Author Sam Stafford / Reviewed by Felita Daniels / 395 Pages
This is the first book in what the author expects to be a trilogy. His fiction novel approaches the topic of vampires from a scientific background. This author shows great promise. Let me explain. There aren’t horrible grammar mistakes, but the assistance of an editor would improve this work. There are many places the author repeats himself and/or uses the same phrases only a couple of sentences apart, ‘Deep down Ethan knew…’ and ‘deep down Ethan hoped…’ for example. Another instance was a sentence telling us a character doesn’t have any friends, then a whole paragraph saying the same thing, then a few pages later the same thought.
A good editor would have shared, “You’ve said the same thing three times in the span of 2 pages. Let’s keep this one, where you’ve expressed it best, and drop the others.” As a reader, repetition of the same idea makes me feel impatient. When will we get to something new? Does the author think I can’t remember what he said one page ago? If these duplications were taken out, it would be a much ‘tighter’ novel.
Now for the good stuff. Sam Stafford was excellent at introducing characters so that we weren’t bombarded at the start. This dovetailed nicely with how he laid out the plot. We get to experience a character’s conflicts and obstacles in two or three chapters and are given somewhat of a cliffhanger. The next chapter would let us in on what was happening with a different mini-plot and character. You suspect at some place in time these characters are going to crash into each other. This played really well to give you anticipation of each new section and build suspense.
My favorite character was Brian, a man that was a professional at hunting and killing or capturing vampires (depending upon the contract). By favorite I mean that after he was put in play, I kept wanting to know what was going on with him and where he was. I’m sure that the author considers Ethan and Harley the lead characters. I was conflicted about Ethan. He was between a rock and a hard place most of the time. There was a section of the book where I really didn’t like how he was thinking about another character. But this goes to show that Ethan’s character was complex and well-drawn. If you enjoy books that feature vampires, you will enjoy this. But I also think folks that like mysteries and spy-like thrillers would also enjoy this book because of the plot and structure.