Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Bleeding Dusk, by Colleen Gleason

Rating: 3.5/5
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
346 pages
2008
Source: My collection

Description: As Rome prepares for its Carnival, the new leader of the city's vampire hunters must prove herself as never before. For, in order to gain access to the secrets of a legendary alchemist, Rome's vampires have allied themselves with creatures as evil and blood thirsty as they are.

Reluctantly, Victoria must turn to the enigmatic Sebastian Vioget for help, just as Maximilian Pesaro arrives to help his fellow slayers, whatever the sacrifice. Desire puts her at the mercy of Sebastian, while loyalty binds her to Max, but can she trust either man? Especially when a seductive vampire begins luring her into the shadows... (From the back cover)


Review: As books in this series go, this felt like a bit of a let down. We start the book with two warring factions of vampires, one who allied themselves with a demon and one led by a old and powerful vampire. By the end of the book, two out of three of the major bad guys have met deaths that felt a bit abrupt and anti-climactic.

The attempt to gain access to the alchemist lab was also handled a bit disappointingly. There are three keys needed to do this, which can't be removed until the door is open. One has been placed ominously in the lock, one the Venators have, and one has been lost for several centuries. The lost one then just turns up in the lock, without anyone having to hunt for it. There's also no reason given as to why, in the centuries the vampires have wanted access, none of them have thought to just knock a hole in the wall.

We also get a return of Victoria's mother and her two good friends, who show up to try and find Victoria a husband. In the first book, I liked them and they didn't feel out of place, since Victoria was a d├ębutante. Here, they feel like they traveled to Italy so they could inconvenience Victoria and end up in danger. Frankly, their presence just feels like padding.

On the book's plus side, it finally manages to get the Sebastian/Victoria/Max love triangle the series has obviously been intending a bit more obviously underway. While I appreciate the author's keeping Max in character, so not obvious in his feelings for Victoria, it doesn't do much for the tension when Victoria hasn't had a chance to really notice.

The ending also sets up some interesting developments that pay off in the next book, but that just emphasizes how much this book feels more like set up for the next one.

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