, my fact, but it still counts). For most of the book Vee spent a lot of time having a snotty, self-absorbed, “woe is me” attitude, which might annoy some people, but made me believe her as a teenage character. Face it, most teenagers can act like that to some degree or another (I sure know I could be!). I’m not quite sure where the sliding power is going, if I like where it’s gone, or if there’s even going to be more books in the series, but it is an idea that has many possibilities. I’m just not positive that it’ll ever get to them. Overall, a decent book that passes the time, but nothing spectacular that’ll blow your mind (maybe, I could just be assuming things again).

Random notes:
This series sure has many awesome covers.
What is with YA books featuring a female protagonist “borrowing” some of Veronica Mars’ back story? This is the second one I’ve come across. O__o

Review: Night Shift (Night Tales, No. 1)

Night Shift
Night Shift by Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance – Suspense, Series
Received: Used copy (omnibus edition), have owned for years
Read: June 23, 2013
Reviewed: July 5, 2013
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Short synopsis: A deejay, Cilla O’Roarke, in Denver starts getting calls from some creepazoid whose threats intensify with every phone call. The police enter the scene, one of which is Boyd Fletcher, who immediately falls for Cilla. So begins the romance.

Written for Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line, Night Shift is an early Nora Roberts’ romance and the first in the Night Tales series. While I didn’t expect to be blown away by the story, I was hoping to be passably entertained. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed fairly early on. I got a little taste of what was to come in the second paragraph of the first page:

“Her voice was like hot whiskey, smooth and potent. Rich, throaty, touched with the barest whisper of the South, it might have been fashioned for the airwaves. Any man in Denver who was tuned in to her frequency would believe she was speaking only to him.”

Commence internal groaning and eye-rolling. So yeah, that didn’t bode well. Still, I surged on, believing that Nora Roberts could make something out of the formulaic plot. Again, I was disappointed. If the focus had been more on the suspense part and less on the “romance,” it could have been an okay read. Instead I had to suffer through Cilla’s lame hang-ups and excuses for why she can’t be in a relationship. All of which could be remedied if she’d just take the time to see a therapist. The only thing that bothered me more was her utter stupidity. She continually left out much-needed information that could help the cops figure out who was behind the threats to her life. Instead, her constant excuses were, “I didn’t think of it” or “I didn’t think it was important” or other such bullcrap that made me want to slap her silly (if she wasn’t already that way). Boyd wasn’t bad but he didn’t really make a lasting impression either. From the physical description, it sounds like he might have been molded after Clint Eastwood in an homage to Play Misty for Me, but maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there.

Needless to say, the romance wasn’t very interesting and bored me more often than not. Boyd pursues and Cilla wiffle-waffles throughout the whole book. She’s healed after one night in Boyd’s bed and then remembers her “reasons” for not getting serious. He’s in love with her after one day (I exaggerate, but only slightly), when they hadn’t even had very many conversations to get to know each other, which I suppose isn’t very important if, I don’t know, you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Not to mention, I never got the impression that Cilla was ever in love with him, even at the end. So much tell and no show. The only thing of note were two secondary characters, Althea Grayson and Natalie Fletcher, partner and sister of Boyd, respectively. I’m hoping, if I decide to read them, that their books will be better. Otherwise, this is wholly forgettable and makes me wish for my time back.

ARC Review: Team Human

Team HumanTeam Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sara Rees Brennan
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal
Received: Amazon Vine
Originally Reviewed: February 20, 2013
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description (via Amazon):

Readers who love vampire romances will be thrilled to devour Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. Team Human celebrates and parodies the Twilight books, as well as other classics in the paranormal romance genre.

Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie.

And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel.

*****

As I started reading Team Human, I couldn’t help but feel this was written as a good-natured poke at Twilight and all the vampire ridiculata left in its wake. However, the story leaves its parodying fairly early on and becomes a book in its own right, with characters who have flaws and an interesting world with its own set of rules. All the while written with wit, feeling, and reality.

Mel Duan is the protagonist of the book, who is full of character flaws. She is prejudiced against vampires, rude, thinks she always knows the right thing to do, and is a big buttinsky (I call her Meddling Mel). She’s also caring, loyal, helpful, well-meaning, funny, and charming in her own way. Basically, Mel is a real human being. There are two main storylines in the book, the first one about her BFF, Cathy, and her relationship with an uptight vampire. The other dealing with a mystery involving another close friend and her parents. Both are incorporated into the story well, as are the smaller B-plots. Mel doesn’t always come across in a very good light, which helps me fall into the world and believe it could be true. Nothing takes me out of a story more than an unrealistically perfect character. Not one of the characters in this book is like that, even Cathy, who does come close. I also love the fact that Mel would typically be the sidekick in any other story and Cathy the main character who falls in love with a vampire. Instead it’s the other way around, so we see the over-the-top relationship from the outside, and also from Mel’s rather small-minded point-of-view. It’s a great idea that luckily works thanks to the talented authors.

The book moves along nicely without seeming hasty, it has lessons that aren’t heavy-handed, it features love aspects but it isn’t a love story, and most importantly, it has character evolution and believable characters, mainly Mel herself. In the end I was surprised that I had gotten so caught up in outcome of the story and actually cared what happened to these people. Kudos, I’ll definitely be reading more from both Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier, and can only hope they conspire to write another book in the future.

Review: The Christmas Killer

The Christmas KillerThe Christmas Killer by Patricia Windsor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Christmas Killer (aka The Dream Killer) was a Point Horror book I missed out reading when I was younger, so decided to pick it up to enjoy this holiday season (yes, I am sick). Rosecleer Potter is a normal, everyday fifteen-year-old girl who has a twin brother, Jerram, and loves to dance. She also just happens to have developed the ability to talk, through dreams, to the recently departed, which starts when an acquaintance disappears and whose body turns up murdered in the woods. Now, as the body count rises, Rose has to figure out how to use her power before the killer gets to her.

The first paragraph almost caused me to rethink my expectations of enjoyment I’d get from the book. The sentences were short and choppy, and if the whole book had been written this way, I don’t think I’d have managed to get through it. Fortunately for me, it didn’t turn out that way at all. Although there were more short, fragmented sentences, they were few and far between and seemed more of a style choice than anything else.

Rose was a good choice as a lead and had both positive and negative attributes to her personality. She was generally nice but could have moments of cattiness or where her temper got the best of her, which made her more believable. I can’t say any of the characters are over-developed, but they are described enough to get a rough sketch of who they are as a person, and there are moments of truth in many of their actions, e.g. the mother’s freaking out, the father’s clamming up, and the brother’s withdrawal and secretiveness. The atmosphere is done extremely well. Even though I don’t remember many actual descriptions, I got the feeling of a small town, its claustrophobia, and sense of impending doom all the same.

I have to admit this book surprised me. I went in expecting more of the slasher-type YA horrors I read as a youngster, and was handed a more mature, psychological suspense horror read instead. The plot flows well and has enough clues and red herrings to keep most readers interested. As someone who has read a lot of mysteries, I did figure it out, but it could have gone many ways and still have been satisfying. The ending is the only weak point as it was a bit abrupt and maybe too open-ended, but that’s a minor niggle and didn’t affect my enjoyment much. As far as I’ve been able to tell, there is no sequel, which might be for the best. The Christmas Killer was a quick and easy chiller that kept me entertained throughout and I’d recommend it for those who like creepy teen reads.

Originally Reviewed: December 29, 2012
Received: Library

@ Amazon

Review: Epitaph for Three Women (Plantagenet Saga, Book 12) by Jean Plaidy

Epitaph for Three Women (Plantagenet Saga, #12)Epitaph for Three Women by Jean Plaidy

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Book Description (via Goodreads):

On the death of Henry the fifth, a nine-month-old baby is made King of England. Ambitious men surround the baby king, including his two uncles, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester. Shrewd and clever, Bedford seeks to uphold all his late brother had won and preserve it for young Henry the sixth. Gloucester, a man of poor judgment, greedy for wealth and power, has other ideas. In Lancastrian England and war-torn France, there are three women whose lives are to have a marked effect on the future. Katherine de Valois, haunted by an unhappy childhood, finds love in an unexpected quarter and founds the Tudor dynasty; Joan of Arc leaves her village pastures on the command of heavenly voices; and Eleanor of Gloucester is drawn into a murder plot and becomes the center of a cause celebre. Murder, greed and ambition flourish alongside sacrifice, dedication and courage. These are turbulent times as the defeated become the victorious…

*****

2.5 stars

Epitaph for Three Women turned out to be far less about these three women than I was led to believe by the book’s description. Broken into three parts titled Katherine of Valois, Joan of Arc, and Eleanor of Gloucester, only Joan, or Jeannette rather, has an actual story that follows her path in life. The other two are background players to the politics going on at the time, especially those concerning the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester and England’s fight for France. Whenever Katherine enters the picture, it’s all light, airy, and extremely romanticized, especially in regards to Owen Tudor. For most of the book they live a totally idyllic life that doesn’t feel realistic in the least. Eleanor Cobham is portrayed as a scheming, crown-hungry social climber who proves far too trusting of witches and soothsayers. Isabeau of Bavaria fares even worse and I got tired of the constant references to how whorish she was. Since this was written, historians have looked into the accuracy of her reputation and dismissed certain facets as untrue. Still, this isn’t a completely bad book. Putting aside Katherine’s storyline where she only made cameo appearances anyway, I enjoyed the first part the most. Not knowing much about this period, the history was fascinating. The second featuring Jeannette was my least favorite, but I lay full blame at my feet because I have just never cared for Joan of Arc’s story, so found most of this part boring. While there was some interesting information in the book, I didn’t love the book but it’s an easy introduction to this particular time.

For more information on Eleanor Cobham, I recommend Susan Higginbotham’s guest post at Madame Guillotine.

Originally Reviewed: October 17, 2012
Received: Local Library

ARC Review: Slide (Slide, Book One) by Jill Hathaway

Slide (Slide, #1)Slide by Jill Hathaway
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Book Descripton (via Amazon):

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

*****

Slide features an intriguing idea though the results left me with mixed feelings. The concept is awesome, but the execution? Yeah, not so much. The writing is serviceable, neither bad nor great and it didn’t draw me into the story straightaway. Both the way it is written and the storyline reminds me of some of the books I read as a pre-teen/teen way back during the Pleistocene epoch, otherwise known as the 1990s, with authors like Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Diane Hoh, Lois Duncan, Richie Tankersley Cusick, among others. It especially seems to fall right in between Pike and Stine. While the writing is more mature than Stine’s, it’s not quite as sophisticated as Pike’s. The mystery is weak, and by the end, seems pointless as it’s totally anti-climactic, over in a flash, like it was written just to finish the book up, and absurdly contrived. The whole ending is totally ludicrous and unbelievable. The clues leading up to it are obvious and not incorporated into the story well at all. These clues were so glaring they all but had a flashing sign pointing to them in cartoon-like fashion whenever they fell into the main character’s path. Sylvia a.k.a. Vee wasn’t written as a dummy, at first, but boy she was an absolute idiot about those clues and putting two and two together, or really much of anything until it slapped her in the face. While Vee is sympathetic, I can’t say I felt much of anything for her, and even less for anyone else in book because of their lack of depth. No one is explained in any detail, either personality or looks, motivations, or whatever. Just a brief shallow summary if lucky. Speaking of…. What has happened in books today where there are no descriptions of how anybody looks, except “I have pink hair,” “his blonde hair,” or some other toss away adjective? I’ve seen it over and over again and all I’m left with is the visualization that these people have no faces, much like that episode of Doctor Who (The Idiot’s Lantern). Frankly it’s all rather creepy.

I feel like this could have been a great book if it was longer (the copy I read is only 250 pages of at least 1.5 spaced lines) and had much more depth. Add in a couple more suspects, motivations, etc., and maybe a little more information on Vee’s “sliding” powers. Unfortunately it’s only an “okay” read that’s easy and moves at a rapid pace. I didn’t hate the book by any means, it’s just not one that’ll stick in my head for more than a few days. On the plus side I love the cover composition and colors, so kudos to the artist(s). This works fine as a standalone, but is now part of a series, for some unfathomable reason. Frankly, I’m getting sick of every book that comes out, most usually in the YA genre, becoming a series. It’s ridiculous how few standalone books there are anymore. Still, even with all my grumbling about the numerous series and everything else, I think I will check out Impostor, the second book in the Slide series, as it sounds interesting. Who knows, this might have just been the stepping stone to bigger and better things. Although if Vee is as stupid as she was in this one, I’m outta there.

2.5 stars

Originally Reviewed: October 16, 2012
Received: Amazon Vine

Review: Sara’s Song

Sara's SongSara’s Song by Fern Michaels

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Short synopsis:

Rock star falls for doctor. Rock star writes song for doctor. Rock star then is in plane crash and is claimed dead. Rock star’s brother enters picture. A love triangle and drama ensues as the rock star’s sleazy former girlfriend slash back-up singer tries to claim song as her own and does everything she can to get her evil mitts on it. Duh duh DUH….

I first read Sara’s Song as a young teen and found the story so romantic that its basic plot has stuck with me since. Being so young, I was able to look past, or more likely didn’t notice, the writing, specifically the stilted dialogue. It’s so clunky and awkward sounding, everybody talks as if they have the dread virus Verbal Diarrhea where they ramble from one topic to the next and back again using short, choppy sentences. Rather akin to riding a random thought roller coaster, I’d say. After a while the dialogue either became better or I became used to how it was written. There’s also some odd adjectives used a couple times (loose-limbed for one) and other words and phrases used too often. One phrase in particular that I’ve always hated: “It is what it is.” Shameful language ahead. No shit, Sherlock. This is surely one the stupidest expressions I’ve ever heard and want to punch anyone in the face who uses it (anger issues? Me?! Never!). Of course it is what it is, what the fuck else would it be?! Okay, calming down now. Anyway, seeing as the plot is rather implausible, I’m willing to forgive a lot, it is fantasy after all. Although, I find it very hard to believe a nurse can go from working at a hospital to working at a veterinarian’s office. Humans and animals may have similarities but they are different species. There’s no way I’d want her to touch my cat without first going back to school and studying to become a veterinary technician. I came across some typos and mistakes while reading the Kindle edition, such as incorrect word usage and random periods thrown into the middle of a sentence. I assume the latter came about through the transfer from paper to digital, but not too sure about the others.

With all that said, I still managed to become charmed by the story, flaws and all (and there are many), and had a hard time putting down the book. That tells a lot, seeing I have the attention span of a fruit fly. Even though this is technically a romance, not a lot of time is spent on developing much of a romance between Sara and Dallas or Sara and Adam, but there’s enough that I didn’t have a problem. However, what I did have an issue with was timing; I never knew how much time had passed in the book to gauge exactly where Sara and Dallas were in their relationship or how long the duration was between Dallas’ “death” and Sara and Adam’s attraction, mostly everything appeared to happen far too soon, but it’s hard to tell for certain. I liked the characters, they’re not anything spectacular or deep for that matter, but basically regular people who talk in an inhuman way. Dallas made some odd decisions that might rile or confound some people but I think that’s because (minor SPOILER, but nothing integral to the book’s plot) he obviously suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell out of the tree at age eight. While the book makes no claim of the kind and just waives it off as dyslexia, poor eyesight, and being half-deaf. None of those would explain some of his choices like a brain injury would. END SPOILER But that’s just my hypotheses.

While this technically doesn’t deserve more than three stars and most aspects could have been stronger and employed more depth, I enjoyed reading the book and was able to get lost in the story of love, loss and happily ever after.

Originally Reviewed: November 9, 2012
Received: Digital copy borrowed from library
Buy @ Amazon: ebookpaperback

Review: Ghost Walk (Harrison Investigations, Book 2)

Ghost WalkGhost Walk by Heather Graham

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

Book Description from Amazon.com:

Yes, she believed in ghosts, or if not ghosts, per se, a memory that lingered in certain places.It sure as hell wasn’t something she was going to share with anyone.

Nikki DuMonde’s newest employee is standing at the end of her bed at four o’clock in the morning begging for help. It’s a joke, right? Besides, as manager of a successful New Orleans haunted-tour company, Nikki doesn’t scare easily. But in the light of day, harsh reality sets in as a police officer informs her that Andy was brutally murdered—at the exact time Nikki swears the distraught woman was in her room.

No one believes her except for Brent Blackhawk, a paranormal investigator desperately trying to forget his tragic past. Half Irish, half Lakota—and able to communicate with the dead—Brent is used to living in two worlds. But when he realizes the ghost of a slain government agent is also trying to reach out to Nikki, he knows that she, too, must listen to the dead…if she wants to keep living.

*****

Oh boy, where to begin…. I’ve enjoyed Heather Graham’s books in the past as the fun brain candy they can be, sadly this wasn’t one of them. I can’t say it’s a terrible book, but it’s far from good. Everything is just so lifeless, the characters, the mystery plot, the romance, everything was lame and weak. Which brings me to the dialogue which is clunky and often awkward. At one time, Nikki, the main character, had just come from her best friend’s funeral and is now at the after-service gathering, where she proceeds to remark to another friend that she and her boyfriend are good for each other. What? How? Who? Who does that? How could you even think of anything else at a time where you’re crushed at your friend’s death? Totally strange and was one of many instances that took me out of the book. The romance, oh the romance. We get these two supposedly perfect people who both have the personality of a wet rag on a good day, aren’t very bright, more so on Nikki’s end, don’t know each other, never seem to have any conversations, and definitely have no (none! nein! zilch! nada!) chemistry together. Oy vey. Looks really aren’t everything. Okay, so the ghosts are a bit more interesting but that’s not enough to save the book. Come to think of it, they were actually more alive than the living characters. Ha! Too bad the book wasn’t told from their view.

I had issues with the constant PC (politically correct) references throughout, mainly when someone would use the horrific, scarred-for-life-if-uttered I-word. *whispers* Indian. Sarcasm Alert! OMG, did someone just die? I’m so sorry, I meant Native American! Talk about annoying, there were at least three instances of that, one especially stupid. Believe it or not, but there are actually those who prefer to be called (American) Indian rather than Native American.

I don’t know if Ms. Graham was going through something or if this was a rush job or what, but this was one boring book filled with boring people who lead boring lives where boring situations may or may not happen, all of which leads up to an absolutely dumb ending to the book’s lame plot. It’s so dumb I don’t even want to think about it anymore. The only thing saving this from one star is that I didn’t hate the book, it just didn’t inspire me to care one way or the other about anything or anybody in the story. Thumbs down.

Originally Reviewed: October 4, 2012
Received: Digital copy borrowed from my library

ARC Review: A Blood Seduction (Vamp City, Book 1)

A Blood Seduction (Vamp City, #1)A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marketed as a paranormal romance, A Blood Seduction is much closer to the genre of urban fantasy with strong romantic/lusty elements (there is only one instance of “doing the deed” and that is very close to the end of the book). Quinn Lennox is the lead, and while she might not be the usual kick-ass heroine usually drawn upon in this field, she is far from the weakling I’ve seen others refer to her as. Face it, she was in way over her head, there’s no way in hell she could ever be a contender against these vampires, at least not in this particular book. Heck, I bet the indomitable Buffy would have had trouble. She could be smart and she made the occasional dumb move, who hasn’t? I like the fact that she isn’t perfect. Okay, she has to be saved, a lot, and she doesn’t have the most memorable personality, but this is only the beginning of the series and there is plenty of time for her to grow and come into her own. I rooted for her all through the book. I wanted Quinn to save her brother Zack and his friend/potential girlfriend, Lily, I wanted her to be able to use her magic, and I just wanted her to succeed and become even stronger as a person.

The world is well drawn, mostly on account of it being a magical copy of Washington, D.C. circa 1870, but with some modern conveniences thrown in as well. Okay, so I did groan at the Washington, V.C. (Vampire City), it is a bit cheesy, but luckily it was usually called either Vamp City or V.C., which both fit the atmosphere of the book much better. Parts of the city are abandoned and decaying, others a thriving compound for the different vampire families, known as kovenas. The vampires themselves are killer, quite literally. Gone are the pantywaists of recent ilk, we’re going back to basics (mostly) here. Not only do they feed on blood, but some also have to feed on either fear or pain as well. They go from zero to sixty in about a second, they have the super strength, mind control to entrance their victim, they have slaves who adore them (called slavas), and boy, are they are mean. But hey, it’s just in their nature, they can’t help who they are, except maybe for the love interest and possible future heroes depending on how the series goes. For those who are fainthearted, this ain’t the book for you. There are numerous disturbing scenes that depict torture or gore, I can handle it, but not everyone can. Ye have been warned.

Speaking of the love interest, Arturo “Vampire” Mazzo, he was, well, certainly mysterious. Due to his unswerving allegiance to his master, Cristoff (who I pictured as a 25 year old Lucius Malfoy played by Jason Isaacs, with a black goatee:
),
Arturo would turn his back on Quinn, yet the further on the harder it was for him to do so. His loyalty was being tested because of his feelings for her. Just to make things clear, this is a messed up relationship, some may not like that, but I thought it added a dose of reality and interest to the circumstances. Sure I felt like Quinn was an idiot at times to be attracted to this untrustworthy vampire, especially the very first scene that was just too early in the story for that to be included, but overall it works for the book. My absolute favorite relationship is the sibling one between Quinn and Zack. I thought the author did an awesome job conveying just how much Zack means to her. Basically he is everything to her and all she has. Her father may be alive but he was never there for her, he always sided with her stepmonster (Zack’s mother) instead of his firstborn. Creep. Anyway, despite her stepwitch’s hatred of Quinn and that Zack adored her from the time of his birth, and vice versa, then after high school he moved to D.C. where she lived, he’s always been there for her, even when she was being punished. It’s really a sweet and respectful relationship. She’d do anything to save him and she tries like hell all throughout the book, which doesn’t always work out so well.

This is definitely the start to a series, and while there is an end to the book, there is still much to be told. In the fates of Vamp City, Quinn’s sorcery, the relationship between her and Arturo, plus much more I don’t want to give away. I’d recommend that if you’re looking for a romance to go elsewhere, but if you’re a fan of evil vampires, darkness, don’t mind abnormal relationships, and just want to have a bloody good time, then what are you waiting for?!

Originally Reviewed: September 20, 2012
Received: Amazon Vine