Genre paranormal romance
Target audience: adults
It is a part of hugely popular series which I read, despite being repeatedly told not to, completely out of order (it is, I believe, the book number 12). Due to that fact my review might be skewed and rather unjust although still fully reflecting my personal opinion.
One old, bad, murderous vampire called Lothaire the Ennemy of Old looks for his bride – he needs her badly because she only can ‘blood’ him, in other words make him function again. Without a bride any vampire is ‘frozen’ – no hearbeat, no sex, no fun. Ok, he can have fun providing he loves carnage…but after several centuries the effects of even the best carnage can wear off.
Finally Lothaire finds his bride. Her name is Ellie and she is a hillbilly gal from Appalachians, born and raised in a little dingy trailer among a family of miners. What cheer. Small wonder he believes for half of the story that his real bride must be somebody else - like a demonic goddess hiding in Ellie’s luscious body, reemerging from time to time to demand clothes, jewels, clothes, a nice carnage, shoes, more clothes, spa treatment, blood, clothes, sacrifices, jewels, clothes…you get the drift. Poor undereducated Ellie who did a time in prison due to that goddess’s bloodthirsty habits, has just one hidden weapon, one advantage and one chance: sex. Will it be enough? Who will Lothaire appreciate more and for what reason? Will Ellie get rid of her demonic parasite who is hell-bent on destroying her soul?
What I liked:
Despite the snark that somehow sneaked (or snuck) into my synopsis at an early stage this book had some advantages. Firstly and foremostly it had a sense of humour. Clashing together the worlds of Ellie and Lothaire provided a lot of comic relief. I admit I sometimes laughed despite myself – not a bad thing in my current depressive mood. Lothaire is pretty much all that he was billed to be: snarky, crazy, hilarious, and completely out of his league when having to deal with Ellie.
What’s more the book mentioned some great and profound issues. It showed that you must be really careful what you wish for. It proved that going to bed with somebody is not the same as falling in love with him/her even if sex was good. It argued that greed is bad as it might make you as blind as a bat and happiness is worth every sacrifice, even if it means hurting your own ego. It downplayed the vengeance and praised family values. Too bad that, in my humble opinion, all of these truths were hidden in a very cheesy mush of a plot.
What I didn’t like:
Hmm…let me think. In order to enjoy this one I would have to be logically impaired. Seriously. Although I am not a great philosopher, just a simple working woman, I sometimes cannot switch off thinking while reading. When I am handed a wrong book…woe is me.
Let’s start with the first chapter. Here we are introduced to Ivana the Bold, the proud and beautiful vampire mother of young Lothaire. This woman, in a fit of righteous rage, defies publicly the king of Horda, a very powerful vampire, her ex-lover and the father of her child under whose roof she lives; as a result she is thrown with her son out of the castle. The conditions outside are brutal – think winter in Siberia. What’s more the happy daddy murders his boy’s favourite puppy as a good-bye gift in order to get his message across. You. Are. Not. Wanted. Here. Eff. Off.
All good and well, sadistic vampire fathers happen, but in the same chapter we are told that a) Ivana comes from the royal line of the Daci, a species of vampires who are very clever, cunning and extremely wise creatures b) she cares about her son more than about her own life. Well, riddle me this: how come a mother and a very clever creature who schemes as she breathes could have endangered the well-being of her only offspring just to have a good, cat-fight with her ex-lover over a human woman, allegedly lesser than animals? Her brain went on holiday?
Then the same woman finds herself trapped and surrounded by human peasants. Her father (one selfish swine in the form of the Daci king) is near but he doesn’t come to rescue her in order not to endanger the secret location of his hidden kingdom. Ivana burries her sonny in a snow mould breaking and blooding her nails (awww) and then she exposes herself, being captured, gang-raped and burned to a cinder. Wait a moment…she was supposed to be a vampire, right? A male vampire can lift a whole train without breaking out into a sweat. As a female she might be weaker so let her lift just one measly wagon. Still she is far stronger than even a bunch of humans. Why couldn’t she defend herself? What was wrong? A momentary lapse of her abilities due to stress?
I could continue quoting similar scenes and making my review obnoxiously long, repetitive and dull but I will spare you, my dear reader. Just one more thing: rarely did I read a book in which there were so many those horrible, truly horrible Russian swear words included. I grant it, the author got them perfectly right, the transcription and all. Perhaps if you don’t know Russian you might treat them just like innocuous local flavour as the main character is half Russian or something. Let me tell you, though, that I winced every single time I met them in the text. They are…well…I think I’ve written ‘horrible’ too many times in this paragraph so let me make use of my lovely Penguin Thesaurus. Dreadful. Appalling. Abominable. Detestable. Utterly Obscene. Here you go. If my poor mum heard me saying them she would smack me and tell me to wash my mouth with soap for fifteen minutes.
I know Kresley Cole is one beautiful woman who has many fans out there. She’s written many novels, got them published and people have been reading them – it is a huge achievement. I do not intend to make those people angry or insult their tastes. Some books are the right thing for you, some are not. This was not my cup of tea.