As I said in my “Started” post for this book, I discovered Jeannie Holmes through a couple of degrees of social networking (and it’s gone a step further as Mel tells me she’s ordered a copy for her mother after reading my first post).
Hooray for social media then, because I’ve found a great new author to follow. And, even better, there are only two books out so far, so I don’t have too much catching up to do. Instead, I get to look forward to more books in a new world without worrying about a huge backlog. (For example, I sure wouldn’t want to be starting J. D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series now, without 40-odd stories published already.)
There’s a nice new take on vampires in Ms Holmes’ book – they’re a different species rather than something into which humans can be turned, they’re not all powerful even if they are stronger than humans and it’s relatively easy for one to “pass” as human. There is a real thread of anti-vampire hatred in the book that surprised me as I wasn’t expecting it. True, this is also seen in other vampire books, but it had a depth and reality here that really made me quite uncomfortable. I guess it was a good kind of uncomfortable, since it came from high quality world building, which meant I could easily believe in it. There’s not going to be any easy peace between humans and vamps here and the hostility was painful to read. One thought that went though my head was that the “coming out” of the vampires must have done great things for race relations in this world as now there were non-humans to aim all that hatred and vitriol at.
The characters are well developed and I look forward to learning more about them in future books. I suspect there’s a lot we don’t know about Alex yet (or about Varik for that matter), and I can’t decide if her bad judgement as shown in this book was endearing or frustrating. She did some dumb things, but I think they came more from her personality than from any required plot stupidity. At the end, she knew she was doing something dumb, she recognised there would be serious consequences, but she did it anyway. And if it was me, I can’t say that I’d have done differently (assuming I was a strong and confident vampire and not the weak and wimpy human I actually am). As a spectator I can see what she “should” have done, but I’m not sure that the character as introduced to us would have done that. So I guess my feeling is that yes, I was convinced by Alex. She will be facing those consequences in the next book and I look forward to seeing how she does.
I really rather do like Varik too. While I’m sure he’s not, he was portrayed as a simpler character in this book, but going on the blurb, I rather suspect his turn will come next time. He had aspects of the standard handsome, alpha vamp, but there’s a feeling of a lot more under the surface as well. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Despite the presence of vampires, I was expecting something along the lines of a police procedural – I’m not quite sure why – so the supernatural element (beyond vampires) that showed up rather surprised me. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but now I’ve finished I can’t wait to learn more.
Hooray for Google+ and Dave’s work connections, because I’ve found a good author here and I’m looking forward to more good stories from her. There are just so many paranormal books out there these days that they all start to look the same. I’m generally not going to give something a try without a good reason. I’m so glad I did this time. I found a winner.
Thanks Jeannie, 8/10 to you.