Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Sequel to When Darkness Comes
on 21 February 2008
Embrace the Darkness is the second book in the Guardians of Eternity series. Following the events in When Darkness Comes (Book 1), Viper (chief of a vampire clan) buys the Lady Shay (last of the Shalott demons, though technically she's half human) at auction. This annoys her more than a little as in the previous book she did save his life. Though Viper's motives may appear nefarious, he actually wants to protect Shay. However, unknown to both of them, she's actually in a lot more danger than they suspect. To survive, they'll not only have to depend on each other, but also their friends - both old and new.
I have a problem with this book, it was just so nice. Too nice. The bad guys were bad (or misunderstood), the good guys were good. It was well written. There were nice (there's that word again) comic touches from Levet, the heroine's gargoyle companion. But I don't think it's quite for me. I'm finding I prefer urban fantasy with its darker undertones, over paranormal romance.
Having said that, Shay and Viper have some strong dialogue and a great chemistry. I found Viper to be the more well-rounded character of the two, Shay was not quite so interesting. Levet is a little gargoyle with a big heart. He works as both a sidekick and a conscience and has some of the best lines.
There are some inconsistencies in the plot, or maybe I didn't pick up on all the subtleties. Specifically relating to Shay's curse. There's also a tendency to pull back from things, for example when Viper talks about the time before he was a clan chief how terrible things were for him. Shay questions him, but he just says - 'you don't want to know'. Also about the powers of each vampire clan chief - it's confidential. I'll make allowances for this once in a story, but more than that and it starts to annoy.
Alexandra Ivy does know how to keep her readers interested. New vampires are introduced here - Styx and Santiago. And there's mention of a 'young and fierce werewolf'. She puts in just enough to keep you interested in where the story is going. I also like that she makes the bad guy a little more three dimensional than your standard evil overlord. We get a glimpse of the hero he might have been in the past.
It's a nice story, well written with engaging moments. Slightly too light for me. The humour, and chemistry between the characters lifts it above a lot of the other paranormal romance out there. Recommended for fans of Jacquelyn Frank and Alyssa Day.
Book 1 - When Darkness Comes (available)
Book 3 - Darkness Everlasting (May 2008)