“You should be afraid. Very afraid. Before, I told you if you wanted to end things between us, I would let you go, but, Leila”— his voice deepened—“ I...more“You should be afraid. Very afraid. Before, I told you if you wanted to end things between us, I would let you go, but, Leila”— his voice deepened—“ I lied.”
This story picks up right where Once Burned left off. There is a ton of romantic angst, a separation, a new villain to peak our interest. This book is more intense than its predecessor. There are bombing, kidnappings, battles on boats, assassination attempts in subway stations. The action just keeps coming, and it’s pleasantly broken up by some very steamy romantic scenes. This book definitely kicks the heat up a notch when compared to its predecessor. There’s even a few parts that I’d dare say rival the infamous chapter 32 from One Foot in the Grave.
Unfortunately where this series continues to fall short is the heroine herself. I’ve always felt that Leila was an odd choice of a partner for Vlad, but I was willing to give her a chance. Unfortunately, she continues to disappoint. It’s not that she’s not strong, and brave, and competent, because she is all of those things. Unfortunately she is also a poor planner, foolishly impulsive, and far too pushy romantically.
I love how fiercely loyal she is, and how ready she is to sacrifice for her friends, I just don’t agree with the way she chooses to go about it. She leaps before she looks almost every time. It makes her seem stupid at times, but in truth I think she’s just impulsive. Like the end of the last book where she decides to go into the mountain where the villain and his army are hiding, with only one person as backup. She doesn’t do anything quite this colossally stupid in the Twice Tempted but there’s still a scene at the end that had me yelling at her.
She also continues to be unreasonable and overly pushy romantically. Once scene in particular takes part at a dinner Vlad is throwing her honor. She’s so certain he’s going to propose, even though there are no rational reasons for her to make that assumption. He’s given her no indication that he’d ever consider re-marrying. He still hasn’t told her loves her, and he’s been incredibly distant for weeks. But she’s certain, and when he very predictably does not propose, she goes into high drama mode, and makes a big scene. In front of his entire family, even. Ugg. I almost stopped reading right there, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Things do get much better from there.
What continues to make this series is Vlad. I love his brutality, his loyalty, and the strict code he follows. He makes an amazing friend, and a terrifying enemy. In Twice Tempted Vlad is forced to play the role of the spurned lover for the first time in his very long life, and it brings out some very delicious angst in him. He’s fiercely possessive on a good day, but loosing Leila takes that possessiveness to a whole new level. He’s seething with anger and raw frustrated sexual energy that just makes him HOT. You’ve never seen Vlad quite like this before.
Overall, Twice Tempted was a very exciting read. While Leila continues to frustrate me, the intense and well executed plot, the ridiculously hot romance, and Vlad himself made this book a four star read for me. Highly recommended. (less)
I loved this book - and that's a first for me with the adult Steampunk genre. The characters were what really made the story - Honoria and Blade were...moreI loved this book - and that's a first for me with the adult Steampunk genre. The characters were what really made the story - Honoria and Blade were so well developed and likable. Their strengths made them characters I could admire, and their flaws allowed me to connect with them, and care for them. The plot was action packed full terror filled flights through foggy London streets, rabid vampire attacks, betrayals, political intrigue, and devils bargains. The romance was refreshing. It avoided most of the PNR tropes, and delivered solid, believable chemistry and romantic buildup.
A real review is already in the works - it just needs a good bit of editing before posting. :)(less)
FANTASTIC addition to the series! The best yet. Sydney has grown so much as a character. The plot in the book was very well crafted and intense. And,...moreFANTASTIC addition to the series! The best yet. Sydney has grown so much as a character. The plot in the book was very well crafted and intense. And, best yet, there were tons of beautiful Adrian moments. This book has renewed my faith in this series.(less)
There are some books that you fall in love with instantly, and others it takes you a while to fall for. It’s like love at first sight vs. love that gr...moreThere are some books that you fall in love with instantly, and others it takes you a while to fall for. It’s like love at first sight vs. love that grows slowly over time. Nightwalker is the latter sort of love. I knew I’d enjoy the book after reading the first three chapters. But I thought it would be a shallower sort of read – with bad ass characters raising. I didn’t expect to be emotionally entangled by the story. I didn’t expect to love it. But love it I did. By the end of Nightwalker, I was enthralled, and reading further into the series only drew me in more.
What makes Nightwalker unique is the main character. Have you ever read a vampire book where a secondary character in the novel was an ancient vampire and you thought to yourself FINALLY! an ancient vampire that actually acts his or her age! So many times we see 100-1000 year old immortals acting like 20 year olds, and that just doesn’t sit well with me. An ancient vampire should feel alien. It would be impossible to live that many years, loose that many friends, and retain your humanity. Mira is 600 years old, and she acts her age. She’s powerful, sometimes cold, often brutal, and mostly disconnected from her humanity. In short, she’s very different from the normal vampire protagonist. Most authors choose to write fledgling vampire protagonists because they know we’ll identify with them more. Mira is likeable from page one, but it’s hard to connect with her initially.
Danaus turned around to face me, his brow furrowed. “A vampire with a sense of honor?” “There are a few of us,” I whispered. “There are some ideas that not even death can kill.”
I think it was easy for me to make assumptions about Mira’s character in the beginning. Much like her nemesis-turned-ally Danaus, I assumed she was somewhat morally destitute, or at least morally grey. She seems to view humans as nothing but cattle, and appears to enjoy playing games with the lives of others. This isn’t to say she’s unlikeable, but what I appreciated about her was her strength. She was an enjoyable character because she was, in short, a complete bad ass. It took me a while to finally start to see her intrinsic goodness. As the story progressed, I realized Mira is incredibly honorable. She avoids killing while feeding, strives to make peace with other supernaturals, and refuses to take part in the cruel games of the immortals. She protects the weak, keeps her word, and does her duty, no matter what the cost. She always tries to do the right thing. In short, she’s an amazing character.
When you broke the vial, you expected to die,” he said, drawing my gaze. His hair hung down around his face, cloaking his features. “I saw it in your eyes.”
“Yes.” I couldn’t lie. I hadn’t wanted to die, but death was preferable to being held by the naturi.
“Don’t ever do that again.” Anger vibrated in his tone. A long, heavy silence settled between us, holding us still before he finally spoke again. “I will not let you escape me so easily.”
Danaus also walks a fine line between being likeable and vexing in the beginning. He is a complete mystery. He’s a powerful vampire hunter, and seems human, but isn’t. In fact, he’s ancient, centuries older than Mira. But we don’t know how he’s stayed alive so long, or what he is. He starts the story as a close minded zealot. In his mind, vampires are evil. Period. A vampire could have the kindness of Mother Teresa and he’d still condemn them. He is frequently critical of Mira, making snap judgments of her based on pre-conceived notions instead of facts. There were times I wanted to jump through the pages of the book and smack him upside the head. Close mindedness is not an attractive trait in anyone. But what makes Danaus work with Mira is the connection they have with one another. They hate each other, and are forced to work with one another early on in the story, but what keeps them working side by side is more than just obligation, it’s a deep understanding and similarity of spirit. They grow together through the novel. Since the story is told from Mira’s perspective, and we’re never in Danaus’ head, this growth is seen mostly in the way he slowly softens towards her. He starts off distrustful and hateful, but slowly becomes increasingly more kind and even protective of Mira.
Including such an old and powerful vampire heroine also ups the stakes on the whole story. The villains she’s pitted against must be equally as powerful, which makes the battles in this book epic. When Mia and Danaus fight together, they are taken on dozens of foes. I’ve never seen battles written quite on this scale before, and it makes for a very exciting read.
While there is romantic tension between Danaus and Mira, there is almost no romance in this novel. In fact, you won’t get any actual romance until book five of the series. The thrill you’ll get from the Dark Days series comes from the world building, character development, political intrigue, and most importantly, the action of the story. There is hardly a dull moment in any of the novels. You’ll see each of the characters grow and learn, becoming more than what they were in the beginning. You’ll see them change their pre-conceived notions. You’ll see enemies becomes friends, and friends become enemies. Alliances will be made and broken. More than any other series I’ve read lately, the characters in Nightwalker and the books that follow felt like friends. They started off flawed, and even unlikeable in many ways, but seeing them grow allowed me to connect with them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the rest of the series, and recommend it to anyone that enjoys good action packed urban fantasy series. (less)