∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ (4/5 infinities…since I can’t find the star character code)
Some spoiler alerts ahead.
I have to say up front: I’m not fond of vampire books, but I know Stuart from Southeastern Writers Association, so I decided to take a bite and see what he came up with. If you are into Twilight, these are not the vamps you are looking for.
The vampires are played as straight-up predators, some benignly socialized, and others truly evil, a realistic portrayal in my humble opinion, at least from a human point of view. Some of them are into it “for the EVULZ” but others are just making an afterdeath for themselves. They are not integrated into society, and it takes quite a long time for authorities to say the “V” word in investigating some massive murders of wine-tasting tourists in Napa Valley. There’s a defrocked priest, a couple of shape-shifters,and a trio of college buddies on their last road trip to The Big Easy.
The women are hardly noticeable at all except as distractions, and the guys are all pretty much guys–good and evil. I never quite found the protagonist, and wasn’t sure whose story it was. The one character I was rooting for got a girl, but much too early in the story and without any emotional punch, even when the initial villain is overcome. I’m not into romance novels of any stripe, and there’s no romance here, just some free sex. Maybe a little bit would have helped.
The writing itself is good. There were some moments of gut-wrenching horror, and some funny bits, so I think anyone who likes vamp novels would probably like it.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars