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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation of The Companion series, 12 Aug. 2008
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One with the Darkness (Mass Market Paperback)
What if you believed you had made a huge mistake in your life but had a chance to travel back in time and rectify it? Perhaps this is not a completely novel theme for a book, but in One With The Darkness Susan Squires adds an extra layer of interest - her heroine, Donnatella Luchella di Poliziano is a vampire. Donnatella has lived for nearly two and a half thousand years and has spent the last eighteen hundred years mourning the death of her human lover, Jergan. Donnatella has been friends with the great and the good of the Renaissance and when she discovers a 300-year-old message from Leonardo da Vinci to her, follows his instructions and finds a time machine, she is given the opportunity to go back in time and change the future. There was a point when she was with Jergan that she seriously considered turning him into a vampire as he was seriously injured; at the time she obeyed the vampire Rules and didn't change him, but now she has the opportunity to return through time and behave differently at that point.

When Donnatella travels back through time to AD40 she finds herself assimilated into the body of herself back in that time, rather than being a separate spectator. And thus starts a fascinating story as we follow events through the eyes of Donnatella back then, known as Livia Quintus Lucellus, living in Rome and mingling with the great and the good. She buys the slave Jergan from the marketplace to serve as a bodyguard, often feeling strange pricks of memory or having dreams about him, the only opportunities that the time-travelling Donnatella has to influence Livia. Jergan discovers fairly quickly that Livia is unlike other slave owners, having care for her people and aiming to free them as soon as possible. He also discovers that she's heavily involved in plotting against the Emperor, Caligula, and that her small band of plotters is under suspicion.

There are some excellent scenes in this book as Livia tries to navigate the treacherous waters of Roman politics, as we are shown the worst of the excesses of high-class Roman society, and as Jergan, apparently a barbarian, shows he has more honour than the supposedly honourable Romans. Unfortunately for the time-travelling Donnatella, she is barely able to communicate with Livia, and it becomes clear that history is changing. Will she be able to save Jergan? Might their plot against Caligula fail this time, although it was successful last time? Who can she trust?

This book was always interesting, the Roman setting adding a great deal to the overall story. The inclusion of genuine historical characters, and Squires' addition of Livia's part in history, is very enjoyable. This book had far less of the sexual violence/rape of previous books which have spoiled them a little for this reader - instead it includes a gentle love story about two very different people who recognise strengths in each other and who are accepting of each other. It's a very enjoyable book, yet another triumph from the creative pen of Susan Squires.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 16 July 2009
This review is from: One with the Darkness (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought this one, One w/the Darkness was some of the best vampire reading I have read. I was really drawn into the story right away and felt a connection with the characters. Overall, it was nice to read something that was so bloody but still connected with the darkness of being a vampire. I also read and liked Dead Until Dark: A True Blood Novel.
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One with the Darkness
One with the Darkness by Susan Squires (Mass Market Paperback - 4 Aug. 2008)
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