“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living. — Marcus Tullius Cicero

What must it be like, to be born in 1601, a destitute dirt farmer, desperately trying to feed a wife and child? Completely illiterate, superstitious, held under the thumb of the rich, little more than a slave. Then, to find oneself suddenly immortal, seen as a demon, unclean, a monster in god’s eyes and those of your family. To make connections, fall in love, only to see the object of your affections wither and die time after time. To exist the next 200 years in the same crushing poverty and ignorance, until the world begins to turn, and opportunity begins to appear. And four hundred seventy five years later, to exist in a world completely at odds with the one you knew for so long. A world of cars and planes and space exploration. A world where intelligent, educated women are not inclined to take any crap from the men who used to rule their worlds completely?

“With some bitterness, he wondered why he was fighting so hard to survive. His life had been pointless for the last half century. Modern books and novels talked about how fun it was being a creature of the night’ so romantic and glamorous. What a crock of s**t.”

Four hundred seventy five years. Only to wind up poisoned, sprawled on the side of an isolated quarry road, alone. Well, until Sarelle comes along, with her front end loader, and her two dogs, Ghost and Darkness, to load him up and carry him to her basement. Well, she thought he was just a human . . . until she saw his teeth the next morning. Hum. A real live vampire. Sar is a kind woman, the type of woman who rescues animals off the side of the road at her own peril. So, she feeds him. But she swears she won’t be like all the silly little girls out there. She is, after all, a grown woman, over thirty and a widow. She will feed him, give him a place to stay, then send this vampire, whose truck is loaded down with silenced handguns and sniper rifles, on his way. She won’t be some stupid fan girl, fainting and squea­­ling at the thought of a sexy vampire.

Until she is.

Part way through the story began to lose coherence. From a good start, the author begins to throw in unnecessary plot points willy-nilly, as if she had lots of ideas she suddenly decided she wanted to explore. Humor disappears and histrionics ensue. There were flashes of story line that appeared, and then just as suddenly disappeared, like a shark flashing by under the surface of the water. It became somewhat of an overwrought mess of genre-specific tropes, with no real point at all. Contiguous to the breakdown of the story line, character personalities began to devolve, and distressing mannerisms and dissociative personality disorders began to appear where there were previously none. Sar goes from being a strong, capable woman, maybe not willing, but fully capable of blowing away an intruder with her own handgun, to a fluttery mess, standing around twisting her hands while her lover fights off a demon, intent on murdering them both, all the while said lover is screaming for her to run. “You might need me!” Yeah. Not so much, when all you can do is stand there and hop from foot to foot and whimper. Pft. Of course, in a lot of ways, Danial isn’t any better – just saying, “Watch out for other vampires at the party,” not, “If my brother the King of the Vampires demands to kiss you, turn him down because . . .” is just plain stupid. Secrets and lies. Lies and secrets. So, don’t get mad at her when you don’t give any real guidance, just vague generalities! Again, pft.

There are some really well-written parts, especially as we learn more about Danial’s history, from a poor peasant in rural Spain to well-off security company owner in modern day America. But the rest of the story broke down for me, for all the reasons listed above and more. I don’t normally read vampire novels, but the thought of a human woman who could stand up to the supernatural world and be strong was appealing – though the whiny, schizoid mess that began to appear two days later put paid to those expectations. It wound up being typical ‘sparkly vampire’ tropism. I checked into the others in the series, and the whole hysterical, overwrought mess turns into every bad romance novel stupid trope in the book. Bah. Not recommended. There are MUCH better series out there!

I received this book from ReadingAlley.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. All thoughts are my own.

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