I just adore the creative-world building of this author whether it is the Sci-Fi Romances I read previously or this parallel earth paranormal story. This book grabbed my interest from the beginning and didn’t let go until the end. I sat there wishing the story could just keep going because I wanted more- more time with the fascinating characters. The pace was a blend of excitement and ‘cat and mouse’ style action and dialogue because not only is this a paranormal romance; it is intrigue and mystery too. Loved it all!
The story opens with Black, a Nightwalker (not to be confused with the average streetwalker though close because he sells his body’s energy aura and not his body), getting propositioned by a cut above the usual vamp. He hates them all, but it’s a living and he tends to leave with more than just the money credits they pay him. While he’s with the ‘john’, he takes the moment to siphon off a bit of the vamp’s ‘chi’ (aura). Unfortunately, he gets caught and now the vamp who just so happens to be the boss of the territory gives him the choice of work for him or take the punishment of death for this type of thievery. Black likes living just fine so he accepts and his twin is roped into the deal too.
Black and his sister are given the task of spying on other area visiting vampires, but then the situation becomes complicated by murder which now they must help Garthelle, their new vamp boss, solve. Their involvement becomes dangerous and revelations lead to more mystery and the two don’t know who to trust or who can protect them when the truth starts coming out.
This was such a twisty, deep well-written plot. I knew who I liked in the story and I had my suspicions, but that still didn’t mean that anyone was very trustworthy. The secrets just abounded with some on a personal level and some in regard to the vamp politics and murder.
The world of these vampires is unique. They do not siphon human blood, but energy to feed them and humans are looked on as little more than cattle. The vamps are all about the power brokering amongst themselves and trust is a rare thing. This trickles down to the dregs of society even. The feel of the story is dark and gritty, but there are bright spots of family, friendship and love when it comes to Black and Red, his twin.
The characters are so multi-faceted that it takes the whole book to know them and still there are shadows and things that are still unrevealed. Black is the main character and the story is told first person point of view from his perspective. While I didn’t mind this, I really missed not getting better acquainted with the motives and feelings of the other main actors in the plot. This is probably my only disappointment- not getting that moment at the end where ‘now that it’s over this is what they were thinking and feeling’. It’s not a huge thing and didn’t ruin the story, but it would have given me a sense of closure. Oddly, while I liked Black, my favorite characters were his twin sister and Garthelle. Both had forceful personalities, but there was more to them that made me really like them. Garthelle’s butler was hilarious with his dry humor and quick wits making him my favorite minor character.
So, it was a wonderful story that I can recommend to those who enjoy m/m dystopian/parallel earth and/or paranormal romance.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing the book for review purposes.
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