Tag Archives: vampire

Review of Crying For The Moon, by Sarah Madison

I borrowed a copy of Crying for the Moon, by Sarah Madison from Hoopla, through my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Vampire Alexei Novik may have the teeth and the coffin, but he’s given up the lifestyle for an old fixer-upper in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weary of his past, Alex plans to keep to himself, but it seems his sexy, new neighbor, Tate, can’t take the hint—a good thing, since it turns out he’s handy for all kinds of things around the house. Tate even gets along with Alex’s werewolf friends, though one of them pointedly reminds Alex that their friendship is a bad idea. 

If a platonic relationship is a bad idea, the growing attraction between Tate and Alex is a disaster waiting to happen. Loving Tate will draw him into Alex’s dangerous world, and Alex is torn between having the relationship he’s always craved and keeping Tate safe. Tate won’t take no for an answer, however, and seems to handle everything Alex can throw at him without blinking. Just when he thinks things might turn out all right after all, Alex’s past catches up with him—forcing him to make a terrible choice.

Review:
So that was, um, well, that was….not very good, in my opinion. Look the writing is mechanically fine, but the story is flat and dull. There is almost no conflict. Only one bit pops up predictably (because the reader sees the obvious foreshadowing) out of nowhere (because it’s not there and then it is for no real reason) and then is defeated in no time at all (because of course it is). There are large chunks dedicated to unimportant things and, unless I was just misunderstanding what was supposed to be happening, I would advise the author to actually see an uncut penis before suggesting the things she seems to think could easily be done with a foreskin and maybe a penis in general if she imagines someone could blithely stick their tongue down a urethra. I’m just sayin’.

I did like the characters and the representation of werewolf pack behavior and the interesting lore around the vampire’s coffin. I didn’t really approve of the Alexi’s solution at the end, but that’s neither here nor there. I think this is a case of just not a good book for me. I’m sure others might love it.

Bonus side note: I especially cringed when I hit this sentence: “Her sculptured cheekbones and rich, café au lait coloring gave her an exotic look that made her stand out among women in general, but among Nick’s friends, she was clearly the diamond in the rough.” The author managed to use a food reference to describe a black woman (who was of course from New Orleans), squeeze the dreaded ‘exotic’ word in there to fetishize her, and then topped it with a cliche, all in one sentence. I’m a bit iffy about the ‘stand out among women in general’ too. So, that whole sentence left me agape.

Review of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, by Nancy Campbell Allen

I borrowed a copy of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, by Nancy Campbell Allen, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Review:
Amusing, but nothing exceptional. Lucy is your oft-seen plucky, science-minded, Victorian lady and Blackwell is charmed by her almost immediately, despite being a beastly grump. They were sweet. But so much of the book is established but never explored. There was a war apparently, Blackwell and his three besties fought in it. No idea what it was about, but there were laser guns. There are vampires and they’re bad apparently, and there’s some sort of “vampiric assimilation aide” that lets them blend in with people. But no depth to the vampire mythos. Same can be said for werewolves. There are steamships and telegraphers and tesla coils, but no real clues about how this effects society. Really, no proof that this is ‘steampunk’ as the cover proclaims and not electro-punk, ether-punk, diesel-punk, etc because the technology is kept vague. I didn’t dislike it. I enjoyed the read, but I wasn’t blown away.

Review of Certain Dark Things, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I borrowed Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Certain Dark Things from the library.

Description from Goodreads:
Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…

Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.

Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.

Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.

And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.

Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?

Review:
I’m going to be honest. I picked this book up at the library based on the cover alone. It is gorgeous and caught my eye. The word vampire was there took and that’s all she wrote. I too this sucker home.

This is a technique for picking out books that has often led me astray, but in this case it worked out just fine. I quite enjoyed Certain Dark Things. I mean, Mexican vampires, or more accurately vampires in Mexico City! The main character is from an ancient Aztec clan, but there are African, Canadian, European, Russian, Chinese and vampires from other places too. Ain’t immigration grand? Not all of them represented in the book, but there are at least 10 subspecies of vampires.

One of the main character is a bisexual Latinx vampire, and the other is about the cutest 17yo boy you’ll ever meet. Honestly, with his tendency to be uncertain in social settings and open, naiveté despite living on the streets, I wondered if he wasn’t meant to be on the autism spectrum somewhere. But I think that might just be me, nothing in the book other than how I interpreted his behavior suggests this. Either way, I adored Domingo. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Atl, but Domingo stole the show for me.

I wouldn’t call this a romance, though I think it has romantic elements and a HEA of a sort. But I like it better for how it ended.

The writing is lovely and I really liked the voice a lot. My biggest complaint is that it is cliche to have a villain obsess over hunting a woman down to rape and torture because his advances were rejected. Yes, there’s more to it than that, but that’s a lot of what it boils down to and that’s just motivation that’s been used and used and used and used.

All in all, Moreno-Garcia is on my radar now and I’ll be checking out more of her work.