Rises the Night (Book 2 of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles)
Release date: June 5, 2007
He walked over and picked up Kritanu's matching machete. "Learning to fence, are you?"
"The skill is called ankathari, and it is much more lethal than a Frenchman's pretty fencing pirouettes and parries. Notice the inflexibility and width of the blade. Our weapons are much more serious than those slender, bendable ones you use."
"Oho! So you wish to challenge me to a duel, do you? I am pleased to accept." He swung the sword, whistling it through the air, then put it aside as he stripped off his coat and cravat. [Victoria] tried not to notice as he unsnagged the two buttons of his collar and rolled up his sleeves, showing skin tanned the color of toffee.
I was quite surprised when I read The Rest Falls Away, the first of the Gardella Vampire Chronicles by our delightful fellow blogger, Colleen Gleason. Vampires? I'm so not into vampires. Romance is okay and I love action, but se* and gore are turn-offs. And, yet, when I saw the book at my local bookstore I bought it with barely a second thought because Colleen is really nice. I support nice authors. The Rest Falls Away was not what I expected at all - not a book full of ugliness and neck-biting evil. Instead it was a tremendously fun blend of action, romance, adventure and Colleen's own unique take on vampires, set in Regency England. I particularly loved the historical setting, the characters and the action.
Having enjoyed the first book so much, reading the second was a no-brainer. So, it was a thrill to receive an advanced reader copy of Rises the Night.
In Rises the Night, heroine Victoria returns. In the year since Victoria became a Venator - a powerful vampire slayer - she has learned some hard lessons and experienced tremendous loss. Now, her grief still present, it is time to put her skills back to use and resume her place in society. Her return to social life, however, leads her to an unexpected discovery. A secret organization is coming to power in Italy and the son of vampire leader Lilith is planning to activate a dangerous artifact that will enable him to unleash horror of an unfathomable magnitude.
Determined to prevent tragedy, Victoria travels to Italy and goes undercover to unravel the secrets of the Tutela and it's fearsome vampire leader. Will Victoria be able to stop the evil Nedas in time? And what, pray tell, has become of her fellow Venator, Maximillian - who disappeared after their battle with Lillith - and that handsome man of dubious integrity, Sebastian Vioget?
Oh, questions, questions. If you're worried that the second book won't be as fun as the first, forget it. No problem. Rises the Night is loaded with exciting action scenes and tense, hold-your-breath moments. Colleen has a tremendous skill for blending adventure with subtle romance, fun dialogue and historical detail. The book is absolutely gripping and I have to admit that I particularly love the way Sebastian's character continues to come into question. He's so freaking slick! I adore the characters.
There are a couple of se* scenes which I skimmed, as always, along with a few gory, violent scenes (which you have to expect with vampires). Otherwise, loads of fun.
4.5/5 - Excellent reading, fun and adventurous with fantastic characterization
I've mentioned that I'll be giving away a copy of Rises the Night. Booklogged is currently having a drawing for a copy and her drawing will be held on May 15. I'm going to hold mine later to stagger things a bit (May 25) but it will be the same deal - whoever wins will receive a copy directly from the author so that she can inscribe the book. I'll put up a sticky sign-up post in a few days. I completely agree with Booklogged about the categorization of Rises the Night. It really is more heavily action-adventure/paranormal than romance and the cover is beautiful but I truly hope it doesn't turn off those who avoid romance.
Coming up next: A review of A Spoonful of Humor by Henry L. Lefevre
I have been loving the response to my recent "What do you think?" question, so I'm definitely going to throw in a question when it comes to mind - maybe make it a regular feature. Thanks to all who responded!
More later . . .