I really wanted to like the book. I really, really did! It’s got all the paranormal aspects I enjoy and even some new ideas that I respect. Unfortunately 30% of the way into the book I was still wondering where it was all going and I was not entertained.
The book starts with Dr. Toni Parthen at a crime scene, she’s obsessing over not having a boyfriend in over a year all the while complaining about drawing the short straw and have to be at said crime scene. I found the idea that not having a man would be higher on her mind that the dead man at the scene with no blood in his veins. The lead detective is attracted to her and she likes him too but has bad luck with men. You don’t really understand why for some time and even then it’s more like seriously?!?! Toni is also described as someone beyond beautiful with an extremely large chest that is ogled but any man within eye distance. I’m kinda over the “I’m a doctor and want to be taken seriously but I’m constantly worry about my body even when I pretend not to” that I’m seeing in many paranormal books recently.
After a car accident that results in her being kidnapped by the Varcolac-a species that must consume the blood of other humans to survive she is also informed she is part of the repopulation process in the underground community. Her response it typical and definitely how anyone could respond. At this point in the book I was hoping to see that story open more and for it to get better. For me it didn’t, I was disappointed with the explanation from the leader of the group as to why women had to be kidnapped. The women taken have a genetic marker called Peak 8 that allows the Varcolac to breed with them. It doesn’t explain why they thought kidnapping was the only option and it really never does get explained in a way that is acceptable to me. Granted they are never hurt while learning to adjust to a new life forced upon them, it was still not their choice and it just doesn’t sit right with me.
There are also two enemy factions that kidnap women, these other factions are much more harsh in the treatment; they allow all the men in the community to rape the captive woman so she can provide and many children as possible. The underground enemy is a breed of daemons that carry the peak 12 gene that causes more aggression and the top side enemy is a species of Fey. You really don’t see too much interaction from the underground enemy except for occasional skirmishes that are won by the Varcolac. The top side enemy has the worst UK English I’ve ever read. I had to read back over it more than once to really understand what was being said. I watch a TON of british TV and I’ve never heard the accent the author was trying to convey.
Throughout the book I really tried to remind myself that this was the first book in a series so the author is laying the ground work to create a world for the reader. Unfortunately I couldn’t get myself into it enough to care about what was really going on. There were so many characters and with the weird spellings of the Varcolac names for the warriors it was hard to track properly. You also meet Toni’s brother, Alex, that has the same genetic trait she does which means they now have a man that can breed with the females of their species but you don’t really see any story being made for Alex. Maybe it’ll happen later in the series but I don’t see myself being able to force myself to read the rest of the series.
This review isn’t to say I didn’t like the author, I met her in person when I bought the book and she was really just the nicest person and I see her passion for her books in her. I hope in the future to read a different book or series by Tracy and to fall in love with it the way I do with series. While I wasn’t a fan of book one and won’t be continuing the series I would say to make your own assumptions and give it a try, the book is available on amazon for a decent price.
For more on Tracy Tappan please check out her website Tracytappan.com