Monday, July 08, 2019

Night Walker – review

Author: Aaron L Speer

First published: 2014

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Vampires wage a secret, merciless war for ownership of Sydney.

But just when humans seem nothing more than prey, the hunters just might become the hunted...

When Alexandra Hensley meets Dante Delavega, owner of the hottest nightclub in Sydney, she has no idea how he will affect her life.

Alex learns Dante holds the key to her past and there is something she must know. When she discovers what really happened to her parents, she unlocks an Australian secret kept hidden since the First Fleet.

But no truth comes without a cost, and a secret of this magnitude has only remained hidden due to one simple rule: they join us or die.

Word of her discovery spreads to those whose sole purpose is to keep the secret buried, and Dante's greatest battle begins.

Alex must be silenced, and Dante is all that is standing in their way.

Can he truly save Alex? Or will Alex be yet another victim of knowing the Undeadly Secret?

The review: This is the first book of Speer’s Undeadly Secrets Series and, despite having a primary good vampire character and a primary romance aspect, does seem to want to take vampires back to the big bad level generally. Set in Sydney, it is a world where vampires generally kill (bar a sub-culture that use donors) and to know about vampires is a death sentence. A world in which the vampires pull government strings.

The vampires have been brought over from Europe (we get mention of the strigoï vii and also a view that the Sidhe were vampires) but, in a flashback scene, we discover that the indigenous people knew what they were almost immediately (in the scene we are shown they are prevented from 'desecrating' the corpses and pay with their lives at the hands of the ignorant Europeans). Indeed there is a suspicion raised that vampires later were behind the stolen generation.

This is also a world where sunlight isn’t so much deadly, but the vampires become dead things when the sun is up and awaken when the sun sets. Vampires can be repelled from sacred ground if they commit a reprehensible act on it – but that doesn’t necessarily mean holy ground and the example we see is secular. Massive blood loss will kill them but a stake to the heart might not be the most effective method of killing a vampire. Invitation rules apply in this world and vampires are not captured on film.

As for the story and characters? The story worked well, with Alex, her boyfriend Matt and her best friend Lauren going to an exclusive club because Lauren is interested in the owner, Dante. However he seems more interested in Alex, they seem comfortable together and Matt is less than happy. When Lauren meets a new guy, Ryan, her behaviour starts to change. Dante also has a history with Alex that she is unaware of and is somewhat of a maverick in his real, vampiric, community.

Whilst the story kept me interested and the dialogue, for the most part, felt natural, the characters were perhaps a tad too dislikeable in the main, with Matt and Lauren especially both quite negatively drawn (and actually Alex’s behaviours with regards Matt feeling like she aimed to provoke him). That said the couple were drawn as a couple whose relationship was shaky, so maybe that is a tad too harsh. Overall, however, it didn’t overtly distract from the story, and I certainly did devour the volume, but I mention it as it came to mind a couple of times as I read. 7.5 out of 10.

On Kindle @ Amazon US

On Kindle @ Amazon UK

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you very much +!