Monday, May 17, 2010
When the human and the vampire worlds collide
Luca Ambrus is a rare breed: He is a vampire from birth, begotten by vampire parents: blood born. He is also an agent of the Council—the centuries-old cabal that governs vampirekind, preserving their secrecy and destroying those who betray them.
When a cryptic summons leads him to the scene of the brutal killing of a powerful Council member, Luca begins the hunt for an assassin among his own people. But instead of a lone killer he discovers a sinister conspiracy of rogue vampires bent on subjugating the mortal world.
All that stands in their way are the conduits, humans able to channel spirit warriors into the physical world to protect mankind. Chloe Fallon is a conduit—and a target of the vampire assassin who’s killing them. When Luca saves her life, an irresistible bond of trust—along with more passionate feelings—is forged between them. As more victims fall, Chloe and Luca have only each other to depend on to save the world from the reign of monsters—and salvage their own future together.
This book surprised me in many ways, not always in a good way but it did nonetheless. It's the first book in a new series and as in most first books it has the bitter task of introducing the world and the characters.
The world we are thrown in is nothing totally unique but it worked for me. We have vampires living hidden between the ignorant humans who are unaware of the danger they live in. Vampires aren't completely the way they are often pictured in these kind of book but they aren't really something new either. They drink blood, they don't like the light but can learn to tolerate it and they can't breach into your home because of spell cast a few hundred years back. But all the rest we think to know about them isn't true. The vampires in this book are mostly aloof to say it nice. They see the humans as a necessity, something they need to live. They need the human blood and the best way to do that is to stay hidden in the dark or otherwise the humble humans would start a rebellion against the monsters. That's what most of the vampires think. In the last few years a group of rebells formed and now wants to grab the reigns of the world and form it the way they want it: vampires as masters and the humans nothing more as kettle. We also have the immortal warriors who are there to save the human race from the danger that will come. They are from another world and can only enter ours if invited by a so called conduit, a special human descendant of this warrior. The conduits are the warrior's only way to get here so it is a logically step for the vampire rebells to try to destroy this passage. So the conduit hunt begins.
The story starts with one of the oldest vampires in this world- Luca Ambrus. He is our hero and one of the few blood born vampires (that means he is the child of 2 vampires and not turned through blood transfer as most of them are). He's very old (2000+ years) and powerful, he has gifts most vampires can't even imagine and he likes to live on his own, secluded from the rest of the world. For me Luca was not easy to like. He's not a bad guy or had any major flaws I could point out now but he just didn't do it for me. His actions his reason to do them were mostly wrong in my mind. He did good things and all the stuff hero's are supposed to do but I never had the feeling he did cuz of the right reasons. I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all to you but it is hard to explain. Perhaps he was too aloof for me but it was right to make him that way. I know that 2000 years of experience would make someone different and perhaps he was just too different for me.
Chloe is a conduit and of course she doesn't know that. She has an ordinary life with even more ordinary problems. When the first vampire tries to kill her she is thrown headfirst in a world of monsters and her only help is Luca. He offers his help and she knows it would be stupid to refuse. She wants to live and she was never someone to shy away from problems. I really liked Chloe as a character. She is a strong woman with the right morals and a good attitude. I enjoyed reading her part of the book and was a bit disappointed that there weren't more parts about her. I disagreed with her a few times and some choices really pissed me off but I still liked her.
That brings me directly to one part of the book I didn't like so much. We have again a vast variety of POVs. I never noticed it so much in the past but I kind of run into more of those books in the last few books. It could be that it is only me but I was highly annoyed with the ongoing shift between places and characters. It always happened when I just started to feel for a certain character and bam we are thrown into a totally different storyline again and I was left wanting more of the last one. Not a good start for the next part and so it went on and on. I think I really am no fan of this.
Also worth a mention is Sorin- he is the second in command of the bad rebel vampires and I really enjoyed his part in the book. He was a good mix of good and bad and he really drew me in. I so hope he gets his own book in this series. He is so worthy of my interest.
All in all I think the many story-lines and different plot directions distracted a bit too much from the romance between Chloe and Luca. I was surprised that they loved each other at the end. The world building was nicely done and the story was interesting. The story didn't grab me as much as I wanted it too but all in all I still want to read book 2, Warrior Rising. I'm highly intrigued by both Sorin and his heroine Iklayina.
To learn more about Linda Howard and her book please visit her website here. You can find Linda Jones' website here.
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