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Descent into Dust (Emma Andrews #1)

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  265 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Twenty-five-year-old widow Emma Andrews grew up in the shadow of her mother's madness, so when she arrives at Dulwich Manor in the midst of a mysterious plague and soon thereafter begins to see specters, her family fears fate has finally caught up with her. But one guest among them knows Emma's visions are more than a trick of the mind. Valerian Fox has hunted the great va ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2010)
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Descent into Dust is a silly read, but it could've been worse...hence the 3 stars. It's a cheesy sci-fi movie on paper. You know you should change the channel, but the entertainment factor is just enough to keep your finger off the remote.

So. Bad things first.

The narrator's voice is bland, the historical setting is extremely thin wallpaper, the non-action scenes drag like heavy boots in mud, & the dialogue is (often) ludicrous. The goofy thread of Dan Brown church conspiracy is totally unnec
There are no sparkly vampires here! This is a good old-fashioned vampire story. Set in Victorian England Emma lives with the stigma of her mothers madness, she has been told her mother went mad and died but events take place that will make Emma question everything she has known and believed.

The cast of characters in the book was a nice mix from Emma’s needy sister, the rouge Sebastian, the secretive Mr.Fox, and the even more mysterious Father Luke. As they work together to save Emma’s niece Henr
Nov 16, 2010 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fanfic crossover writers
Shelves: fantasy
When I was young and did not yet know I had a secret. And I think it is time. I feel it is. Time to tell my story. A truly remarkable story.

Arg. What is it with kids authors these days and their incomplete sentences? Is that supposed to indicate heightened drama or something? Whatever the intent, it is distractingly sloppy. And on a more story-oriented level, it did not set the tone for everything occurring in the 19th century -- I kept expecting the fist few chapters to be background informatio
A young widow in Victorian England, Emma Andrews is an independent and intelligent woman of means who finds her true purpose when a mysterious plague troubles the village in which her family resides. She discovers that the plague masks an ancient vampire who has come in search of something very powerful that has been hidden for centuries in the English countryside and that somehow he means to use her young cousin, Henrietta, to aid him.

In vowing to protect her beloved Henrietta, Emma finds out
Descent into Dust was an interesting historical paranormal story with elements of mystery, suspense, horror and even a bit of romance. As a debut novel to a series it does a good job of introducing us to the world, with particular attention being paid to the characters. This brings to mind the old-fashioned vampire stories, and is thankfully not an angst-ridden, woe-is-me romanticized vampire book. Don't get me wrong there is a fair share of angst and dark in this book but it's not overwhelming ...more
I'm kind of new to this whole reviewing books thing because, aside from items I have purchased on Amazon and the restaurants I've visited on Yelp, I have no real concept of how to give one. Aside from the fact that the main character kind of pissed me off at times due to her skittishness and hesitance in some parts I highly enjoyed this book and believe I have found a new favorite to add to my slowly growing list.

I would have given this book a full on five stars if it were not for the parts of
This was a random choice from the new fiction shelf in the library. As vampire novels go, it was about average. It was entertaining, there were some thrills and scares, and it's certainly set itself up for a series. The plot was done moderately well; it was somewhat predictable, but there was a darker/creepier tone to the book that helped me ignore that as a reader. I particularly liked how Emma, the protagonist, is known to have a mother who went mad, and so everyone around her is waiting for s ...more
Emma Andrews discovers all manner of horrors when she goes to visit relatives at sprawling estate in 1860s England. Haunted by her mother's madness and her own fears of suffering a similar fate, she must learn to trust her instincts when begins seeing things that no one else can. She and Valerian Fox must join forces to battle an ancient evil in order to save Emma's cousin, Henrietta, from a horrible fate. Along the way, she discovers the truth about her mother's madness, and therefore the truth ...more
I love dark fiction, specially when it's set in the Victorian era. There's just something so appealing, and mysteriously romantic about the whole thing. I think Jacqueline Lepore is a fantastic story teller, I'd taken a break from reading for a few months and I'm glad I picked this book to end my hiatus.

It's the story of Emma Andrews, a Dhampir [part vampire, part human] and her transition from a grieving widow to a vampire hunter. The plot is excellent, Lepore has masterfully created a perfect
A good old-fashioned gothic Victorian novel!!! The characters are well-drawn and likable, the setting is dark and atmospheric, and the writing is very good. There was definite chemistry between Emma and Valerian, and although their romance is slow and doesn't go very far in this book I found their attraction to be believable.

There are vampires in the story, but they are of the creepy evil "Dracula" kind and not of the "romantic vampire hero" variety. Compared to many more recent vampire novels t
There are not enough Dhampir Stories out there. But every Dhampir Story is unique and interesting. And the same saying goes for this one as well.
So, it is a Story about vampires in an historical setting around 1862-1865.
Our Dhampir is actually a vampire hunter, but she doesn't know a thing.
Emma doesn't know about being a Dhampir, about Vampires and so on and on.
This situation gives the whole book some kind of sly humour.
All the better, because generally the book is very dark and mysterious. The
Cj W
"The offspring of a vampire and a human, a dhampir is generally portrayed as one with all or most powers of a vampire, with few to no disadvantages."
- Courtesy of Urban Dictionary

Descent Into Dust

A book from a relatively new author, and psychologist, Jacqueline Lepore.

Emma Andrews, a widowed woman, comes to Avebury to spend some time with her family, and her favoured niece, Henrietta.

It moves into her past, her history of her Mothers mental illness, and also into a romance with a very
An Odd1
London 1926. Widow Emma Andrews 25 sees black cloud in shape of man around angelic little Henrietta. Valerian Fox recognizes master vampire he hunts, Marius. Hen's nursemaid Miss Harris sets Emma's family against the widow.

Fights are exciting. Emma learns that her mother was not mad, but infected by vampire Marius. Helpful Mr Hess suffers wasting disease of other villagers. Revenant here is just ghost, not like handsome Vincent in Amy Plum's Die for Me. Emma and Valerian like each other but lif
The best way I can describe this book is: Buffy meets Jane Austin. Not a bad story at all, but it could have been developed more. I loved the Gothic atmosphere and the vampire lore, and the book is definitely fun to read. However, while the heroine is strong, she's not strong enough. And after reading a whole book about her, I still feel like I don't know her very well. I was also hoping for more development of Sebastian, the Uncle, and Mr. Fox. While the vampire is intriguing, he was not explai ...more
I expected to love Descent into Dust. What a great premise! A Gothic mystery in the style of Bram Stoker brimming with traditional vampire lore and a Victorian vampire hunting heroine. Sadly, it just never drew me in. It felt rushed. At times it even felt campy (the perfectly proper Victorian heroine going bad a** Buffy on some evil foes). The characters never felt fully developed – more like roughly sketched. While they each had potential, I never felt connected. I never felt anything to make m ...more
Random library selection, pretty decent. I guess its the start to a new series, but it worked pretty well as a standalone. It is set in the mid 1800s and is written as though it was written in that time, as well. So, I didn't click well with the writing style, b/c I'm not a fan of older authors. The story however was good. The only big problem I had is that the villian's name was Marius. Marius, in my head, is and Anne Rice character thru and thru, and the author should have thought of a better ...more
Although I'm not a fan of vampire series, Lepore's book held my attention well enough to finish it in one sitting. Descent into Dust sends vampires out of the romance realm and back into the horror column. (I still can't fathom how cold, bloodless Vampires could be sexy, even if they do sparkle in the sun.)Her protagonist, a proper Victorian lady with latent skills that suddenly develope when she first crosses paths with a vampire is an interesting twist on an old theme. Her secondary character, ...more
Erin H
Oct 31, 2012 Erin H rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: rpo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I came into this book expecting a typical 'vampire hunter hunts down evil vampire' tale but the more I read the more I fell in love with this story! Descent into Dust to me is Jane Austin meets Bram Stoker in the most delightful of ways! There is definitely no sparkling Twilight vampire nonsense in this book but the old fashioned, hauntingly beautiful, always gruesome and evil vampire. Emma Andrews is a perfectly emotional yet strong character who is willing to go on with her life, head held hig ...more
I managed to get a hold of a freebie copy of the second book in this series (Immortal With a Kiss), and since I hate starting in the middle of a series, reading this book first was a must for me.
The gothic setting ofDescent into Dust was just my cup of tea, and the premise of a Victorian era widow finding her destiny as a dhampir was interesting and intriguing.
However, despite the moody, atmospheric opening, the story never seemed to fulfill its potential.The characters didn't seem fully fleshed
Descent into Dust is the vampire book I’ve been waiting to read. Lepore draws on the original Dracula, adds a dash of Jane Austen’s strong heroines, and mixes it all together with a mystery.

The gothic mystery was well written, and reminded me of reading the Victorian classics I loved so much. The social etiquette is a strong, crucial element of the story, and Emma’s struggle to understand her dhampir heritage is convincing. The tone is dark and mysterious, while maintaining the Victorian social
I thought I would absolutely love this book as it is placed in one of my favorite eras and is about vampires, but unfortunately it never really caught my full attention. When the action was strong, it was really strong and captivating, but the 'in between' seemed to drag. I wish there had been more development of the secondary characters (especially Sebastian), because I found them very entertaining. Despite lacking certain things, it was very nice to read a story about an evil vampire who's not ...more
This is the story of Emma, an orphan brought up with the knowledge that her mother had been crazy- but what exactly had happened to her mother? When Emma passes a season at her cousin's house, she learns about her mother, and also about the secret side of the darkness.

This story was slow, but that may be because we were introduced to Emma just as she is learning about herself. Emma is resilient, and intelligent, although her life is changing, she is able to adapt and make the most of it- a great
Brain candy - but somewhat admittedly so. At least the vampires didn't sparkle. Lepore is respectful of both the Victorian heroine AND vampire lore. This was an entertaining book and the plot twists were well developed. The supporting characters were somewhat stock (i.e. the sassy gay friend, the brooding hero with a secret, a warrior priest, and an ancient wise man) but I am hoping in subsequent books Lepore fleshes the characters out. I do like that we aren't bashed over the head with the "ind ...more
I was intrigued to read a book about a vampire hunter. There seem to be a lot of books about vampires, but what about those who were born to hunt them? Set in the Victorian era, the novel introduces Emma, who, as a child never did quite fit in with her family and was always looked at as if she will be taken with the madness that took her mother. The plot that develops and the characters that come into play are very plausible as they all discover the ancient evil that lurks nearby. I look forward ...more
I give this three stars not because I liked it that much, but it probably deserves it for what it is. A young widow in 1860s England goes to a country house party that turns out to be more than she bargained for. An evil presense in the neighborhood is after an innocent young child and a strange, attractive fellow house guest seems to be out to stop this local vampire. There was not quite the right chemistry between the hero and heroine and the vampire was not enough of a presense throughout the ...more
This is a vampire novel, but it is about how horrible and evil they are, not how sexy and handsome they are. The main character finds out that her mom had been bitten by a vampire before she was conceived. It gives her the strength to protect others--amd be a Dhampir, a vampire killer. She meets Valerian Fox who has been bitten once. He hunts vampires and wants to kill his maker, so that he is not turned. I like the characters in the book, even if they are a bit victorian.(Forget her whiny siste ...more
The BookWhisperer
Descent into Dust was recieved as an Early Reviewer book. I was anxious to read this book after reading the book description. Although, once I began reading it I struggled with the book from the start. The storyline is one that I would typically fly through, but once I began reading the story I found it was written more like a contempory fiction novel. I struggled with the character, the dialog, and the setting. I hate saying it, but this is not a book that I am comfortable recommending.
I just couldn't finish this one. I went to bed at about 100 pages in and had nightmares and was freaked out and restless all night. (It doesn't help that hubby is out of town either.) It was definitely interesting and compelling, but I don't like to be scared so I am just saying no to this one. I'm not sure why I expected anything less since it's about vampires, and even the title is kind of dark, but I think I'll stick with the less-scary young adult vampire books ;).
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I am a native Philadelphian, born in South Philly and raised first there, then later in the suburbs. I attended the University of Pennsylvania for both undergraduate and graduate studies, earning a Ph.D. in psychology. I moved with my husband to Maryland immediately after that and have practiced here for more than twenty years as a licensed psychologist. I have three children and a houseful of pet ...more
More about Jacqueline Lepore...

Other Books in the Series

Emma Andrews (2 books)
  • Immortal with a Kiss (Emma Andrews #2)
Immortal with a Kiss (Emma Andrews #2) Suspense Magazine May 2011

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