August 2008, Paranormal Historical (Regency England)
Signet Eclipse, $7.99, 344 pages, Amazon ASIN 0451224752 Part of a series
Iíve been a fan of this series from the beginning and the fourth book in the authorís Gardella Vampire Chronicles certainly keeps the momentum going. I have a big problem, however: I canít really reveal much about the plot without spoiling the previous books in the series and, since Iím all about encouraging others to get with the Regency Buffy thing, I really donít want to do that.
So, with that caveat, hereís what I can say. Victoria Gardella, proper young Regency woman, is the latest in a long line of female vampire slayers and hereditary leader of the Venators, a group sworn to protect humans from the undead. With a varying set of companions, she slays vampires, foils dastardly plots, and hovers between two rather delicious men. (Unusually enough for me Ė and in a definite testament to the authorís skills Ė Iíve been unable to pick my own favorite.)
In this entry in the series, Victoria is struggling with a difficult challenge that came about at the conclusion of the previous book, The Bleeding Dusk. Sheís also wrestling with what just might be her biggest challenge ever: Vampires who seem to have the ability to move about in daylight, undetected by the Venators.
Now, hereís where I get into further problems. As the author promised in an interview I did with her earlier this year, by the conclusion of this book, readers know the man with whom Victoria is destined to be. And we do. And Iím fine with it. (Vague enough for you?)
To unequivocally state what should be blazingly obvious by now, this book is most definitely not a stand-alone. Seriously. So, anyone intrigued by the idea of a strong, female vampire slayer in Regency times should definitely begin with the first book in the series, The Rest Falls Away. I think I can safely promise that if youíre intrigued with the concept, the books will definitely grab you.
As for quibbles, I need to get it on the record right now that I hate whiners in real life and in books. Really. (Make that really, really.) And sad to say, a character Iíve previously loved almost everything about hovers dangerously close here to morphing into one Major League Whine-O Ė so much so that I found myself thinking fondly of that scene in Moonstruck where Cher tells Nicolas Cage to ďsnap out of itĒ.
But with that said and quibble aside, I love this series and Iím very intrigued and satisfied with where we are at the end of this one. Just like the oh-so-clever writers and producers of Lost whoíve set an end-game for their story and know just how much time they have to complete their story arc, Colleen Gleason promises to wrap up Victoriaís story by the end of the fifth book. Itís fair to say that I canít wait.
-- Sandy Coleman
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