Tuesday, February 13, 2007

#14 The Rest Falls Away: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Book 1 by Colleen Gleason

My Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

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.

Going in, I wasn't quite sure how I'd feel about the concept of vampires as completely evil creatures, without any redeeming qualities or social values. During the time this story takes place, in 19th century England, vampires are vicious creatures, killing their victims when feeding from them. This concept is unlike the contemporary vampire we read about today in so many other paranormals: able to live undetected among society, feed willingly from their victims by just taking small quantities of blood, and without killing. I guess you could say I've developed quite a liking for the little fellas ;-) so having to look at them in a negative light felt a little off to me at first. That said, I came to look at it as more of an evolution, and was convinced by the end of the story that the vampires of today have adapted their survival skills to be better able to escape the wrath of the vampire hunter!

So once over that, I totally loved the story. The time period and characters were very well drawn so I felt as if I were transported back in time. The life of a debutante, full of balls and all that frou-frou, would normally bore me to tears, but here, the author seems to use it more as a contrast to Victoria's secret life as a vampire hunter. Running around to balls and teas, while sneaking around hunting vampires after midnight—assuming they were polite enough to wait until then to be hunted. :-D Othertimes, they were rude enough to appear at various social functions and balls, attempting to mingle with society, until Victoria or Max would have to dash out after the "blood sucking creature" to bring them to justice before they took the life of their intended victim out on the patio or in the gardens away from other guests. You just never knew where they'd turn up next!

I also enjoyed how the author continued to surprise me throughout the story: hardly anything that happened was ever expected! Particularly the ending! I'm anxiously looking forward to the next book in The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Rises the Night, due out in June 2007.

BookCrossing journal page for this book


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

AWESOME review, babe! I'll make sure Colleen sees it!

Camille Alexa said...

This book's been getting major face-time; I've seen it everywhere. Sounds like it's a good one.

Thanks for reviewing debut authors.


Janelle Martin said...

Ohhh!!! I'll have to add this to my wishlist. I love historicals set in this time period. Add in the paranormal and I'm sold.

Thanks for the review and introducing me to this series.

Anonymous said...

CheriePie, thanks so much for the wonderful review! I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

Stop by my blog when you get a chance...I'm giving away an advance copy of Rises the Night this week. :-)

karen! said...

Great review, Cherie!
This sounds like a really interesting book... paranormals aren't my favorite (shocking, I know!), but I think that's because so many of them (or at least the ones that I've read) tend to be chick-lit-y (another genre that I can take or leave)... but I do love historical fiction and I'm loving the fact that this book seems to be breaking out of the current paranormal mold.
I may just have to add it to my wishlist...

Anonymous said...

Great review. I'll be picking this one up to read as soon as I see a copy.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Congratulations, Cherie! You have won a copy of Tina Bendoni's Argus: In Dreams, for your participation in the Debut a Debut contest.

Please drop either Susan or Erica an e-mail so we can get your prize to you.

Thanks for entering, from all of us at West of Mars, Writing Aspirations, and Debut a Debut. Congratulatons again!

Cherie said...

w00t w00t! Tina's book looks good. I can't wait to check it out. :*

And thanks to everyone else who left comments on my review, including Colleen herself. Had I known the author herself would be reading my review, I might've tried to be a bit more literary. :P

I'll have to check out the reviews from y'all as well...