Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Rest Falls Away

The Rest Falls Away
By Colleen Gleason
#1 in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles
Reviewed by Fence

“His footsteps were soundless, but Victoria felt him moving.
She grasped the bark of the oak, pressing her body into the tree as if it could suck her into safety.”
Victoria Gardella has just discovered the secret her family hides; some of them are born Venators or vampire hunters. And she, just about to make her début in nineteenth century London society, is one. Her first choice is whether or not to accept this new life. If she wishes she can give it all up, and be returned to a state of ignorance about the fact that vampires are real. Otherwise her life will be changed forever.

Of course, she chooses to be a Venator; after all, if she hadn’t it would have been a very short book. But once that decision is made she comes to realise that there are more and more choices and decisions she must make, as she tries to balance a living a normal society-lifestyle with staking vampires.

That last sentence should tell you that there is a little bit of Buffy in Victoria. No bad thing and it is more a general similarity rather than any stealing of that programme’s ideas. Victoria, like Buffy, must balance her everyday life, keeping her secret slaying from certain members of her family and friends. But that is about as close to Buffy as this book comes.

I flew through this; started it this morning and finished this evening. It is a very entertaining read, and I grew quite fond of Victoria. Some of the other characters I was less sure of, but that is part of the point, we aren’t meant to know.

Paranormal fantasy/horror books are becoming quite common; this one is different in that it is set in Regency times. I thought that the blending of the horror and the historical elements was done quite well, although I did have to wonder at one point if our Miss Gardella wasn’t a little fast.

If you like vampire stories you should enjoy this one.

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