Half-vampire Carol Barrett faces familiar-seeming perils as well as romance in the second of a series of paranormal thrillers.
Caro’s vampire biochemist husband, Jude, vanished in the jungles of Gabon after accepting a dubious commission from the pharmaceutical corporation Al-Dîn. Caro now raises their daughter Vivi alone, hiding her from the vampire cabal that believes that Vivi is the prophesied child who signals the end of their race. As Caro slowly accepts that she will not see her husband again, she allows herself to fall in love with Raphael, an ancient vampire playboy. Meanwhile, Al-Dîn’s operatives embark on a murderous search for Vivi, whose genome could hold the key to permitting vampires to withstand the sun. Maitland knows how to write tight action and steamy sex scenes, as well as vividly describe exotic locations. She’s also got some definite insight into the mind of the teenage girl. Sadly, though, Book 2 of this series (Acquainted with the Night, 2011) seems remarkably like a retread of Book 1, just with different players. In both novels, Caro moves beyond her tragic romantic past to seize love and have transcendental sex. She also spends each volume on the run from a pharmaceutical company that employs vampires who are so selfishly, uncontrollably violent that they murder people essential to fulfilling their or their employer’s goals. It’s refreshing to encounter vampire antagonists who are simply nasty, as opposed to magnetically attractive in a sinister way; however, most of them behave so shortsightedly and short-temperedly it’s incomprehensible how they manage to survive their decades of undeath, let alone accomplish anything of substance.
Above the common run of vampire fiction, but not all that it could be.