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Deeper Than the Night
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Is Alexander a vampire? Does his blood have mysterious qualities? He doesn't actually know what his blood will do to Kara, but feels compelled to help her all the same. And once he has done so, he feels drawn to her and unable to stay away. He visits her, and they talk on several occasions - and fall in love.
But when Kara gets out of hospital and is sent for further blood tests, Alexander realises that by giving her his blood he might have saved her life, but he has caused problems not only for Kara, but also for herself. They have to go on the run, in fear of their lives. And Alexander has to tell Kara the truth about himself - will she still want him?
Yes, he's not a vampire: he's an alien, as many other reviewers have pointed out. (Oh, and this happens not very far into the book; certainly not close to the end, as other reviewers claim). Umm... so what? That made no difference to me. My two-star rating isn't because Alexander isn't a vampire; it's because of the quality of the book. Making him an alien was definitely different, and in a better book it would have made for a very interesting storyline. As it is, Ashley's alien is, as Kara herself says, something of a cross between Superman and the Highlander (not a lot of originality in characterisation, really), though he doesn't seem to possess much of Superman's morality. This alien is predisposed to violence, and a lot of it.
Why didn't I like this book? Well, the weak, whiny characters were a major part of it. Take Kara: she kept changing her mind about whether or not she trusted and loved Alexander. And when he told her that he was an alien, she actually ran away and threatened to turn him in to the doctor she knew would cage him like a labrat and would drain his blood for financial gain. Is being from another planet such a dreadful thing that Alexander deserved to be treated worse than an animal?
Then there's Alexander: throughout the book, one minute he is telling Kara that he loves her and will never let her go, and the next he is telling her to leave him, to go away, that they can't be together. They even undergo a marriage ceremony according to the rites of his planet, and he explains that in his culture the custom is marriage for life: a soul-bond. And then the next day he tells her that she has to leave him and start a new life without him?! Make up your mind, man!!
Then there's the thriller/danger plot. For me, that went on too long, was too brutal and really wasn't interesting. I'm interested in the romance, not extraneous elements. If you want a love story, this isn't really for you. If you like thrills and danger and struggles to escape, then maybe it is. This plot simply occupied far too much of the book for my liking.
Ashley has simply never written anything else as good as Embrace The Night, and on recent evidence she's not going to.
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