Vampiric gods, wolves and human frailty round out Koppenhagen’s story of timeless love.
Marcus is a member of a very exclusive vampire fraternity and parlays his once-boring existence into an adventurous tale that bounds continents and defies the laws of nature—all in the name of true love. Marcus, who has the ability to bend others to his 6,000-year-old will and even change their very thoughts, discovers that not even the allure of immortality can hold a light to the power of the heart. Vampire romance, werewolves, a dangerous pregnancy, high-seas antics and more fill the pages of this lengthy tome. Fans of vampire literature, who are legion, will tread common territory in Koppenhagen’s novel. Well-plotted and richly crafted, the novel explores the immortal life of a vampire in great detail but with little in originality, save for the history of the vampires themselves. Too often the tale is simply too familiar. Anne Rice fans will find similarities to her seminal Vampire Chronicles series starring the vampire Lestat. More recently, however, Rice's enduring series has been overshadowed by the Twilight series penned by Stephenie Meyer. Koppenhagen’s story contains strong elements of both series, if not mirror images in some cases. Most striking is Koppenhagen’s use of Washington state's Forks and La Push in the novel, locales that feature heavily in Meyer's young-adult novels. Vampire flesh that glitters like diamonds in direct sunlight, the Hooded Claw or “Vulturos,” which sound quite similar to the super-powered “Vulturi” in Meyer's work, have been done before, though the author does add an ingenious twist to the “Push” portion of the name. Unrequited love, a common theme in Gothic fiction, runs like a well-tuned engine under Koppenhagen’s deft guidance. Lacking, however, is a vehicle made from a fresh, impressive idea.
Intellectual, playful prose cannot save this vampire epic from soaking too long in a broth of Rice and Meyer.