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