I picked this book up because it has a pretty cool cover and it was free on amazon (was a 2 day sale). Thought it was worth a chance. This story surprised me in many ways. The following is what made this story great, as well as what kept it from 5 stars.
-Supernatural/Religion – One thing that this author did that most others do not have the guts to do is address religion and deities in association to anything supernatural. There is nothing I hate more in a story than when authors have a character say something stupid because they do not want to put in the effort to establish a world properly. As soon as a story introduces anything supernatural, it begs additional questions. These questions have to be addressed for the world to exist fully. This author did this wonderfully. Thank you, Mr. Gavin, for having the gumption to go there.
-Characters/Religion – Each character had a different religion or world view that effected how the character interacted with the world. This was so much fun. As a Religious Studies major, I really felt like the author did his homework and created solid religious foundations for each character.
World Building – The world felt rich and tangible. The author added just enough pieces to keep maintain the time period (types of guns used and the introduction of the motor vehicle). This was not just frivolous details. It really added to the challenges of the characters and helped move the plot. This was well done throughout the story.
Characterization – The POV changed regularly (which was indicated by small pictures at the head of each chapter, nice touch) and each character had a unique voice. Their personalities remained distinct, despite the number of characters in the story. They each progressed wonderfully, with one exception (see below).
Death – the author actually follows the character into death. This was very novel to me. Normally, when a character is dead, it is gone. This was very unique and added to the world building.
Monsters/Supernatural beings – The monsters in this story are wonderfully old school. Vampires cannot enter without being invited, can change forms, ect. Gods from other religions enter into the story with purpose and continue to build the world. The violence is all very fitting for the types of monsters in the story.
Story – (view spoiler)[ This is a revenge story. What makes it fresh is that the revenge is masked by a vampire story until the very end. (hide spoiler)]
This was well executed and kept me turning pages.
-Character made a decision at the end that does not make sense. Through the story she is amazed that her deity would answer her prayer. She sees its power but decides to turn from it because she thinks is tests are “mean.” I am very sorry, but if anyone experienced that power, they would put up with the tests.
-I am conflicted on the ending. I thought it was a good end, though I favor the traditional sacrifice motif.
-The author slipped on some language. There were a couple of parts where there was some swearing/cursing that was random and out of place. There was some swearing that was used properly, but a couple of times it was so out of place that it broke me out of the story.
-There was some unnecessary sexuality. There was some very appropriate sexuality in the use of witchcraft and a succubus (both very sexual in nature). The sexuality I have a problem with was between two characters. I felt like it was forced into the story to meet a sex quota. The sexuality could have worked, but the way it was written at times was laughable.
I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend it.