Author: Colleen Gleason
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 01/02/07
In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy of vampire slaying, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous, moonlit streets, Victoria's heart is torn between London's most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her enigmatic ally, Sebastian Vioget. And when she comes face to face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make the choice between duty and love.
Plot: 2.5 Stars
The premise of the series is very promising, but didn't quite deliver. There were a few major flaws in the plot, and a lot of necessary information is either not given or given too late. Each time Victoria runs into a new kind of vampire (there are three kinds), it's a complete surprise because there was no classification beforehand. Since Victoria is new to being a venator, we only learn what she has learned about the job. I would've liked a little more information and backstory to the job.
Pace: 1.5 Stars
The pace of this novel threw me completely. In the beginning, it is of utmost importance that the venators find an important book. We're led to believe that it will be a big part of the book, but it is found within a hundred pages or so. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but after the book is found, nothing happens for the majority of the book. Most of the action is jammed into the last couple chapters, which were very hard to get through. I almost put this novel down and gave up a number of times because the story just wasn't moving.
Characters: 3 Stars
I liked Victoria as a main character. She was strong and headstrong and stuck to her guns. But I feel like we barely learned anything about anyone else. I would've liked a little more information about Rockley and Max, her aunt Eustacia and her mother. I feel like we only got to see the surface of the other characters, and not what's underneath. Not much about the past was uncovered. And we also didn't learn all that much about the vampires.
Cover: 3 Stars
The cover is appealing, and definitely gets the vampire angle across with the stake. But it's a bit bland for me. I think it would've been better with the natural colors of the scene instead of the monochromatic reds. My biggest issue with the cover is the cross inlayed into the end of the stake. You can plainly see that it's computer generated, and the stake would've looked much more natural without it.
Overall: 2.5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.