....of course, above, I am making reference to the dire offerings from last year, Ice and Burn (see my reviews), and I am glad I took a gamble on the author. But then again, it's perhaps because she's collaborating once again with a fellow author whose works aren't dissimilar, Linda Winstead Jones?
The book itself was good, but the reason that it loses a 0.5* for me is that it was not entirely balanced: we had too much build up when you compare that to the final scenes and battle, which admittedly could be due to introducing us to the world, characters etc., but after that, I expected a damn good and prolonged ending, and got the former (though with a slightly too convenient ending), but not the latter. Oh, and don't turn to the back of the book to look at the author bio bit, as just before that, there's a longish intro to the next book, out in April 2011, which gives so much info from THIS book away. Here goes a brief taster of this one:
Luca Ambrus is an ancient Blood Born vampire, meaning that both his parents were full vampires and that he was born from their union, which is not only very, very rare, but which allows him to inherit the total of their powers, abilities, etc., making him an uber-vamp. He hires himself out when he feels like it to the Council of Vamps, who control and rule the vampire race, as their warrior/justice-deliverer. Luca gets a call from an old friend on the council, but before he can get there, the friend is killed and Luca knows who administered the killing blow, but not the Council member giving the killer instructions, and he goes under cover to find out what is really happening.
At the same time, several 'gifted' humans all over the world are starting to experience weird, extremely vivid dreams of battles, power and awaken being asked to 'remember', and what is in fact happening is that their Warrior ancestors are invading their dreams in the hopes that these humans, who are conduits, will allow them to be summoned to Earth to fight the good fight, i.e. to fight those vamps who believe that they are the Master Race, and therefore should be ruling Earth, thus saving humans. Unfortunately, the rebel vamps are led by a mysterious female council member, and a vamp hitman called Sorin (tall, blonde, strong, majorly yummy, sounds like Eric from True Blood, but more built!) is tasked with locating and killing conduits to prevent Warriors from coming through. Sorin, though initially portrayed as bad, seemed from the very start to have some very decent characteristics, and when the truth about the rebellion was revealed, decided that he needed to fight the good fight....
Conduit Chloe, blonde, cute, nearly 30, but with a possibly shortish lifespan, due to the heart aneurysm that she has that cannot be treated, comes to Luca's attention and she happens to be the one human who doesn't automatically forget Luca's existence within minutes of meeting him, and he takes her on the run to protect her, eventually 'bonding' with her to enable her to share some of his powers that can be transmitted through the bonding link during an exchange of blood whilst having sex. Yes, even on the run they had a couple of chances for a good old nookie session or two, but these were entirely vanilla and very tame compared to some of the love scenes in paranormal novels, especially vampire ones, but still, they didn't make the novel any less likeable or good.
Of course, Chloe manages to call her warrior ancestress Indikaiya through to Earth and Indie, Chloe, a young female witch called Nevada, Sorin, Luca, Rurik (another summoned Warrior, and possibly a future lead from the very heavy hints we got) and a few trusted friends battle the rebels. The battle itself is short, and could have potentially been deadly for one of the goodies, but hey, all's well that ends well. I won't say any more, as this would be too much of a spoiler, but I do like that Sorin redeemed himself enough to warrant being the next lead in the series. Yes, I will be buying that book too, as the female lead will be a real kick-a** lady, perfectly matched to him, and maybe, now that the various characters have already been introduced, the next book will be more balanced in terms of the build up, tale and climax.