I am so disappointed to be giving this book two stars. I should preface this by saying everything else by this author has been a great hit for me. I love her Demonica series and can't wait to start her Lords of Deliverance series, which I have heard is equally fantastic. One of the things I love about Demonica is how crazy sexualized the demons were. I mean, that series is one where you will find yourself blushing throughout the entirety of it. And it's awesome.
I didn't have that same giddy, excited feeling with this book. This series deals with vampires, not crazed sex demons, so clearly there are going to be vast differences. I had acknowledged that in my head, but I'm not sure I had accepted it yet until I realized that all of the craziness that I loved in the Demonica series just wasn't going to happen. I mean, there's still plenty of sex. I think there were four decent scenes, and the chemistry between the two characters is... okay? I guess I just wanted something more, if that makes sense. It's probably unfair because I'm comparing
On to the flaws and merits of the book: I have to question the basic premise. Why are vampires slaves if they're better than humans in every way? They're stronger, faster, have better eyesight... they're a natural predator to humanity. This being the case, wouldn't history have taken a different turn than the one presented in the novel? The logical course would be vampires rising into dominance and enslaving the humans, but, instead, the reader is meant to believe that it is vampires that have been "domesticated." I couldn't help wondering how this happens and, unfortunately, a concise answer was never given. It is possible that it is a slow reveal throughout the series, but my review is intended for this book.
I also didn't like how Riker and Nicole, the two main characters, had sexy-times with each other even though there was so much hatred between them. I know hate-sex is a thing, but this wouldn't fall into that category. Nicole was literally afraid of him. She is terrified of vampires and their culture and everything they stand for because of what happened to her as a child, but she suddenly forgot about all that fear in the heat of the moment? She forgot about something she's been in therapy for years for because she wanted to bang a vampire? I have to question how she'd even want to have sex with a vampire she didn't love after all she'd been through. I didn't think that this was a believable build up of the characters or the tension between them. And, unfortunately, this feeling of "unbelievable" permeates throughout the entire novel.
All in all, if this had been my first Larissa Ione book, I might have enjoyed it more. But because I've already read other books by her - books that I really, really love - it felt flat and ill-planned. I'm not too sure if I'll end up reading the second, but I do want to know what happens after the Epilogue, which was my favorite part of the book (and is quite telling as to how unenjoyable the rest of it was).
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