Maybe I have already given you my answer on that: after Edward Cullen, The Morganville Vampires, The Vampire Diaries and many many more I am definitely suffering from vampire fatigue. Some of them are good, don’t misunderstand me, but I’m bled dry by now. Anyway, I have just read a novel, the first in a series of books about humans and vampires, and I’m going to let you decide whether you still have an appetite for the beautiful undead people:
Midnight Terrors (Knight Blood 1), by Crimson Sterling
IxBryn is fleeing from an experiment she has been participating in after a violent attack has left everybody but her dead. She is finding a safe haven, she erroneously believes, with her cousin, who works for the Order (an organisation aiming to keep the relationship between humans and vampires as smooth as possible). There is also Zarrod Kingsbury, a vampire with the power only a very old Ancient can carry, and as if that was not enough there are the Rogues – evil vampires who break all rules set up by the Order and eager to amass their own power. IxBryn, with her special blood and powers of her own, is thrown into the mix and war is brewing.
This is a dystopic science fiction novel with a supernatural element that should attract interest from a wide range of readers. However, I am left with a feeling of only just having started on a novel, after a very lengthy introduction that almost made me put the book down, to find I have reached the last page. The plot, when it thickens, is just that bit too slow and the story too long-winded to entice the reader in me.
Hannah wakes up from a coma and finds herself back where the first novel in the series, Finding My Escape, set off. Her parents have been murdered in their home and the police believe the intruder was a common burglar. Hannah knows better: her parents guarded a secret, thousands of years old, and the enemy, desperate enough to kill, is closing in.
Finding My Way Back
This is the second book in a series by author Fran Veal. The third is on its way and despite suffering quite badly from book-series fatigue, I recommend taking the time to read these books.
Hannah’s best friend, Matt, who she fell in love with as Josh in the dream world she visited in the first book, turns out to be her personal bodyguard in this world. Being her bodyguard also means any romance is out of the question and Hannah is smarting from all the secrets her own family and friends have been keeping from her. And now it is too late to find the truth, as the only two who knew what the secret was, are both dead. Things are becoming more complicated as Hannah cannot trust what is real and what is only happening in the dream world of Valeria…
The second book in the series is fast moving and as compelling to read as the first. Some of the mystery element from the first book is gone and there are bits that are pushing the limit for what is believable, but the reader still ends up with a very good sequel; the plot is well crafted and the style is spot on.
As the book ends on the edge of that proverbial cliff I will have to wait for the third book to find out what is really going on in Hannah’s life as I, the reader, am kept equally confused as the main character about what is real and what is nothing more than a dream.
Finding My Escape, by Fran Veal
When Hannah wakes up in hospital she is forced to pick up life after having walked in on the most horrible of crime scenes: the murder of her parents. The police believe it is an ordinary burglary gone wrong but Hannah knows about the Box – and the dangerous secret her parents kept. What she does not know is what the secret is and just how dangerous.
Moving in with her aunt and lucky enough to have a good friend in Matt, a senior in high school, Hannah has to cope with her loss and the suspicion that the murderer is looking for her and the secret. As if this is not enough Hannah visits a parallel world in her dreams: a world that is uncanny and at the same time strangely real. This is also where she meets Josh. Whereas Matt is her best friend Josh is the kind of boy you fall in love with. As time goes by nothing seems to be what it set out to be and Hannah is worried she is losing her mind and she is not the only one who is worried.
From a slightly hesitant start this book evolves into one of the most promising in recent years. The reader is drawn into a well-crafted story, sharing Hannah’s worries about what is real or not. There is a sequel and, despite suffering slightly form “YA series fatigue”, I am genuinely looking forward to continue with the next instalment. The plot, its twists and turns, and the warm and heart breaking story about Hannah’s loss, lift the novel to a higher level and together with a careful eye to language and style this is a novel to enjoy.